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Working in Nepal- An Ace Experience -Reflections on a week at the Ace Institute of Management

I was back in Kathmandu last week. It was my 22nd visit there. ‘So what’, you might ask and fair enough. But having an awareness of how many times I have visited Nepal for work purposes caused me to pause and reflect on my own learning from working there. I have been involved in several projects in Nepal over the years, working with several schools setting up transnational collaborations delivering undergrad and post grad Masters programmes. Now I seem to have come a full circle and today work with the remarkable Ace school, in New Baneshwor. Counselling their A level students on careers and international university opportunities around the world. It’s quite different working with such young brains again and let me tell you, inspiring.


Why inspiring? Well, I guess it’s much to do with the innocence of the class. It is so refreshing to be once again inundated with questions about university education and university institutions by young people whose only agenda is to do something great with their lives, even if that means leaving their families for a number of years, for some, never to return to live in their homeland. Those of you who are parents, stop and think about that for a minute. Consider if our roles were reversed and our young people were leaving the UK to go to university in Asia, maybe never to return except for occasional visits. It’s a sobering thought isn’t it and yet we in the West rarely think about people in other parts of the world who make such huge sacrifices and send their children here to the UK, or USA, Canada or Australia for education.


According to recent HESA figures, in 2021/22 in the UK alone, we welcomed almost 560,000 international non-EU students to our universities and colleges. That’s a lot of families impacted by the departure of a child from their social groups. Many parents and families as a group invest heavily to send their child overseas and payback can take many forms, either as simply seeing their child improve their life and gain new opportunities, whilst for others, they may be counting on the repayment of loans or reliance on their graduated offspring finding a highly paid position internationally and supporting the wider family for many years. Often this is done in completely selfless ways by both parents and children.


Back in Ace, we have a full agenda for the week, and I have a mix of activities planned to help me understand my young protégés’ strengths, aspirations and desires for international education. I find this work turbocharges me again. The students passion for education, for learning and for improvement is both palpable and reassuring in equal terms. We play games, we laugh a lot, we eat chocolate, we build CV’s, we enter the IT labs and search online for international universities, we eat more chocolate, we build trust, more chocolate, we do one-to-one interviews and together we progress. They feel tired, I feel inspired, by them and then later we meet their parents. I’m humbled by their questions, observations and support for their children.


I’m a lucky guy. I’ll be working with this group of students through to the end of next year searching for international university options for them all, supporting them and their parents and just being a part of the broader school team in Ace will be hugely rewarding. Now where’s that chocolate?....


Ace Institute of Management is situated in New Baneshwor. Call 5970178 for details of all courses available. Email ace@ace.edu.np


Have you or someone you know gone overseas to study? How did it go? Did you return home after your studies were completed?


Bernie Quinn is consultant director at Caledonia Education Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. Contact me anytime if you wish to talk about transnational education in any way bernie@caledoniaeducation.co.uk



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