Nepal's outbound sector hits record high

12 August, 2015

A record high of 30,696 students from Nepal headed overseas for higher education programmes in the 2014/15 fiscal year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Education.

The International Education Representatives' Initiative of Nepal comment on a record outbound year for Nepalese students

The Department of Scholarship within the ministry said 30,696 students acquired the No Objection Certificate (NOC) in 2014/15, a pre-requisite for Nepalese students to study abroad in any country except India.

The figure represents a seven per cent increase over the 28,126 NOCs issued in 2013/14, and the total has almost tripled since 2011/12, while several thousand students are also thought to be studying in India.

Uttam Pant, President of the International Education Representatives’ Initiative of Nepal (IERIN), a national agency association which applied to join the Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca) recently, told StudyTravel Magazine there were several factors driving demand.

“The main reason is to get better qualifications than found in Nepal, which leads to better career opportunities in or outside Nepal,” he said. “There are many courses that students want to study that are not available in Nepal; this is more so in master’s and doctorate levels.”

Domestic problems were also forcing some students to look overseas, Pant said. “Many students go abroad because of the political unrest in the country. Because of this, students cannot complete their course on time; in some cases it takes four years or more to complete a three-year course.”

Japan became the most popular destination for Nepalese students for the first time in 2014/15, chosen by 9,917 NOC applicants – a 25 per cent increase compared with the previous fiscal year – followed by Australia (8,844) and the USA (3,104).

In Japan’s most recent international student data for 2014, Nepal was one of the major growth markets with a 79.9 per cent increase. Australia, meanwhile, recorded a 27.6 per cent rise in students from Nepal in 2014.

Nepalese students are attracted to Japan because of some similarities in language and grammar, a relaxed immigration policy, the prospect of job opportunities and the fact that students feel more at home within Asia, Pant said.

“Some pioneering Nepalese agents have good relationships with Japanese universities; other agents mostly work with some colleges or language schools,” Pant said, adding that some private Japanese universities were now working on a commission basis with Nepalese agencies.

Regarding the effects of the Nepal earthquake in April, Pant said there was a “noticeable impact” on the study abroad sector. “More students are now opting to go abroad for further studies than before. Parents who were reluctant to send their children before are now encouraging them to go abroad.”

IERIN has launched an appeal for Nepal earthquake relief fundraising in partnership with the Nepalese Association of Australian Education Representatives (NAAER), calling on partner institutions to support the associations’ efforts in making donations towards the provision of food, water, shelter and education. See the IERIN website for more details.

Matthew Knott
News Editor



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