For those seeking an international education going abroad was the only option. Now, with colleges like TBC, that is no longer the case.
--BY KRISHANA PRASAIN
The British College (TBC) is one of Nepal’s leading management and IT college and a pioneering college to introduce and foster British quality education in Nepal. Established in 2012, TBC, located at Trade Tower, Thapathali, started operating with two management programmes and added two later. Now the college has a range of bachelor’s and master’s level programmes in Business Management and Information Technology with reputed British accreditations. Upon completion, students receive degrees awarded by the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol and Leeds Beckett University (LBU). Besides this, the British Model College under TBC has been running Cambridge Assessment A-levels since 2013. To date, TBC has conducted three graduation ceremonies for about 800 students. “There were 20 students in our first intake. In the last six years, the college has successfully taught 2,000 students,” says Rajen Kandel, CEO and founder of TBC.
The UK has always been at the forefront in terms of high-quality education, the accreditations are regarded as having very high value, giving a competitive and comparative advantage to British degree holders locally as well as globally. Before the establishment of TBC, there were very few options for Nepali students wanting to study British university programmes in Nepal. However, with the inception of the college, the students have been receiving degrees awarded by reputed universities from the United Kingdom without having to go abroad.
TBC has successfully established a British education system in the context of Nepal. “Basically, we are fulfilling the demand of Nepali students who want to receive international degrees and high quality education within the country,” states Kandel. According to him, TBC graduates are working successfully in various fields. “Some are running their own businesses while many others are working in top managerial posts in different business houses and organisations in Nepal and aboard,” says Kandel, adding, “The initiation of TBC has helped to retain thousands of students here contributing to control the outflow of money that would have gone outside the country.” He suggests that if students genuinely want to get international degrees, TBC is the right place for them. “At present, around 44 percent Nepalese leaving the country are students who travel abroad to pursue higher education spending millions of rupees. Now there is no need for the students to go abroad as they can study world-class British university programmes at relatively lower costs right here,” he says.
Lately, the international accreditations have helped Nepali educational institutions to attract foreign students in the country and TBC is credited for this. Currently, over 50 students from countries including India, China, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Turkey, Singapore, and Malaysia are studying at TBC at the graduate and post-graduate levels.
TBC is on a mission to become the world-class educational institution in South Asia. The college aims to help Nepal become an international educational hub so that the quality of higher education in the country improves and students from across the globe choose the country. The college has been running the programmes of the Bristol-based UWE and Leeds-based LBU in a franchise model. “We do not call it affiliation. We are in fact a franchise center of the two British universities,” he says. According to him, other colleges in Nepal call such association affiliation because there is no engagement of the accrediting universities.
“We want to support our students to realise their full potential,” mentions Kandel. Since its establishment, the focus of the college has been on enhancing the skills of its students academically and practically, enabling them to compete in the global job market.
Programmes at TBC
In the area of business management, the college has been running four programmes, namely MBA (Executive) MBA (Graduate), BBA (Hons) Business and Management, MSc in International Business Management. Upon completion of the courses, students of both MBA programmes receive degrees from Leeds Beckett University while students of latter two programmes will be awarded degrees from UWE University. Similarly, MSc in Information Technology and B.Sc. (Hons) Computing are its two programmes in IT and the degrees are awarded by LBU.
Likewise, the British Professional College under TBC started the ACCA programme last year. It is considered a highly reputed professional accounting course with a wide-ranging scope recognised the world over. It is awarded by the London-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants which is the global body of professional accountants. TBC also has plans to start classes of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Cambridge Business English Certificate and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
The college plans to introduce various new programmes in the near future. “We are looking to offer a lot of programmes to produce the skilled workforce which the country needs,” says Kandel. According to him, the college has plans to start various sub-sections of engineering programmes in an environment, quantitative pricing, project management and real estate management. “We will also introduce programmes in hospitality management and health science in the near future.”
Kandel is planning to launch another college soon. According to him, it will be an international college which will offer highly recognised foreign programmes at affordable prices. The new college will have campuses in Chitwan, Biratnagar, and Nepalgunj by the end of this year.
About UWE and LBU
Both UWE and LBU carry centuries old legacies in providing quality education. The roots of UWE can be traced back to the late16th century when the Merchant Venturers Navigation School was founded in 1595. The origin of LBU, meanwhile, is traceable to 1824 when the Leeds Mechanics Institute was established. Over the centuries, both institutions have evolved significantly in different forms to become the present day leading universities of the United Kingdom. UWE and LBU are highly ranked universities in the world. Both institutions are listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, a global ranking of top 1,000 universities. The ranking published annually by the Times Higher Education magazine is considered as one of the most influential and widely observed university rankings.
Facilities and Extra-curricular activities
Besides the core academic programmes, TBC has been organising several personality development activities. The college has an in-house English language support department. It aims to support students to enhance their skills in the English language. TBC also takes its students on foreign excursions and provides opportunities for international internships. The college also has job placement facilities.
TBC also prioritises extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. The college organises various events such as sports and social programmes. The college has a dedicated team to organise such events. “These events are important for the students to gain experience in terms of organising and operating different programmes which have individual and social benefits,” he says. “Such activities help them to acquire additional skills when they join the job market.”
British universities are highly recognised globally. Students who have completed British academic programmes are warmly received in the international job market. The world over, the franchise and affiliated colleges of the universities get updated curriculum at regular time intervals. “Every couple of years, the universities update their entire syllabus,” Kandel confirms.
Bringing World-Class Education
TBC is regarded as a pioneering institution which introduced a new education learning system in Nepal. Kandel, who has years of experience in running businesses in the United Kingdom also operates a college in London. “We have expertise in operating organisations internationally,” he says.
Kandel informs that Nepali lecturers at TBC have been trained to British standards and they also teach in other colleges in Nepal. “Our teachers get lots of new skills. They can transfer the skills they acquire here to other educational institutions.”
The teaching methodology at TBC also makes it one of the best colleges in the country, according to Kandel. “The way we teach our students helps them to become critical thinkers. They are provided with the knowledge about different theories from around the world which enables them to create their own ideas.”
Nepal is one of the largest source countries of international students for countries including Australia, United States, United Kingdom and India, among others. It is primarily because of the lack of international accreditations in the domestic educational institutions. “There are huge opportunities in the higher education sector here. There is huge potential to make Nepal the international education hub in South Asia as the country is neutral in global politics and has a perfect climate,” mentions Kandel. Citing Malaysia and Dubai as examples, he says that the countries have been attracting huge numbers of international students by offering international degrees. “We just need favourable government policies. This could be a huge foreign currency earner for Nepal,” he expresses.