Chinese scholarship for MSc nursing scrapped

Kathmandu, August 18

The Ministry of Health and Population has scrapped 25 scholarship seats provided by the government of China to Nepali students to pursue master’s in nursing.

Secretary at MoHP Pushpa Chaudhary told THT that they were forced to scrap the programme after the Ministry of Finance urged them to scrap the scholarship seats.”We had to terminate the programme with a heavy heart after the finance ministry urged us in writing to discontinue the programme.”

Chaudhary, quoting finance ministry officials, said the scholarship programme was introduced without following due procedure and that they had not received any confirmation about the programme from the embassy of China in Kathmandu.

“Chinese embassy has refused to take responsibility of the scholarship programme and the money worth the scholarship was reduced from the financial support pledged to Nepal by the government of China,” added Chaudhary, quoting officials of finance ministry.

Leela Mani Paudyal, Nepali ambassador to People’s Republic of China, on behalf of the country had signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s national university — Central South University located at Changsha, Hunan, in July last year. It was agreed that each year 25 nursing students would be allowed to study master’s in nursing at the university in full scholarship for five years starting from 2017.

Last year too, the ministries were reluctant to recommend students for scholarship seats. MoHP had not even called for open application last year.  According to Tara Pokhrel, president of Nursing Association of Nepal, officials of both the ministries were planning to recommend the names of the students on their own without publishing public notice about the programme. She said after the issue came to the surface, NAN had intervened and 32 students were recommended for 25 seats. Seven of them were on the waiting list, but the Chinese university  accepted all 32 students.

Pokhrel said, “Officials scrapped the scholarship seats after they realised that there was no space for financial gain or irregularities.”