Politics undermining TU activities

Kathmandu, July 11:

Former Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Tri Ratna Manandhar who served Tribhuvan University for 40 years, says the university has unmanageable number of constituent campuses. Today, it is the university with comprehensive courses in four faculties, five institutions and four research centres.

“Despite its vast infrastructure with nominal fee structure, the university has not been able to create an environment suitable for academic activities,” said Dr Manandhar. “It is a political hotspot for students, teachers or employees. They put forth demands that adversely affect the growth of university.” Even appointment in key positions like vice-chancellor and rector are not free of political interference, added Dr Manandhar. Since its establishment 49 years ago, Tribhuvan University has produced hundreds of thousands of graduates but its performance is still below expectation as compared to the history of other international universities.

Non-technical students comprise 85 per cent of the total TU intake, but they are not as competitive as students of technical institutes. This is mainly due to the culture of politics that has infected teachers, students and employees, and faulty admission procedures.

The non-technical faculties are expanded to 60 constituent campuses all over the

country while technical institutes are limited to 19 constituent campuses.

There are approximately 200 MA first year students in each of four classrooms.

“Even though students as well as teachers are enthusiastic about their studies, it is impossible to interact with each student,” said Dr Anita Dhungel, lecturer at the Central Department of English, TU.

To upgrade the university’s standard, the number of students has to be downsized right from the admission process, added Dr Dhungel. “Moreover, we have to make computer and Internet facilities easily accessible and update the courses.”

Once these issues are addressed, there will be a way to improve lots of other issues within the university, she said.

In this backdrop, TU, the first and the biggest university in Nepal, celebrated its 49th anniversary today. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala hoisted a flag at a function held at Kirtipur and stressed the need to have more affiliate campuses in the far-western region, which has only three colleges. The eastern region has 13 campuses, while the Kathmandu valley has 22 campuses.