Higher Education in Bhutan
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Higher education in Bhutan is relatively a young system and was primarily driven by the need to develop the human resource capacity of the country to drive the economy and development efforts in the country. Higher education in Bhutan formally started only in the early 1980s with the introduction of undergraduate study programs in a few selected higher education institutions in the country. Despite the late start, higher education in Bhutan has witnessed unprecedented growth and progress within a short period of over three decades.
The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), established in 2003, is the principal higher education institution in Bhutan that offers various undergraduate and postgraduate study programs in diverse areas including language and culture, natural resources and sustainable development, business studies, science, and technology, engineering, information technology, and arts and humanities across the different colleges. The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), established in 2015, offers study programs related to nursing, public health, and traditional medicine and postgraduate study programs with specialization in different fields of medicine. The Royal Institute of Management (RIM) established in 1986 and Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law established in 2015 also offer higher education study programs related to human resource capacity development, public policy and administration, and legal studies.
While provision of high-standard and quality higher education study programs that are contextually relevant and meaningful to prepare higher education students with the twenty-first century skills of creativity, innovation, and intellect is being accorded a high priority both at the national and institutional level, the challenges confronting the Bhutanese higher education system are equally daunting and herculean. Constraints include inadequate infrastructure facilities and financial resources to support high standards of teaching and learning, grounded on empirical findings informed by a robust culture of research and scholarly pursuits among the higher education academia.
KeywordsTertiary education Gross National Happiness and Research
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