Kathmandu University has signed a historic agreement with Australia’s Crown Institute of Higher Education (CIHE) to jointly deliver dual degree programs, with students’ degrees to be awarded in both Nepal and Australia. The agreement was signed in the presence of Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal Felicity Volk and KU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bhola Thapa.
“This is the first time we are starting a formal bachelor’s degree program in Australia. It is a new beginning for the entire higher education system in Nepal and not just KU,” VC Professor Thapa said.
CIHE Director DeepakKhadka said the collaboration would help bring Australian students to Nepal and not just the other way round. “Such collaborations help position Nepal as the destination of choice for affordable, high-quality education for international students,” Khadka added.
Under the dual degree program, which begins in the 2023-24 academic year, students will spend their first two years of tuition in Nepal followed by two years in Australiaat CIHE. The collaboration will enable students to receive world class tuition and internationally recognized qualifications,and it supports the development of the higher education sector in Nepal.
In addition, KU and CIHE, one of Australia’s premier higher education institutions, signed an MoU for joint research, exchange of faculty, students and staff, and exchange of materials, publications and information, among other academic activities.
Professor Thapa said the signing of the agreement was a step towards the making of a university in the truest sense. Thapa said that the agreement was part of KU’s initiative to partner with best global educational institutes to provide offer high-quality education.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Ambassador Volk said educational exchange was the bedrock of the Australia-Nepal relationship.
“We are conscious of an imbalance in student exchanges between Australia and Nepal, and the challenge Nepal faces with mass migration,” she said.
“The loss of a generation of youth, including students, to overseas locations is one of the greatest tests Nepal faces. As part of its response to this challenge, it’s imperative that the Government of Nepal develop viable policies and practices to support quality education in Nepal and to facilitate international students to enrol in study programs here,” Volk added.
KU Registrar Professor Achyut Wagle said the agreement was a step towards building a unique brand of education to provide excellent education to the next generation of students.
“We already see some good prospects, and we need to keep exploring new avenues for collaboration. Let’s build a separate and unique brand of education for providing excellent education to the next generation of students," Wagle said.