Located at Thapathali’s Trdae Tower, The British College (TBC) was established in 2012 to give students in Nepal a taste of what education in the UK is like as well as to address the lack of skilled manpower in the country. The selling point was also an obvious choice, since education is fundamental to any country’s development.
So when a group of NRN entrepreneurs residing in the UK thought of doing something in their own country, they, naturally, chose to invest in a new college to bring UK education to Nepal.
“We were running different businesses in the UK and with some experience in education already (having a college in the UK as well), and after some brainstorming, we decided on the education sector as education is fundamental to everything we do,” says Rajen Kandel, CEO of TBC.
A number of factors played an important role when deciding to turn the group’s new venture into the shape of a college. Notwithstanding their own experience working under the UK system, the pioneering quality of UK education was one and the other clear frontrunner was having UK exposure.
So, with the University of the West of England and Leeds Beckett University affiliations, TBC currently has over 900 students. In just a few years, the college has shown tremendous growth and its popularity in the market shows that it is rapidly expanding.
Kandel, who is also chairman of the Nepal-Britain Chamber of Commerce, says he and his team are dedicatedly providing a comparable UK university experience in Nepal without compromising on quality.
UK Quality Assurance
“We studied in the UK, we worked in the UK, we have that exposure from the UK,” emphasizes Kandel, when talking about the people he set up the college with. The college’s policies and procedures are aligned to the UK’s own quality assurance system.
All UK universities are monitored by what is known as the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for higher education, an independent body monitoring and safeguarding the high standards of UK higher education.
With this in place, students get the same BBA degree here as in the UK with the same experience. “This is the only institution where students get international exposure. We have a faculty that’s from overseas; we have a lot of guest lecturers from the UK and other countries. Our students go to the UK for summer school and they can transfer to the UK at any point. So this is also very unique to our institution,” says Kandel.
“This is a real and genuine British institution in Nepal. We have already got international students studying in this college,” says Kandel. According to the college there are currently students from India, China, Afghanistan, Korea and Sri Lanka. The college has an international staff and faculty. It is monitored and supported by the affiliate university in the UK. After getting a degree from the college, students will be much more employable, says the college. Facilities are also of a high standard. So, students get a very high quality education for good value.
TBC started with BBA degrees in 2012. Since then the college has added many other courses including Bsc in computing and Msc in International Management, with EMBA also starting soon. Apart from these courses, the college also offers GCE A-level courses, ACCA courses. The college is planning to start an Msc in IT and Masters in Public Health by September 2016. Furthermore, the college also aims to start construction project management and engineering courses in the future.
Students at the college have a plethora of choices with what to do next after graduation. Internships and job placements are fully supported by the college. Students can choose to work in Nepal or in India and the Middle East. “For students who want to go to the UK for a one year masters course, we can support this too,” says Kandel. The opportunity of going abroad to India or the Middle East to work will start this year as college has signed an MoU with companies from those areas.
The British College is one of the premium colleges in Nepal. The same course in the UK would cost five times more. “Because we are providing the best quality you can get in this country our fees are slightly higher in Nepal but if you compare it with other countries it’s not that expensive,” explains Kandel.
TBC targets students who want international exposure. The college tries to build on that with good management.
Top three students of the class get scholarships. 100%for 1st, 50% for 2nd and 25% for 3rd in tuition fees. “We have various types of support mechanisms for those who are outstanding but not financiallystrong. This place is for talented students as well,” adds Kandel.
TBC is very active in terms of social activities in Nepal especially in supporting schools. “We have supported various libraries by providing computers; we have supported some schools to build the schools. And we are still working with different schools to set-up libraries, computer labs, and train teachers in school. In terms of Natural disasters, college has been there whether a flood, landslide or earthquake,” says Kandel. “Our students are always involved in social activities like cleaning temples, neighbourhoods, blood donation etc”, he added.