From Italy to Kathmandu: First academic year of MICD course begins
KATHMANDU, Feb 11: In the recent past, students have moved beyond the conventional study courses like Medicine and Engineering, with many different branches under Liberal Arts.
Every year students leave the country for higher education in foreign lands and out of those who stay back, it occurs to very few to pursue Master’s degree inside the country. After a student has completed his/her Bachelor, it is obvious for them to consider going abroad.
Be it gradually, but different internationally recognized courses are starting in Nepal and one of those is Master in International Cooperation and Development (MICD) program. The first academic year of this program was introduced in 2012 at the newly established Mid-Western University in Surkhet.
During the opening ceremony of the course in Nepal on February 8 at Alfa Beta Complex, New Baneshwar; Professor Gianni Vaggi from University of Pavia, Italy who also founded the course, explained the courses’ structure and the kind of manpower it produces.
Photo: MICD, Nepal
Professor Gianni Vaggi, PhD from University of Pavia, Italy speaks during the opening ceremony at Alfa Beta Complex, New Baneshwar on Friday.
Chief Guest Prof Padam Lal Devkota, Vice-Chancellor of Mid-western University; Chairperson Pitamber Dhakal, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Mid-Western University and Guest of Honor Prof Gianni Vaggi, Director of Cooperation and Development Network (CDN) at the University of Pavia introduced the framework and the CDN respectively during the program.
Prof Devkota and Vaggi jointly inaugurated the program by lighting the traditional diyo.
Similarly guests Mahashram Sharma, Joint-Secretary of the Ministry of Education; Hridaya Bajracharya, Technical Adviser of Higher Education Project at the University Grant Commission; Thakendra Prakash Giri, Registrar of Mid-Western University; Nav Raj Kanel, Chairperson of University Service Commission at Mid-Western University and Masta Bahadur Garanja, Dean of the Faculty of Management, expressed their gratitude to Prof Vaggi and the University of Pavia for bringing the foreign course to Nepal and congratulated both staff and students of Mid-Western University for the establishment of MICD.
The course was first introduced in the University of Pavia by Prof Vaggi in 1997. Over the period of 16 years, the course has proven successful within the institution of Advanced Studies at the university.
The course then started in Colombia in 2003 and Palestine in 2005. According to Vaggi, it will be introduced in Nairobi, Kenya next month.
There are 28 students currently enrolled for the MICD program at Mid-Western University.
“Higher education is under high pressure to meet the market and requirements of manpower and this course makes graduates ‘sellable’ in the international market,” said Prof Vaggi, adding, “The course focuses on understanding/ spotting important issues and is not just limited to finding jobs in the international cooperation community.”
Similarly, Prof Devkota said, “MICD enhances the management of developmental intervention and graduates of the course can be involved with international organizations, governmental bureaus, non-profit organizations and public institutions.”
Representatives from National Planning Commission, Fulbright Commission/ USEF Nepal, WWF’s Hariyo Ban Program funded by USAID, UNDP Nepal, European Union Delegation Office in Kathmandu, World Bank and Nepal Resident Mission Asian Development Bank were present at the program. They also participated in a discussion on ‘Knowledge for Development- Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education in Nepal’ after the inauguration progra
KATHMANDU, Feb 11: Prof Gianni Vaggi, PhD, is one of the founders of the Master in International Cooperation and Development (MICD) program in 1997 at the University of Pavia, Italy. Currently, he is the Director of the course at the university and of Co-operation and Development Network (CDN).
Republica caught up with Prof Vaggi during his recent visit to Nepal. Excerpts:
How different is this course from International Politics, Development Studies and the likes?
There are three different reasons why this course is different and relevant to the present context. First, it bridges academic knowledge (theory) with practices, students get field experience when they’re working on equal footing with the university and development organizations/agencies. Secondly, it is a multi-disciplinary subject. It complements multi-sectoral issues and lastly, it has a different approach to development issues that are interconnected. The course prescribes an organized view of 1development, methodical and theological approach.
What and how many subjects are there under this course?
Basically there are three blocks under the course, first one being Economics. The second block is contextual; it comprises of Sociology, Anthropology, Contemporary Studies, Development Studies, History depending on the background of the place the subject is being taught in. The third is Project Cycle Management which is like the scientific committee of the course.
The block courses are the same but specific programs are added, geared to the local needs.
What aspects come under the field experience?
We have a requirement of an internship at the end of the course, for three to six months. The internship has been well received in Italy, Colombia and Palestine so far. There are many graduates from Colombia and Palestine who are teaching the course in Pavia, different people have different approaches to looking at an issue and solutions to it, so it is interesting to have people from other places.
The university collaborates with local organizations and development agencies and students can apply for internships there. It helps them implement what they have learnt in a technical way. Only then students can be development professionals.
The course is very new here, how do you think it is being received by the students?
There are several courses that give reference to international cooperation and development issues alongside politics and socio-economic programs but the concept of international cooperation and development was not being studied comprehensively. The courses have been well-received in Palestine and Latin America. I am looking forward to feedback from students of Kenya, after we start the program there next month.