Honors courses in Nepal – A mere formality or a chief essential?

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With the increment of foreign affiliated universities here in Nepal, today we can observe the rapid increase in the number of Honors degree courses provided in the country. While these Honors courses are primarily offered by majority of the foreign affiliated colleges , there is also one Nepalese university, namely Kathmandu University providing Honors course here in Nepal. Though, the Honors degree providing institutions are increasing in quantity, whether the qualitative improvement in the course is taking place is still something questionable.

In a conversation with the stakeholders associated to Honors degree, we could discover some staggering facts about the course and its development here in Nepal.

Students lack awareness about Honors degree:

The majority of high school graduates in Nepal are unaware about the existence of Honors degrees and how it can provide value addition for the betterment of their career. As a result, the +2 graduates begin their hunt for college without considering Honors degree and they tend to become a part of the Honors degree if the college they desire provides it.

As Ms. Anushree Manandhar, Manager at Admissions Department from Islington College stated “The existence of Honors degree is overlooked by students. Honors degree is still not a major requirement or criterion for students when they look for their perfect college. Majority of the enrollments in Honors degree happen coincidentally when the desired college of the student provides it rather than the course being the sole reason behind a student choosing their college. This is something which needs to be highly worked upon if the qualitative development of Honors degree is desired.”

If taken seriously, Honors course can provide a valuable addition to one’s academic career:

Ms. Dheerusha Tiwari, a BBA (Honors) graduate with specialization in Finance from Kathmandu University School of Management realized that the additional responsibility that she had been provided as an Honors student helped her learn a lot new things, thus also helping her develop her career in the field.

For instance, she stated “The research I carried out for the completion of my Honors course helped me meet the veteran investors in the financial sector of Nepal, thus helping me build on the perspectives they had. Likewise, the virtual online trading I conducted and the article I wrote for the same helped me see the practical implication of what I was studying, hence rising my interest in the field and ultimately helping me to grab a lucrative job opportunity for myself.”

Analyzing what Ms. Tiwari had to say, we discovered that Honors degree is an opportunity where students can get opportunities to practically implement what they learn inside their classrooms and hence such opportunities drive their interest towards learning more while orienting them about the real corporate world.

Honors courses can build a globalized perspective in students:

The development of Honors courses in Nepal is itself an example of impact of globalization. Honors courses are both a result and the orientation towards the globalized marketplace.

Explaining more on this context, Mr. Sunanda Regmi, the former director of Herald College, Kathmandu stated, “Honors courses are an example of how Nepalese students staying back in their country can learn what exactly the students of developed countries are learning and we, as the students of third world countries require to have this. We usually undermine ourselves and our country but Honors courses do have the potential to develop our students in a way that they can stand foot – to – foot with young minds of other developed countries.”

Honors courses are avoided by the students with the fear of extra pressure:

There are numerous colleges that provide Honors courses these days for the benefit of their students. However, many students tend to avoid this opportunity which could improve their career with the fear of having to deal with excessive pressure.

The completion of Honors courses requires fulfillment of extra credits which demands a little more time investment along with hard work. According to Mr. Sobik Thapa, a Honors student from IT course at Lord Buddha Education Foundation “The students yet remain unaware of the intensity of impact an Honors degree can have in their career as a result of which they avoid this course looking at the extra investment in terms of time it demands. Had they seen the huge advantage this course beholds within itself, they would have made the cost-benefit analysis in a wiser manner with increasing enrollments in Honors courses.”

After the detailed analysis of Honors courses in Nepal, it wouldn’t be wrong to reach to a conclusion that students in Nepal require a proper orientation towards both existence, requirements and advantages of Honors courses here in Nepal so that the provision of Honors degree remains not a mere formality here in Nepal but can generate useful impacts too.

By: Mahima Poddar

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