Student shortage leads to suspension of classes in Tribhuvan University Departments

Tribhuwan University
TU

With new enrollments, Tribhuvan University (TU) has begun classes at the master’s level. However, many departments at TU and its constitute colleges face problems due to the shortage of students. Many of the departments conducted re-entrance after there were fewer students in the first one. However, re-entrance could not attract the needed number of students in those departments.

Even the country’s biggest colleges like Tri-Chandra and Ratna Rajya Laxmi have halted the classes of some programmes due to the lack of students. Likewise, Amrit Science and Sano Thimi are also in a similar situation. 

After a decline in student numbers, certain departments within Tribhuvan University’s central departments and constituent colleges are facing a critical shortage of students. Despite sufficient enrollment in subjects like English, Political Science, and History, teaching has been suspended in some subjects due to the absence of even a single student in certain programmes.

Big campus small students

According to the TU’s policy while running the semester system, there is no provision of running a programme if the number of students is less than 10. However, due to the current scenario of students in the country, TU has been compromising its system.

The Central Department of Education, TU has been running the classes in the morning and day shifts. In both shifts, there is a crisis of students. In the morning shift, 24 students were admitted, and in the day shift, 54 students were admitted.

Subjects like Political and English education of the Department of Education, have the highest number of students. There are 49 students in Political education and 72 students in English education. Professors of the subject claim they worked hard to attract the students in their respective departments.

There used to be a time when Political education had few students. 

Department head of English education, Gopal Prasad Pandey says, “Since there is a huge opportunity for those with English education degree, the number of students has increased.” 

He adds that their curriculums are career-oriented, and they have been providing quality education. However, this is not the case with the Central Department of Linguistics, this year only two students enrolled for the Linguistics degree. There are only four students enrolled in the Central Department of Hindi. 

A classroom at the TU Central Department of Anthropology. Photo: Aryan Dhimal Nepali universities
A classroom at the TU Central Department of Anthropology. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

Ray of hope

The number of students doubled at the Central Department of Buddhist Studies, informed department head Chandra Kala Ghimire. According to Ghimire, this year 33 students enrolled in the department. Last year 16 students were admitted to the department. 

“The word-of-mouth advertising by students and teachers has increased the number of students,” says Ghimire. 

Similarly, 27 students have enrolled in the Central Department of History. “Lately, a good number of students have enrolled,” says Bishnu Sapkota, department head of the Central Department of History.  

In the Central Department of Sanskrit, 10 students were enrolled. “This year the number of students has increased,” says department head Madhab Upadhyaya.  

Tri-Chandra Campus halted its master’s programme in engineering zoology after failing to attract a single student for enrollment. Meanwhile, only six students have been enrolled in microbiology. 

This is not the case for the bachelor’s level in Tri-Chandra Campus, as the number of students has relatively increased. 

“In Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus except for master’s in anthropology, all other programmes have a satisfied number of students,” says Jivandhar Jnawali, campus chief.

However, the college has received 10 applications for the anthropology programme. He adds, “The number of students is decreasing at the bachelor’s level.”  

Some subjects to be discontinued

Practical lab of ASCOL.
Tribhuvan University
Practical lab of ASCOL.

In the Amrit Science College, all the programmes of master’s degree have fewer students than the allocated seats, says Gopal Neupane, assistant campus chief of campus. “We are discussing discontinuing some of the master’s programmes if the situation remains the same next year too,”

In botany, only nine students have been enrolled.  According to Jagat Krishna Shrestha, campus chief of the Sano Thimi Campus, there are only a couple of students each in geography, economics, history and political science. 

Although there is time to admit for this academic session, Shrestha believes that the number of students will not increase. 

“In programmes, having less than 10 students, we have asked the students to change the subject. Few of them changed the subject and the remaining went to Mahendra Ratna Campus,” says Shrestha. 

Padma Kanya Campus and Patan Multiple Campus are also facing a crisis due to the decreasing number of students. But they have not reached the point of terminating any of their programmes. “There are no programmes in the Patan Multiple Campus that have less than 10 students,” says Laxman Singh Kunwar, campus chief. 

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