Nepali Times: How is Islington College (IC) different from other colleges in Nepal?
Sulav Budhathoki: Our curriculum is the same as the one in London where it is designed. The exams are held in Kathmandu, but questions are prepared and papers are checked in the UK. Besides outstanding computing facilities, we also provide students with access to e-libraries at LMU and students in Kathmandu can easily transfer to LMU at any time.
So Nepali students don't have to spend a lot of money going to London anymore?
That is right. Students at our Kathmandu college can complete the same course at 10 per cent of the cost in the UK. And if they want to go to London at any point during their studies, their credits will be transferred without any difficulty.
What are the courses you offer, and are you planning to expand into other disciplines?
Currently, we offer three undergraduate courses in computers, media technology and IT. We are planning to introduce postgraduate degrees in business administration and computer science within 2013.
Do many of your students stay in Nepal or do they go abroad to work after they graduate?
It's quite difficult for students to find job opportunities in Nepal. But some students who joined our college with the sole intention to go abroad have started working in Nepal and I have seen a drastic change in their mindset. Some years ago, most students wanted to leave Nepal immediately after high-school, but now most of them want to at least finish their undergraduate studies here.
Your college has a good record for job placements. How did that come about?
Through our links with ISPs, our students are already working there full-time and several others are interning at banks and other private companies. We participated in an education fair a month ago and got to network with a lot of top IT companies in India and hope to build new relations.
What possibilities and challenges do you see in the education sector in Nepal?
Nepal can be an educational hub for students from Indian cities near our border. In fact, we plan on addressing the educational needs of foreign students very soon. The biggest challenge in Nepal is to overcome political instability. The other challenge we face as educators is to provide quality education, one that includes diverse methods of learning: lecture, presentations, workshops, field visits etc.