Taking the lead

  • As country continues to face a qualified human resource crunch, graduates from foreign-affiliated colleges are starting enterprises and working in leading professional positions

Sep 16, 2018-

Naresh Lamgade completed his Bachelor’s in Computing from the Kathmandu-based Islington College last year. After graduation, he went on to form Cynical Technology, which marked its first anniversary this week. The company might only be a year old but it has managed to establish itself a fairly well-known name in cyber security, providing services to a number of institutions, including different government agencies. Recently, the company even received a contract to provide cyber security to the Malaysia-based online payment organization, Payment Gateway.

The London Metropolitan University degree that he received at Islington College helped him get to where he is, says Lamgade. The degree provided him with the knowledge and the confidence to start his own enterprise. While it is up to the student to do what they want after graduation, a degree from a foreign-affiliated college equips students with either working professionally, starting their own venture or even pursuing further studies, he says.

Susmit Pradhan, who recently graduated from the Nayaa Aayam Multi-disciplinary Institute (NAMI), shares a similar story. A Bachelor’s graduate in software engineering, Pradhan completed his final year internship in branding. Now, he is in the process of setting up a company that will help institutions establish their brand. Though Pradhan has yet to formally start business, he is already providing services to six institutions. “We work on logos and digital advertisements for companies and products,” he said.

Lamgade and Pradhan are just two examples from among the hundreds of graduates from foreign-affiliated colleges in the country who are excelling in various fields after education. A number of such colleges even report their placement rate at over 95 percent.

Until a few years ago, Nepali companies had to struggle to find good graphic designers and cyber security experts, relying on imports from India and other countries. Today, the situation has changed. Graduates from foreign-affiliated colleges are capable enough to provide expert services, often better than those from the neighbouring countries, and at significantly lower costs, say college operators.

Similarly, there were days when hoteliers would have to trawl through resumes from various other countries to find managers, recalls Narendra Bajracharya, CEO of the International School of Tourism and Hotel Management and former president of the Hotel Association of Nepal. Even a decade ago, there were very few Nepalis at the managerial level in the country’s reputed hotels. When it came to academies, there was only the government-owned National Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management, until the entry of private colleges in hospitality education.

“The situation has changed now,” says Bajracharya, who got into education because of the dearth of qualified Nepali hospitality graduates. “We can proudly say that our graduates have proven their excellence, not just in the domestic market but also at the international level.” Records from the International Education Providers’ Association of Nepal (IEPAN), an umbrella organisation of colleges providing international education at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, shows that the 54 foreign-affiliated colleges are offer programmes under three streams—Information Technology, Business and Management, and Hospitality—as they are the most sought-after courses among Nepali students.

The first priority for these colleges is to motivate graduates to start their own enterprises, says Laxman KC, CEO of Presidential Business School. However, there are job placement cells and graduates often take up professional positions across their fields of study. A graduate from Presidential Business School now leads another foreign-affiliated college, KC cites as an example.

“We want our graduates invest their knowledge in their homeland because it needs them to prosper,” says Sandeepa Bashnyat, director of the Mountain School of Hotel Management. “And many of them are working as per our expectations.”

Published: 16-09-2018 09:23

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