Current situation in Bhutan
There has been rapid growth in tertiary education in Bhutan over the last decade. However, new private sector employer requirements underline the need to upgrade the skills of tertiary graduates. The major skills that need focus are fluency and proficiency in English, problem solving skills, familiarity with computer applications and some specialty skills e.g. hospitality.
The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), since its establishment in June 2003, has been looking after the overall planning and development of programmes. As the major tertiary education institution in the country, RUB will have to double its current capacity by 2013 to meet projected industry demand to be above the BRIC average for tertiary enrolment. The University realizes the need to develop faculty both in terms of number and quality; and the infrastructure and facilities to provide state-of-the-art facilities in the colleges.
- Increase tertiary capacity in Bhutan to 30-32% of age cohort (~3,500 students per year) by 2013
- Increase private sector employability from 20-40% to 60-70% of RUB graduates
- Decrease government expenditure per capita from 79% to 55-60%
The Royal University of Bhutan and the Department of Adult and Higher Education have agreed on the following initiatives to achieve the aspirations of the government in tertiary education
Initiatives under RUB
- Development of HR policy – The RUB aims to attain full human resource autonomy, for recruitment, promotion and compensation of staff through its own system, which is independent of RCSC. The creation of RUB HR policy and processes will cater to the needs of the University and facilitate the University in carrying out its functions as mandated.
- Development of Financial policy – The RUB financial policy and processes are being developed to enable the University to increase efficiency in its operations independent of budgetary system of the Ministry of Finance. It will allow the University to raise funds (through endowments, alumni, donor grants, research, short programs/trainings and other services, rents from infrastructure, etc.) and to use it within the guidelines approved by the University Council.
- Transformation of colleges across input and output parameters – RUB will improve performance parameters for its colleges by creating a transformation unit under the Vice Chancellor to implement the developed action plan.
Initiatives under Department of Adult and Higher education, Ministry of Education
- Strengthen Department of Adult and Higher education and establish affiliated bodies – Creation of the Tertiary Education Board (TEB), the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Division (QAAD) and the Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC).
- Develop rules and regulations for establishment of private tertiary education institutions and attract 2-3 private players to Bhutan – Identification of foreign tertiary education institutions interested in setting up institutes in Bhutan
- Establish a quality assurance system/ accreditation mechanism for all tertiary institutions and courses – Development of a Bhutan Qualifications Framework for all programmes and awards in Bhutan and establish the accreditation process in Bhutan
- Establish funding mechanisms for tertiary education – Development of guidelines on the funding policy for tertiary education institutes, apart form RUB
- Define funding mechanisms for Bhutanese students – Development of policy guidelines on student funding based on courses to encourage enrolment in sectors important for the government
- Make tertiary education accessible to all – Defining linkages to vocational training and secondary education to increase accessibility of tertiary education