With the ease of travel restrictions, there are increasing numbers of individuals exploring opportunities to pursue higher education outside Bhutan. Apart from students leaving for India, there are many Bhutanese leaving for further studies abroad in Australia.
According to the Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE), there are private individuals that are not registered with the DAHE advertising Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) on social media. These entities do not possess a valid trade license from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The official from DAHE said there are Education Consultancies and Placement Firms (ECPFs) suspended by DAHE due to non-compliance issues which means they have not followed the guidelines of ECPF. Those suspended ECPFs cannot operate until further notice
There are individuals who advertise scholarships to study abroad on social media, but the official said all these must be rooted through the education consultancy and placement firm otherwise, people will not know whether the colleges or institutes are recognized or not.
In view of this, the Department urges all individuals to verify the status of ECPF prior to availing of their services to avoid unnecessary issues. It also urges all individuals to avail services only from registered ECPFs and refrain from seeking services from the registered ECPF’s that has been suspended.
There are 45 education consultancies that have been registered under DAHE and every year the number of consultancies has been increasing, but this has nothing to do with the current scenario with a huge number of people leaving for further studies. Also, the DAHE has never stopped anyone from registering as an ECPF.
The ECPFs in Bhutan are established in order to help students aspiring to pursue higher studies and make informed decisions on the choice of programmes and colleges, institutes or universities outside Bhutan. They provide guidance and assist the students in getting enrolled in suitable courses in recognized institutions across the globe.
They have been entrusted with the important responsibility to facilitate students in choosing the appropriate programmes and institutions for higher studies, based on the clientele’s request.
The ECPFs undertake the responsibility to process the admission of students for various tertiary education programmes outside Bhutan to institutions that are fully accredited by the accrediting agency of the host country. They enroll students in those institutions where the medium of instruction is English. The ECPF does not place students in ‘distance education or ‘study centers’.
Most are sending students to Australia these days followed by Canada.
DAHE oversees and regulate all services.