Sometime back, may be a month or two ago, the media announced the availability of the post of Vice Chancellor for the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB). Interested eligible candidates were invited to apply for the post. We now assume that the university will soon have more vibrant replacement.
The university really needs a leader who can lead the RUB to the next higher level, because the university boastfully believes in “Reaching New Heights”. That should be the spirit of all who are part and parcel of the university.
Well, now, what can we expect from the new Vice Chancellor? In totality, the university is trying its best to fulfill its mandate. A few colleges even began offering post graduate courses in addition to undergraduate courses. That’s a welcome transformation. Most importantly, the university and its colleges at times play the roles of consultants.
However, there are also areas for improvement. One important and specific role of the university is to build, renew and update
linkages with important institutions, both within and without. The linkages in turn help the exchange of ideas to and from the parities concerned.
As the university is still in the process of having international recognition, a vibrant connection with international institutions will be of great help. Could it be that the RUB has been a little hesitant and concerned about the negative consequences.
My opinion is that initiating and receiving grants in terms of scholarships to enhance and update qualification of the faculty (those who have undergraduate to pursue masters, and for those with masters to pursue PhD) would be of immense help to solve the current human resources deficit. This will help the university reach new heights in real terms.
I have been part of the university for three years now. I believe there are still a few who have been waiting longer than me for favorable scholarships. Besides my genuine interest for teaching, I joined with great hope that the university will have comparatively better opportunity for enhancement of knowledge through scholarships and training.
At the end of the day, most of the colleges are expertise-dependent.
There is an urgent need to upgrade qualification of the national faculty. I have personally observed the shrinking opportunities for up-gradation, let alone creating additional pathways. For instance, Government of India (GoI) and TICA scholarship schemes are no more meant for Royal University of Bhutan. This may be because those schemes did not attract enough interest from RUB Academic staff. But, does RUB still get the amount in lieu of those scholarships or did RUB not want to send its staff under these schemes at all? What went wrong there? After having refused these scholarships, is RUB trying to send the faculty for prestigious scholarships like Aus AID?
We have not seen any preferences being given for RUB academic staff so far despite the urgent need to upgrade its human resources. The only one positive change we saw was the Nehru Wangchuck Scholarship, where RUB managed to grab some slots. So, we have high hopes from the new Vice Chancellor to address these issues. We also hope that the university and individual colleges work in collaboration to find some solutions. We really hope that many of the Assistant Lecturers will be sent for studies under favorable schemes as soon as possible. The sooner is done the better.
Opinion by Dorjee