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Nepal: Ministry bars certain overseas studies

Education agents in Nepal are looking for further clarification after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced it would discontinue issuing travel documents for students undertaking certain levels of education, effectively barring them from overseas studies.

Nepal has effectively barred students from undertaking standalone vocational and ELT studies overseas. Photo: Shaouraav Shreshtha/UnsplashNepal has effectively barred students from undertaking standalone vocational and ELT studies overseas. Photo: Shaouraav Shreshtha/Unsplash

It is assumed the decision is in response to Australian providers

“I am with the hope that it will be withdrawn by the Ministry”

The decision, made in an announcement in early June, will see the ministry no longer issue a “No Objection letter” for Nepalese students who wish to undertake standalone vocational and languages studies.

Under the country’s Scholarships Act, students must receive a no objection letter from the education ministry before they can study overseas.

According to the notice, signed by ministry undersecretary Maheshwor Sharma, the decision will only affect students undertaking a standalone program, while students who undertake a vocational or language course as a pathway to university will still receive the requisite travel documents.

Executive chairman of education consultancy Alfa Beta Group Dwiraj Sharma said the decision would have a substantial impact on the vocational sectors of several countries and the ability of education agents to promote certain types of study abroad.

“There is a fear among the agencies and students looking at studying vocational and language courses overseas,” he said.

Sharma, who is also the head of AAERI Nepal, added he believed the ministry’s decision was in response to several incidences of Nepalese students being caught out by unscrupulous providers, particularly in Australia and Japan, but the organisation was seeking further clarification.

“We are still trying to understand why this decision was taken,” he told The PIE News.

“I am with the hope that it will be withdrawn by the Ministry of Education.”

While it is assumed the decision is in response to the behaviour of Australian providers, Sharma pointed out all countries would be affected.

Nepalese students are currently the third largest cohort of international students in Australia and saw a 51% increase in 2018.

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