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Higher Education Reform in Nepal


Info about event


Thursday 14 October 2021,  at 15:00 - 16:00


Online (Zoom)

Time: October 14th, 2021, at 15.00-16.00 Central European Summer Time (CEST) (UTC+2)

Place: A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants closer to the event

Register before: 12.10.2021


Press here to register for the event




Chair: Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen



My name is Nitya Nanda Timsina. I would not like to introduce myself with the status like ‘researcher’ or a ‘scholar’. I simply prefer to call myself a lifelong learner or a student of higher education who is learning to confront the facticity of education in terms of economic development and how in this process the Nepalese higher education come to derive its name and legitimacy “decentralized” and “autonomous”.



My interest in this presentation particularly stems from my effort to revisit my doctoral thesis: “Discourse of higher education reform in Nepal—towards neoliberalism”—an idea that the world is best governed by invisible hands of the markets. My research shows that this reform, which manifests through the language and vocabulary outside the historical structure and consciousness of the Nepalese, is not driven by community of scholars, let alone understood by the people of Nepal. In that I argue, how neoliberalism as a way of describing human life through a system of winners and losers, is negotiating this reform.  The primary setting of my work is in Nepal concerned with ongoing higher education reform sponsored by the World Bank but there is a wholistic world the reform talks about outside the national space to an abstract whole that led me to approach the reform as a discourse. By deploying Foucault’s archaeological approach to discourse and genealogical approach to history, my research was interested in knowing how in this process, the Nepalese higher education reform derived its name and legitimacy – “decentralized” and “autonomous”. The fieldwork, approached through a technique of recognising strangeness in all social arrangements by moving beyond what is only familiar, acceptable or normal, focused on how the four sets of actors—policymakers, educational administrators, teachers and students — enact this discourse.