The Development Board was established on April 23, 2019 by the Government of Nepal with an objective of carrying out preparatory activities for establishment of Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology(MBUST) at Chitlang, Thaha Municipality, Province 3. Key responsibilities of the Board, among others, include preparation of a draft university bill, preparation of an enrolment plan, formulation of draft curriculum, identification of research areas, determination of human resource needs, preparation of a master plan and commissioning of environmental impact assessment, acquiring land, preparation of roster of professors and researchers, and establishment of partnership withhigher education institutions.
MBUST is envisioned as one of the key vehicles for attaining people’s aspirations of Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali. It is expected to assist the country in attaining this goal by making available new knowledge and technology to enterprises, which is expectedto help them upgrade the technology of production and, as a result, raise competitiveness of the economy. In this context, MBUST is being conceived as a research-oriented university destined to become a world-class institution.
In the age of knowledge economy getting competitive edge in knowledge and technology is critical for attaining prosperity as well as sustaining it. In this context, the race for developing and strengthening world-class universities has intensified. Building a world-class university is a very challenging task for developing countries. But there is no option other than accepting this challenge because without building such institutions the prosperity gap between developed and developing countries is bound to widen dashing the hope of developing countries to catch up with developed countries.
Cognizant of the fact that a world-class university cannot be developed without a departure from the existing governance framework for universities the draft MBUST bill makes provision for institutional autonomy so that MBUST is able to operate in the best interests of the country guided exclusively by values, which promote academic excellence and innovation. MBUST is envisioned as a new type of institution. It will be free of corruption, nepotism and favoritism, discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion and political preferences. All staff will be recruited and promoted solely based on their merit relevant to tasks they are designated to perform.
Securing cooperation from a wide array of stakeholders, includingstudents, parents, alumni, staff, enterprises, government, donors – national and international, academic community, academic institutions, local community, political leaders, civil society, non-resident Nepalese and non-government organizations. Therefore, the Board is planning to engage stakeholders in the planning process right from the beginning so that MBUST is owned by all stakeholders and benefits from their valuable inputs.
MBUST is planning to align its academic programs and research with areas of economy, which have the highest potential for contribution to rapid economic growth. In addition, it will also address the needs for upgrading technology of production in general in order to improve livelihood of people. The board seeks suggestions from stakeholders for identification of areas, which holds promise for rapid economic growth, and areas critical for improving livelihood of people.
MBUST plans to follow a problem-based learning approach. For this purpose, with support from enterprises and communitystudents will be introduced to real life problems right from the first year. They will be encouraged to identify problems they would like to work on. Funds will be mobilized for such work. Students who are able to identify problems they would like to work on would be able to follow a flexible curriculum to align it with the problems they have chosen. The planned incubation center will assist them in developing finished products.
For solving real life problems very often multidisciplinary interventions are required. Therefore, MBUST is being conceived as a multidisciplinary institution albeit with a major focus on science and technology. Engineering and technology would most likely account for about 60-65% of the total enrolment and sciences about 15-20%. Even as a multidisciplinary institution in many cases MBUST alone may not be able to solve problems encompassing the whole value chain. Therefore, MBUST intends to cooperate with national and international universities, research centers and enterprises.
I would like to invite all stakeholders to provide suggestions so that MBUST is able to serve their interests.