It is needless to say that universities in Nepal have failed to enhance desirable academic activities because of unnecessary political interventions. Instead of selecting and appointing competent and knowledgeable persons as vice-chancellors, rectors and registrars, there has been a bad precedent of entrusting those loyal to the ruling party(s) with such key responsibilities. University officials in other developing as well as developed nations are selected only on the basis of academic credentials and credibility. This is the reason why those foreign universities have been able to boost their images and contribute in the academic activities of their respective countries. But this principle of selection is rarely adopted in Nepal. Since almost all of our universities, including the Tribhuvuan University (TU), have been in the doldrums due to partisan-based selections and appointments, voices against this practice have started to be raised from different quarters. Those raising such voices have flayed the tendency of sharing university posts through political appointments. Thus, the political leadership has been playing with the future of students. Such an unfair practice is not in the interest of the nation as a whole.
According to a news report published in this daily, intellectuals and political leaders suggested that the government should make an end to such an undesirable practice of sharing university posts among different political parties. Speakers an interaction, who included leaders and intellectuals, called for ending the existing practice of appointing university officials on the basis of political sharing. Former Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who is also the chairperson of Nepal Socialist Party, emphasised the need for the government to make universities autonomous in order to ensure a better future of the new generation. He called for following the best practices of the world’s top universities to bring about changes in the country’s education system. Similarly, noted academician Kedar Bhakta Mathema said that junior and inexperienced persons had grabbed vital posts at universities because of their political affiliation. As universities have been unsuccessful in restoring their waning image and enhancing their performances due to this sort of practice, academicians having better administrative skills alone should be entrusted with the vital responsibilities.
Over the past couple of years, universities in the country have degraded their images owing to the appointments of inexperienced and undeserving persons to the top positions. They have been accused of politicising the educational institutions. Various other anomalies such as corruption were also reported at TU, the country’s oldest varsity, during the tenure of Dr. Tirtha Khaniya as vice-chancellor. The nation is in dire need of better educational institutions producing academic excellences. Instead of producing only unemployed lots, universities now should focus on generating human resources capable of contributing to national development. As the nation is now heading to the path of economic prosperity, it requires competent policy planners, technocrats, among other human resources. Therefore, the practice of giving preference to party loyalists while appointing high-level university posts must end. Only persons having high-level professionalism and experience and integrity should be allowed to run the important educational institutions in the country. They alone can give a new lease of life to our universities.