This Craze For PR!
I am preparing to enroll in a MPA (Master’s in Professional Accounting) course by quitting my MHA (Master’s in Hotel Management),” Ramesh Kharel (name changed) was heard telling his friend in Kathmandu from Sydney, Australia, on Skype.
Ramesh had reached Australia in February this year to study MHA at the Sydney-based Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHM). As Nepalese students cannot afford to pay the fees in reputed Australian universities, most students choose cheaper colleges, and BHIHM has been a popular destination for Nepalese students wanting to do a master’s in hotel management.
However, most students actually enroll in this particular college not to pursue higher education but only to enter Australia as this college easily accepts admission applications from Nepalese students. Ramesh also used this college as a ladder to reach Australia. After studying for six months in this college, he is now trying to enroll in a MPA course in another college only because foreigners with a MPA degree can gain PR easily in Australia. A student of BHIHM has to leave Australia upon completion of the course, and many students do not want to return home after completing their studies in Australia. They want to stay there permanently.
A few students, whose relatives are in Australia, try their best to get admitted to the MPA course from Nepal. But only a few students can get visa to enter Australia as one has to score 6.5 in aggregate in the IELTS exams, which only a few talented students can. The friend of Ramesh appeared twice in the IELTS exam but failed to score 6.5.
“What will you do after obtaining a MHM degree as you are not allowed to stay here after completing your study,” the boy said. His parents too want him to stay permanently in Australia once he flies to that country. “They are not ready to spend any money on me unless they are sure that I will be granted PR in Australia, but I do not want to stay abroad permanently,” the boy said.
This shows the growing craze for Australian PR among Nepalese students and their parents. Most parents not only want but even put pressure on their sons and daughters to live overseas after completing their studies. The students themselves do not want to return home once they reach Australia, the US or UK. In the hope of living a comfortable life, they completely forget their responsibility towards their motherland and the community.
“What’s the use of returning to Nepal when you cannot get a good job, cannot get any work done without bribing the hakims and ministers,” say most students and their parents. Even the bureaucrats tend to say the same thing and encourage their wards studying overseas to stay there permanently.
“I have told my two sons not to return to Nepal, and one of them is working in the US after doing his PhD in engineering, while another is staying in Thailand after finishing his MPA course,” Neera Pradhan, a retired joint secretary of the Nepal government, said. “When you do not have your men in the government, you cannot get any good job here, my husband also faced this situation.”
When almost all the talented students who can afford a higher education abroad do not return to Nepal then who will be working for the development of Nepal? This is a serious question. The political leadership, which is blamed for the growing frustration among the talented youths, needs to do something immediately to discourage the students from staying overseas after completing their studies so that the country could get skilled manpower required for its progress and prosperity.