Message From President

Prof. Rajendra Dhoj Joshi
The preparations for the establishment of Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology (MBUST) came to fruition upon the promulgation of the MBUST Act on August 3, 2022. The MBUST Act represents a major departure from the governance framework of existing universities. This Act grants extensive autonomy to the University creating an enabling environment for developing MBUST into a world-class research-oriented university. This departure has been made by the Parliament because of the promise the MBUST holds in terms of making a direct contribution to the economic development of the country through the creation of new knowledge and technology, which should enhance the competitiveness of the country's products.
The approval of the landmark MBUST Act is a result of a seven-year long intense policy dialogue related to the appraisal of the need for world-class universities for facilitating the attainment of aspirations for prosperity of the Nepali people. The governance framework which could facilitate the development of world-class universities was shaped during this dialogue. A large number of people representing various stakeholders – political leaders, academia, bureaucracy, entrepreneurs, renowned international tertiary education specialists, chiefs and senior managers of prestigious universities, journalists, students and the Chitlang community – were involved in the dialogue. The approval of the Act was made possible by the strong support for the establishment of world-class universities by the stakeholders – national and international.
As mandated by the Act the MBUST is in the process of formation of the Board of Trustees (BOT), which is the supreme body of the University. The BOT has the authority to appoint the President of the University, adopt its Rules and approve the strategic plan and budget, among others. The BOT is expected to be formed by February 2023. The first priority tasks for the BOT are to approve first priority Rules, to appoint the President through an international search and secure funding.
I am happy to share with you the progress made in the development of physical facilities, engaging highly committed human resources in preparatory activities and building the institutional capacity. Two graduate program buildings each with a floor area of 1,300 sq.m. have been completed. The construction of the third graduate program building with a floor area of 4,000 sq.m. is underway, which is scheduled to be completed in April 2024. Basic support infrastructure such as water supply and power supply and waste disposal has been completed. A 500 kWp solar PV system with 400 kWh storage designed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the University is under construction. The University has been adopting innovative approaches in physical facility development guided by environmental sustainability concerns and climate change mitigation needs. The first building – a site office building – was constructed using bamboo. To reduce the heating load of buildings double leaf walls with insulation together with double glazed windows were used in two buildings. In the third building under construction all masonry walls are of cement stabilized earth blocks. The solar plant under construction will help to avoid the use of diesel generators for the backup supply. To mitigate water pollution the University has constructed biogas plants and a wastewater treatment plant. The University is relying exclusively on ground water to secure water supply for the community. Two laboratories designed to support research in the area of natural products have been commissioned. Research in organic vegetables is underway using a greenhouse, a compost pit and open field farm. The community is also participating in the research by providing experimental plots in their own farms. The preparation is underway for developing a kiwi fruit orchard. Equipment for a maker shop is expected to be delivered shortly. Preparations are underway for establishing laboratories for mushroom and yarsagumba research. The University has been providing extension services to local communities for agriculture through activities such as survey of soil quality, diseases in vegetables and use of pesticides. The University has conducted a training on organic fertilizer preparation in collaboration with Ward 9 of Thaha Municipality. The aim is helping the community convert conventional vegetable and fruit farming to organic farming.
Building an institution accountable to the public, serving the public interest and winning the trust of the public is indispensable for building a world-class university. The University though operating with a small pool of highly committed human resources has already built a distinct identity as an institution practicing zero tolerance to corruption, nepotism and favoritism based on political inclination, caste, religion, gender, ethnicity etc. I would like to thank all stakeholders for supporting us in this difficult endeavor. Based on the progress being made so far and support being received from national and international stakeholders the University is planning to enroll a few students at PhD and Master's levels towards the end of 2023. The choice to start from post graduate (PG) degrees is associated with the aim of the University to develop new knowledge and technology at the earliest. The reasons behind the plan to start from a small number of students are challenges associated with maintaining the quality, finding high caliber faculty and bright students and securing funds for student financial assistance.
To enable the University to make a tangible impact in triggering the economic growth it plans to get engaged in research in few areas of the economy with high potential for growth. The areas identified so far are organic agriculture and food, natural products, digital technology, energy and water resources and tourism infrastructure. The University will also work on the broad thematic areas of hill development, sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Academic programs and research in the University will be developed to cater for these selected areas and themes.
The key challenges for the University to attain its goal of developing into a world-class university are attracting the best faculty, administrative staff, students and securing required funding. The University is planning to initiate recruitment of the faculty and administrative staff in coming months. It is looking for a few senior renowned faculty with excellent track record of research outputs in terms of bringing research funds and patenting, middle career faculty with deep commitment to the cause of the University and good track record of research, and young professionals with publications, big ideas and dreams, and deep commitment to help Nepal grow its economy. As the University aims to focus on the areas mentioned above it is seeking faculty who are committed to contribute to these areas. The University is also inviting professionals with impeccable track record of honesty and performance and committed to the cause of the University to join the University.
The University does not have a provision for a tenured track. Faculty will be recruited on renewable contracts. There is no age bar. And faculty positions are open to non-Nepali citizens. So, whoever is committed to contribute to the growth of the economy of Nepal is welcome to join the University. The University promises to keep no stone unturned for giving opportunity to the faculty to thrive in their career and get satisfaction from the contribution they are able to make to the development of Nepal.
These days most bright bachelor's degree graduates are leaving Nepal seeing no attractive academic or professional career. The University promises to provide the best possible opportunity for students to pursue meaningful academic and research programs. All research work to be undertaken by students will be related to real life problems of enterprises – small, medium and big – and communities are facing. The University aims to provide financial support for most PG students so that they can spend all energy in pursuing study and not be lured to leave Nepal. The University is committed to producing graduates who can either get employed or self-employed when they graduate.
The University would like to express its deep appreciation to the business community for its engagement in the dialogue with the University since its inception for building a university which can forge a deep and meaningful partnership with enterprises. The University is inviting the business community to propose areas for first PG research which can meaningfully contribute to grow their business. The Government has been generously funding the University. Cognizant of the fact that the University would not be able to meet its goals relying exclusively on public funding it has established an Endowment Fund and initiated fundraising efforts. The University expresses deep appreciation to all who have contributed to the Fund. A contribution to the Fund can be made using the QR code below.
At the end I, on behalf of my University colleagues, would like to extend best wishes to all well-wishers of the University on the occasion of the New Year 2023.