Nepal | November 26, 2020

An Institute with a difference

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Established in 2001, the Institute of Advanced Communication, Education and Research (IACER) is the only college till date that offers M Phil in English in the country. Situated in the peaceful location of Old Baneshwor Heights, IACER has a good reputation in MPhil teaching. All the teaching staff have doctorate or MPhil degrees and are qualified and experienced in their respective areas of studies.

Completion of Master’s degree meant 16 years of study until Tribhuban University introduced a three-year Bachelor’s programme to make it 17 years of study. However, most of the teachers teaching in government colleges, themselves, had only 16 years of study. To fill the gap, a group of academicians wanted to introduce an M Phil course in TU but being the largest university in the country, no immediate change was possible without adequate amount of preparation. Therefore, this group of academics got affiliation from Pokhara University and started M Phil classes from the fall of 2001 with 26 students in the first batch, which included mostly teachers teaching in government colleges. Since then, IACER has been gradually expanding, offering also MA and BA in English, at present. Being a non-profit research institution, IACER has the provision of providing teaching assistance, fee waivers or subsidised fee for needy students.

A postgraduate in Linguistics from University of Cambridge, UK, Sapkota believes IACER is the only place that facilitates students who have not done any research work in the Masters level. “Writing a research paper is not obligatory at the Masters level. So those who have not done any research or writing previously, but wish to do PhD are unfamiliar with research modalities. This three-semester course helps the students equip themselves with research and writing techniques,” says Sapkota.

Bishnu Sapkota, faculty member, IACER

Saurav Ranjan Baral, manager at Department of Civil Aviation, did his masters in English in 1989 and has been working in the department for the last 20 years. He was interested in doing PhD, and joined MPhil as a bridge course between Masters and PhD. Attending graduate college usually requires leaving full time employment. However, Baral says, “If one has the interest or drive, then nothing can impede on their interest. IACER is running evening classes from 5-8 pm to suit the requirements of working students.”

Saurav Ranjan Baral, ex-student, IACER

If you are interested in teaching English at the university level, or, wish to earn a doctorate in research field, then pursuing MPhil in English is the right choi-ce,” says Rameshwor Adhi-kari, principal of IACER. The MPhil course has a wi-der scope and our students are working in sectors like teaching, media, I/NGOs. Other qualities that attract students are interdisciplinary courses, small classes, seminars. The learning process involves student-teacher interaction where students are encouraged to think for themselves.

Rameshwor Adhikari, principal, IACER

In IACER, there is more flexibility regarding course design where faculty members are solely responsible for it and in every semester they introduce a new course. For example they have introduced courses like traumatic experience, disability studies, gender studies, and ethnic studies. New courses mean new ideas and new processes of teaching. They offer a wide range of courses and have already developed over 75 courses till now. “The wide coverage of the courses enables our students to pursue their education in a wide range of subjects other than literary courses,” says Amar Raj Joshi, a faculty member of IACER.

In IACER, the college does 60 per cent of the evaluation. Forty per cent of the evaluation is done by Pokhara University. IACER has totally redefined the study of English by releasing it from core literature to covering all subjects that comes under humanities and the social sciences. Taking into consideration the research modality, they only have limited capacity. They cannot enrol more than 25 students at a time to maintain a fair teacher student ratio.

Amar Raj Joshi, faculty member of IACER


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