A degree that can broaden your horizons

- Rajesh Khanal

Dec 20, 2018-

One of the most popular graduate degrees in Nepal is the Master of Business Administration, popularly known as MBA. This programme appeals to students from management background as well as from various other disciplines. Especially, with the expansion of business community, there is ample room for opportunities for the MBA graduates. 

At present, almost all professionals wish to engage in their own business ventures. So, in addition to their technical knowledge, it is natural that they are seeking entrepreneurial skills. With MBA courses promising to equip the students with real-life management situations, professional tools to manage an enterprise, the course seem to be the best option for them.

Several national-level universities, including Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu University (KU), Purbanchal University and Pokhara University have authorised dozens of colleges to run MBA programmes. In addition, there are quite a few colleges with foreign universities affiliations. 

Many people are also attracted towards the degree, although being expensive than other programmes, due to the graduate’s success rate in finding employment. The MBA graduates have been establishing their positions in various Nepali corporate houses as well as in a number of multinational companies. As the course enrolls students who have prior work experience, it aims on further enriching the professionalsin their respective fields with managerial, financial and marketing skills. 

However, there are concerns of the quality of the education provided by the mushrooming number of colleges. It also brings into question whether these colleges are aiming at producing managers rather than working to build the entrepreneurial skills of their students. The other challenge involves lack of willingness on the part of corporations and companies to offer internship opportunities to the students.

Moreover, most of the business school programmes in Nepal have been blamed for being theory oriented. They use the traditional tools of case studies, lectures, film and discussions. Through emphasis on the skills of analysis and calculation, theyteach ideas but not real life behaviour. MBA education in Nepal is suffering from a narrowly defined curriculum, a shortage of qualified faculty, and the traditional teaching styles.  

Bhuwan Dahal, the chief executive officer of Sanima Bank, said that the bank has been employing a notable number of MBA graduates from the Nepali universities. But he added that his organisation has not made any agreements with the any educational institutions for the assurance of jobs. Regarding the quality of the workforce produced by the Nepali colleges and universities, he said that most of it also depends on the individual graduates and work environment of the business houses. 

“The job prospects largely depend upon the students themselves. It’s mostly the competitive and dynamic students who have been able to succeed in their respective fields,”he said. 

Sanima Bank offers the position of ‘Management Trainee’ at the entry level for the fresh MBA graduates. This was necessary, according to Dahal, in order to bridge the theoretical knowledge of the students with the practical experiences. But they have also been suffering from a major turnover of staffs. 

“Many MBA graduates join the organisation to gather some work experience, just to seek better jobs abroad,” he said.  

Industrialists,on the other hand, say that MBA programmes offered by a number of institutions in Nepal are much focused on theory rather than practical knowledge. Due to this, graduates are not prepared for the challenges they face even during the day-to-day operations, their ability to solve complex problems is a far cry. 

PashupatiMurarka, an industrialist and past president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that even though many corporate houses have started giving emphasis to Nepali MBA graduates, they certainly fall short when they are pitted against the foreign university graduates. 

“Their skills need to be sharpened through internship programmes rather than limiting them to class lectures,” he explained, pointing towards the difference between Nepali and foreign graduates. 

The MBA education needs to be reformed to produce competent business leaders. Unlike the prevailing trend, MBA programmes should inspire students to not only be bankers and administrators, but also to be entrepreneurs, risk takers and change leaders.

Published: 20-12-2018 09:18

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