NOC in Data: There has been a significant surge in Nepali students’ interest in pursuing foreign education. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST) has maintained statistics that reflect this trend. As of April 9, 2023, on average, over 600 students apply for the No Objection Letter (NOC) required for foreign studies each day. The majority of these students apply to study in Australia, Japan, Canada, and the USA, according to the department responsible for issuing the NOC letter.NOC FACTS
ECAN expresses concerns over new NOC update 2079
The business community involved in educational activities has expressed their concerns regarding the “Guideline for Approval of Abroad Study, 2079” recently issued by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. At a meeting of the Educational Consultancy Association of Nepal (ECAN) in Dillibazaar today, they accused the government of attempting to make it more difficult to receive a no objection certificate (NOC) required to study in a foreign country through the guideline.
The meeting, chaired by the acting chairperson of ECAN, Devidas Bhattarai, decided to submit a memorandum to the government and demand corrections in the guideline. The guideline has also put restrictions on the process of obtaining a NOC, choosing the subject and educational institute, and exchanging foreign currencies, according to their accusations.
“NOC should be accessible to all. Education is the right of every citizen. One can pursue education anywhere in the world. The guideline has given permission for Nepali citizens to pursue Bachelor’s level and above. Nepali citizens should be granted permission to study regardless of their home country or foreign lands.”Devidas Bhattarai, Acting chairperson of ECAN
The “No Objection Certificate (NOC) Acceptance Guidelines” 2079 issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Government of Nepal has received objections from the Nepal Educational Consultancy Association (ECAN). ECAN claims that the guidelines are not in line with current global educational standards and do not consider the interests of Nepali students and parents.
ECAN objects to the following points in the NOC acceptance guideline:
- Definition of higher education: ECAN disagrees with the narrow definition of higher education provided in the guidelines, which contradicts international standards.
- Restriction on obtaining NOC for school-level education: ECAN opposes the restriction on issuing NOC to students who want to study at the school level at their own expense or pursue higher education based on language studies.
- Lack of operational plan: ECAN points out the absence of an operational plan in preparing the list of universities, educational institutions, and programs for granting NOC approval.
- No private sector representation: ECAN criticizes the lack of private sector representation in the consultation committee regarding the provision of foreign study approval. ECAN argues that the participation of concerned private sector associations, such as parents and professional representatives, should be ensured in the said committee.
ECAN has urged the Ministry of Education to revise the guidelines immediately, taking into account the concerns mentioned above. Otherwise, ECAN threatens to strongly resist against the guidelines that are against the interests of Nepali students and parents and suppress their constitutional right to education. ECAN emphasizes the need for meaningful participation from all concerned parties in the revision process.
What’s there in the new NOC guideline?
According to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education, students who wish to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for studying abroad can only do so if they have been admitted to a bachelor’s level or higher university program. This means that students who plan to pursue non-university educational programs such as language courses or vocational training courses are not eligible to apply for a student visa. So, as per the new NOC update, students are not eligible to receive the NOC for programs below the bachelor’s level. Hence, students who wish to pursue VET programs, diplomas, and pathway programs abroad will not be granted the NOC required for their studies.