Known as the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism, Nepal has a population of 28.5 million, of which over 50% are aged 25 and under (British Council, 2015). Outbound student mobility from Nepal took a sharp upward turn in 2013/2014 for the under-25 population resulting in more Nepali students opting for an education overseas.
According to a local agent, every year over 200,000 students apply for university programmes in Nepal (Shreshta, 2016). Interest for studying abroad is increasing with over 25,000 students applying annually to the Nepalese Ministry of Education for a ‘No Objection Letter’ – an application for permission to study overseas – to study in different destinations abroad.
Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015 and monsoon season arrived shortly afterward, causing mudslides and flash floods. Before the earthquake, Nepal was an international education market of growing importance. The full effects of this natural disaster and its aftermath are not yet known (ICEF Monitor, 2015).
What is clear, however, is that Nepal’s mobility numbers had been growing steadily in recent years. The Ministry of Education reports a record-high of 29,380 students applying for a No Objection letter between June 2014 and June 2015.
Many students go abroad for vocational and higher education programmes. The majority of these require study on an English language programme and/or foundation course to meet the entry requirements.
Interesting, every month the 5,000 seats for available for the IELTS exam, run by the British Council, fill within 30 minutes of registration (Shreshta, 2016).
All things considered, the Nepalese market is set for further growth. The British Council estimates the country to be “among the top ten for growth in the 18-to-22-year-old age bracket for the next nine years”. Education providers worldwide can look to Nepal as a source market for a number of years.
Study abroad agents from Nepal will be at StudyWorld. Schedule a meeting with them at StudyWorld from 12 July.