AITM >> Sustainability

 
NEF-CCN approach towards sustainability of the proposed programs will be through the development of innovative academic programs, effective research/teaching and learning, and active stakeholders’ involvement.

The NEF-CCN will develop an institution-wide effort to try to quantify sustainability-related activities in its curriculum, research/teaching and learning and creative endeavors in this collaboration with AIT.

Today’s environments (in the higher education field) are fast-moving and open to global competition. This implies that nations need to develop major capabilities in managing change. Over the past decades, there has seen a significant and consistent worldwide reform agenda for higher education policy. With the establishment of a knowledge-based economy in the 21st century, all countries try to find suitable strategies and special ways to keep up with the growing competition in the rapidly evolving global economy. In this regards, the knowledge economy, meanwhile, values knowledge over more traditional physical assets. The demand of higher education thus keeps growing worldwide and especially in developing countries. This is also true in the case of Nepal. Higher education in Nepal has always been an important priority in the public agenda as it is considered an investment with economic return both for individuals and society.

In this context, collaborating with a prestigious international higher education institution like the AIT in the provision of higher education in Nepal offers a way to achieve growth in student numbers, and provides students with a choice in pace and place of quality study that is affordable while remaining sustainable for both partners. The quality assurance implications are particularly challenging as they are generally premised on the key principle that the initiative should widen opportunities without prejudice either to the standard of the award, or qualification, or the quality of what is offered to the student. It is based, therefore, on arrangements which are as rigorous, secure and open to scrutiny as those for programs provided wholly within the responsibility of AIT. The AIT-NEF/CCN Partnership aims to provide a model for Nepalese and regional institutions in terms of curriculum; teaching and learning methods; setting educational and training standards; and monitoring learning outcomes.

OUR BELIEFS AND COMMITMENTS – STRATEGIES FOR CAPACITY BUILDING AND SUSTAINABILITY

There are four key types of strategies to consider when building the capacity and, ultimately, the sustainability of the organization and its AIT program. These are:

· Recruitment and Management of teaching and administrative staff.
· Partnerships with industries and other relevant organizations.
· Marketing and Promotion.
· Increase and Diversification of Resources.

Generation and dissemination of knowledge and ideas are the hallmarks of academic institutions. Assessed against this benchmark, the establishment and delivery of AIT courses in Nepal will be a great accomplishment in the domain of knowledge generation and dissemination in the region. Institutions that survive and flourish must continuously adapt to remain relevant. Strategic planning processes provide a formal mechanism to ensure that adaptation follows systematic exploration of the opportunities that exist and the directions the institution might choose to follow. Boundaries, geographic and otherwise, are rapidly disappearing as technology advances and the world becomes more and more connected. To thrive in the new world that is emerging, our country faces a number of important decisions and our institution will be called upon to help inform them. Expectations are very high.

This initiative describes a way forward and also looks to the future and the need to build on established strengths and exploit new opportunities in the field of higher education. The underlying theme of the proposal is to seek and pursue opportunities along with the necessary resources with vigor but in a principled, responsible and sustainable manner.

Growth is a primary assumption of the proposal, and it is believed that a growth strategy can be implemented in such a way that existing concerns (quality, equity and relevance) can be addressed at the same time.

AIT-NEF/CCN Eight Core Sustainability Values and Principles:

A set of eight strongly held core values and principles should always guide AIT-NEF/CCN Partnership as it makes the decisions that will shape its future. These eight core values and principles are:

· Quality and Excellence – AIT-NEF/CCN seeks to achieve the highest possible quality in the delivery of programs and services and the research it conducts, striving for excellence in all that it does.

· Creativity, Ingenuity, and Innovation – AIT-NEF/CCN will foster a climate that encourages people to be creative and innovative.

· Equity, Equality, and Diversity – AIT-NEF/CCN values the diversity within the institution and treats people in an equitable manner.

· Collegiality and Cooperation – AIT-NEF/CCN will be a place where people conduct themselves in a respectful, collegial and cooperative manner, both among campuses and among the academic and administrative entities that comprise them.

· Responsiveness and Flexibility – AIT-NEF/CCN has an obligation to be responsive to identified needs and will seek to be more flexible.

· Competitiveness – AIT-NEF/CCN strives to be nationally and internationally competitive in all that it does.

· High Ethical Standards – AIT-NEF/CCN holds itself to the highest ethical standards in its teaching, research and service.

· Accountability and Transparency – AIT-NEF/CCN Campus recognizes that accountability and transparency are essential characteristics of its culture.

All academic and administrative units under AIT-NEF/CCN will be asked to build their own specific strategic plans to support and shape the academic/research goals. In the pursuit of excellence, it is important to establish targets that will allow the measurement of progress towards stated goals.

Areas of Action for Sustainability:

AIT-NEF/CCN has identified five key action areas for Sustainability:

· Students teaching and learning framework
· Research, creative activity and scholarship
· The needs of the country
· Conditions for success
· Institutional responsibility

The NEF-CCN will set out a series of goals for each key action areas. These goals and strategies will help the institution to achieve excellence in the identified key action areas. These action areas should also strongly reflect mission, vision and institutional goals of the partnership.

The vision of NEF-CCN for reform in the field of higher education in Nepal starts by assessing a country’s needs and then developing a typology of institutions/programs to fit those needs. A systems perspective allows for the effective differentiation of institutions/programs, with each type of institution/program, having a clearly defined purpose and strategic objectives. Quality is important throughout the system – and different types of institution/program can make an equally valuable contribution to their students and society as a whole.

The process of reform is best initiated once an overall vision has been formulated. In this proposal, NEF-CCN is adopting an entrepreneurial model for all the programs, which thinks about reform in terms of enterprise. The model seeks to promote and encourage “social/technical entrepreneurs” and focus on “strategic entry points” into the development process. These agents of change if brought together, they can coalesce into effective “communities of change”. Creating and promoting “early wins” is particularly important for encouraging others to participate in the journey and partnership with AIT.