Bhadra Man Tuladhar

Ashoka Fellow
Illustration of a person's face depicting a fellow
Nepal
Fellow Since 1992
This description of Bhadra Man Tuladhar's work was prepared when Bhadra Man Tuladhar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992 .

Introduction

Badra Man Tuladhar is one of the prime movers behind a ten-year vision to establish Nepal's first private university.

The New Idea

Badra Man has set out to establish a high quality, competitive, private four-year university in Nepal that will establish a new educational standard for the country. This ambitious vision for such a university springs from a modest foundation. Initially located in borrowed, temporary premises, it has already successfully graduated four groups of students at the intermediate level in science. There are now 300 students enrolled in the two-year certificate-level program. The campus has thirty-three faculty members, most of whom are part-time.When the university is at full strength on its own campus site, there will be 810 students and seventy faculty members. The curriculum will emphasize the sciences and humanities. Special certificates will be available in computer sciences and teacher training. A graduate degree will be available in management.Badra Man believes that the university will contribute to achieving educational self-sufficiency in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world. It will provide desperately needed educational infrastructure that is sensitive to the local culture and context. He hopes it will also introduce more student-centered, problem-solving methods of teaching.He hopes that the university he envisions will attract top students from the country and provide them with an excellent educational alternative to leaving the country for higher studies. Currently, a great many Nepalese students choose to complete their studies in foreign countries, especially India. This "brain drain" costs more than a great deal of foreign exchange; it is demoralizing to Nepali educators and students and to the country as a whole. Badra Man hopes that establishing Kathmandu University will create an atmosphere of new energy and optimism in Nepal's educational community.

The Problem

Several well managed and reasonably good high schools have been established in Nepal in the last decade. However, in the field of higher education, such progress has been conspicuously absent. The one seat of higher education in Nepal, Tribhuvan University, is overcrowded and has a very high failure rate. Due to political instability, the university has been closed frequently. In any case, this one university simply does not have the capacity to meet all the higher education needs of the country. Many of Nepal's brightest students complete their education outside the country due to the low-quality teaching and the inadequate curriculum offered currently in the schools, not to mention the probability of the state university being closed for long periods. This has consequently led to the expenditure of millions of rupees outside the country and the risk of losing Nepal's best talent to emigration.

The Strategy

It will take ten years before the entire campus is operational. Its founders' strategy is, slowly but steadily, to lay the foundation for the institution. Private fundraising is under way to raise the ten million dollars needed to build the facilities envisioned. A group of civic leaders have launched the development campaign and have every expectation of meeting their goal.The number of tuition-paying students is increasing annually. The ground has been broken on several of the buildings at the permanent campus site, but work is still at the preliminary phase.The primary goal of the founders is to maintain high educational standards equal to the best international institutions. The second goal is to establish a residential campus that will function as a total living and learning community in sharp contrast to the situation at Tribhuvan University. The university aims to graduate well-rounded individuals who are capable of competing at the international level and ready to accept key management roles and leadership positions in the private and public sectors.

The Person

Badra Man Tuladhar has repeatedly been an education institution builder. When a new school is envisioned, civic leaders know to call him in to manage the project. He has an impressive track record for getting the job done well.In 1965, he was responsible for planning and implementing the development of the physical facilities for the Ananda Kuti Science College. In 1973, he helped to establish the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, where he performed the duties of campus chief. An academician himself, Badra Man earned a Ph.D. in theoretical mechanics from Peoples' Friendship University in Moscow in 1983. He is still active in the Nepal Mathematics Society. He has published several articles on specialized fields of mathematics.