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22 Dec 2021

Himalayan University Consortium Nepal Country Chapter meeting

published date
22 December 2021 to 23 December 2021
Chi H Truong (Shachi)


About the meeting

The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) is a growing network of universities within and outside of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, aiming to promote regional and global collaboration in research and education for sustainable mountain futures. In Nepal, two new members – Nepal Open University and Far Western University – have recently joined the Consortium, bringing the total number of university members to six (out of 12 universities in the country). An increasing number of Nepali researchers have taken part in HUC’s capacity building programmes in the past two years. Some Nepali scholars have co-led various thematic working groups and cross-cutting workgroups.

HUC’s previous country chapter meeting took place on 11-12 August 2018 in Pokhara, generously hosted by Pokhara University. This country chapter meeting on 23 December 2021, will be hosted by Kathmandu University at its Dhulikhel campus, and will bring together Vice Chancellors (VCs), Deans and focal persons to review recent activities of the Consortium in the region and in Nepal and deliberate on the future and sustainability of the network.

This meeting is convened by Prof. Bim Prasad Shrestha, HUC Steering Committee Member, Kathmandu University, and coordinated by the HUC Secretariat, ICIMOD.


  • Review current activities by HUC members, Thematic Working Groups and fellows in Nepal
  • Discuss potential collaboration and synergy amongst HUC members in Nepal and between Nepal’s members and other Consortium’s members
  • Engage University Grants Commissions Nepal in pursuit of mountain-focused, HKH-specific higher education agenda of the Consortium
  • Handover of the Steering Committee membership by the current Steering Committee member, Prof. Bim Prasad Shrestha, to the incoming SCM, Prof. Tri Ratna Bajracharya, Tribhuvan University


Expected participants
  • VCs of HUC members and incoming members
  • Two representatives from each of HUC members 
  • Representatives of HUC Thematic Working Groups and fellows
  • Invited guests from the University Grants Commissions and UNESCO Nepal
Time (NPT) Programme Facilitators/ Resource persons
Wednesday, 22 December 2021    
14:00 Check-in at Himalaya Drishya Resort, Dhulikhel Achala Sharma, Programme Associate, HUC, ICIMOD
17:30 Registration Achala Sharma

Orientation and reception dinner

Welcome remarks by Bim Prasad Shrestha,
Kathmandu University, HUC Steering Committee Member

Introduction and expectations of participants

HUC in Nepal through fellows’ perspectives

  • Biraj Singh Thapa, Kathmandu University, Co-lead, HUC Thematic Working Group on Energy
  • Rashila Deshar, Tribhuvan University, Fellow and Grantee
One participant from the workshop on Communicating science for policy making 
Chi H Truong (Shachi), HUC Secretariat, ICIMOD
Thursday, 23 December 2021    
9:00 Transfer from hotel to Kathmandu University Dhulikhel campus Achala Sharma, ICIMOD
9:30–9:40 Opening remarks – Bhola Thapa, Vice Chancellor, Kathmandu University  Uddhab Pyakurel, Associate Director, Global Engagement Division, Kathmandu University

The role of University Grants Commission in nurturing excellence in higher education for Nepal – Bhim Prasad Subedi, Chairperson, UGC Nepal (TBC)

UNESCO initiatives for SDG 4.7  – Balaram Timalsina, Chief of Education, UNESCO Nepal
  Group photo  
10:00 – 11:30

World Café: Exploring potential for collaborations amongst HUC members in Nepal

Participants will rotate across four stations sharing information about their university, focusing on thematic areas of research and training, resources, partnership, and potential synergy.

Coffee and refreshments will be served during the World Café
Biraj Singh Thapa, Kathmandu University;
Amina Maharjan, Senior Specialist Livelihoods & Migration, Livelihoods, ICIMOD;

Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Specialist, Geospatial Solutions, ICIMOD;
Santosh Raj Pathak
Partnership Officer, Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD;
Sunita Chaudhary, Ecosystem Services Specialist, Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD

Summary of World Café

5 minutes for each station and 10 minutes for Q&A
12:00–13:00  Lunch break  

Parallel workgroup

Group 1 – HUC Visioning Exercise

Vice Chancellors, Steering Committee Members and invited guests from UGC and UNESCO Nepal review half-way implementation of the HUC Strategy 2018-2025 and discuss medium future of the Consortium, including sustainability pathway. 
Bim P Shrestha, Kathmandu University;
Tri Ratna Bajracharya, Professor, Tribhuvan University;
Madan Koirala, Professor, Tribhuvan University, and
Santosh R Pathak

Group 2 – Member consultation regarding higher education and graduate competency for sustainable mountain futures

Focal persons and fellows to share information about their university and knowledge and experience on current and future curricula
Ganga Gautam, Director, Open and Distance Education Center (ODEC), Tribhuvan University;
Amina Maharjan; Rajesh B Thapa; Sunita Chaudhary; Shachi Truong

Presentation of groupwork and discussion

Summary of key action points

Bim P Shrestha and Tri Ratna Bajracharya
15:00–15:30 Tea/coffee break  

Global aspirations, leadership transition, and closing

Rethinking Global in Higher Education in Nepal – Ashok Gurung, Professor, Julien J. Studley Graduate Program of International Affairs at the New School, New York, and HUC Steering Committee Member

Revisit participants’ expectation of the meeting

Handover of Steering Committee membership

Closing remarks – Tri Ratna Bajracharya

Votes of thanks –  Chi H Truong
Uddhab Pyakurel