Appointing good VCs alone cannot improve the situation of universities

The selection process for the vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University is ongoing. TU is
plagued by problems such as political instability, delayed results, and lack of
transparency. Similar issues are prevalent in other universities across the country.
Debate has arisen regarding whether the VC should have political affiliations. The 11th
edition of the Nepal Literature Festival held a session about problems faced by Nepal’s
universities. Kusum Shakya, Department Head of Economics, former TU professor
Sanjib Uprety, and constitutional expert Bipin Adhikari were speakers at the session.
Uprety emphasizes that appointing good VCs alone cannot rectify the situation of
universities.

“The authorities should first identify and address the challenges faced by the
universities,” says Uprety.

Ending politicization in universities is crucial to improving their conditions, Uprety adds.
“The presence of politically biased students, faculty, and officials in universities has
caused problems. There is a lack of academic freedom, leading to frequent disruptions,”
he states.

Sharma, Department Head of Economics at TU, suggests that universities would see
improvement if they operated under a Board of Trustees. She laments that individuals
with promising plans and policies are often overlooked for the VC position.
Constitutional expert Bipin Adhikari argues for curriculum reform and advocates for
educators well-versed in the revised curriculum to lead universities.

“The textbooks I read in my youth still exist in classrooms,” Adhikari remarks.
He further adds that there is a necessity for stringent regulations regarding the presence
of professors in universities. “But unfortunately, such rules are lacking,” Adhikari concludes.

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