Nepal's outbound market at record high

30, July, 2014

The number of Nepalese students heading overseas for higher education courses reached an all-time high of over 28,000 in the last fiscal year, according to data published by the Ministry of Education.

The website of Nepalese agency Education Park, which has seen business increase over the last year.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, 28,126 students received the No Objection Certification (NOC), which students need to enrol at universities abroad except those in India. The total was almost double the 16,499 NOC issued in 2012-13 and more than the previous high of 26,948 issued in 2010-11.

The Ministry said that Australia was the most popular destination, with 11,814 applications received for study there, followed by Japan (7,933), the USA (1,456) and Malaysia (1,190).

In the most recent international student data issued by Australian Education International (AEI), Nepal was one of the top three growth markets for year-to-date enrolments up to the end of May 2014, with an increase of 27.9 per cent. As previously reported, Nepal was the second largest growth for Japanese higher education institutions in 2013.

Braj Pandey, Executive Director at Nepalese agency Education Park said the agency industry was thriving in the country and was driving demand. “The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, has a very large number of education consultancies. High-profile agencies have a very large influence in the market. Consulting for international education has become one of the prominent business [sectors] in Nepal.” He added that agents’ marketing of courses was highly visible. “Kantipur National Daily, Nepal’s leading daily newspaper, is almost covered by agency adverts the whole year.”

Pandey said Education Park had a business increase of around 20-25 per cent in the last year, and he expected the boom to continue into 2015.

In terms of course requests, Pandey said there has been a surge in demand for postgraduate study overseas. “In 2008/09, the amount of undergraduate seekers was larger than the postgraduate students. It was around a 70:30 ratio. But these days the ratio is almost equal.” He added, “We have found many families wanting their child to study up to bachelor’s level in their country and take a master’s in a foreign land.”

Pandey also said that more favourable visa systems in Australia, Japan and New Zealand have led to increasing numbers of students heading to those countries, while the UK had lost popularity due to student visa applicant interviews and rejections at the embassy. He added an expansion of the Nepalese middle class had also fuelled demand for overseas education.

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