The Engineering Institute of Technology visited Kathmandu in Nepal, meeting with students and families in the area to encourage ongoing engineering education and skills development. Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia and is located mainly in the Himalayas. It has an estimated population of 26.4 million people. It is the 48th largest country by population in the world.
In December, the Nepali Times published an article entitled: The Science of Learning. It highlighted the need for Nepalese schools to ‘add STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)-based instruction to prepare the country for the future.’
The country wants to prioritize STEM education, so graduates with a good grasp of technologies can use their skills to improve Nepal. Experts are asking for government strategies to be implemented urgently, to better STEM education.
EIT wants to meet those STEM-empowered school leavers the minute they journey into higher education. EIT International Education Agent Coordinator, Caroline Mackay, and International Recruitment Manager, Rolf Baum, visited the nation's capital, Kathmandu, in November. Mackay, who had just recently begun working in the education industry, said:
“It was my first trip to Nepal. It is a beautiful country with a rich culture, incredible mountain ranges as well as friendly and welcoming locals.”
In Kathmandu, the pair conducted mini training sessions and student seminars at education agent offices around the city. EIT organized a seminar at the Hotel Annapurna that saw a great turn out. Baum said:
“The emerging middle-class Nepalese family continues to grow year on year. With the increased population and lack of infrastructure to cater for educating their daughters and sons within Nepal, international education is seen as a priority, and Australia continues to be the destination of choice.”
Instead of just providing general programs to the region, EIT is looking to offer more courses that are focused on the kinds of knowledge explicitly needed for Nepalese students. Baum said:
“Having visited Nepal numerous times during the last ten years for this industry where the focus has been on the promotion and recruitment of general programs for the Vocational and Higher Education sectors, our recent trip provided a refreshing opportunity to now position a high quality set of programs in a specific discipline that is in demand.”
A seminar was also organized for EIT’s Nepalese students and their families, giving them an idea of what courses are available for distance learning in Nepal, or on-campus learning in Australia. The seminars also saw some of EIT’s already-studying students meeting with the team. Mackay said:
“I love how friendly and welcoming each person is. It was also amazing to meet our partners; we at EIT have been working with them over the past two years, but until my trip we had not met face-to-face.”
Baum also fondly recapped the seminar, talking about meeting some of EIT’s students and witnessing the prospective graduates coming together and celebrating how EIT trains and educates engineering professionals. He said:
“This was set up to be informal, and we were privileged to host one of our Nepalese Master's student’s families that included his wife, mother, father, and grandfather. At our presentation, the student spoke in Nepalese about his time at EIT. It was wonderful to watch the family’s proud reaction.”
At the mini sessions and seminars hosted by EIT, there was a significant focus on Industrial Automation. Videos, discussion forums, and presentations were conducted, showing the Nepalese students the rapid changes occurring in the engineering industry and inspiring them to keep their skills up to date for the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.
EIT presents students with an invaluable opportunity to obtain a globally relevant qualification that can lead to real employment. Encouragingly, the uptake of these engineering courses is enabling EIT to see the gaps in education in Nepal, that EIT can fill. Baum said:
“We identified an opportunity for EIT to consider introducing an on-campus Masters of Civil and Structural as there were many enquiries for this program with the increasing development of Nepal.”
Interested in learning more about EIT’s programs? Please refer to our website: https://oncampus.eit.edu.au/
Kandel, Prakriti. “The Science of Learning.” Nepali Times, www.nepalitimes.com/here-now/the-science-of-learning/.