Higher Education Planning Division

1. Background

The higher Education Planning Division (erstwhile Tertiary Education Division) has been established as one of the divisions under the Department of Adult and higher Education, Ministry of Education in 2008. The division has an important mandate of ensuring sound tertiary education system in the country by serving as Secretariat to the Tertiary Education Board (TEB). TEB is the highest executive decision making body appointed through an Executive Order with all matters relating to tertiary education in the country. This is in synchronization with the Tertiary Education Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2010 that envisages TEB to oversee and provide direction to Tertiary Education Institutions on planning and funding, registration and licensing and quality assurance through the support of Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC) and the Registrar for Tertiary Education. In addition to providing oversight function for the growth of tertiary education system, the TEB carries out the function of University Grants Commission/Equivalent Bodies of other SAARC Member States. 

Mandates:

Some of the mandates of Higher Education Planning division are:

  • Develop policies and guidelines for the growth and development of tertiary education system in the country.
  • Provide policy directives to Tertiary Education Institutions in the country.
  • Function as Secretariat to Tertiary Education Board.
  • Facilitate and monitor establishment of universities/ colleges/ institutes for providing enhanced choices of tertiary education within the country.
  • Serve as information repository for tertiary education.
  • Implement Student Loan Scheme for Tertiary Education (SLSTE).
  • Execute activities related to SAARC.
  • Function as focal division for South Asian University (SAU).
  • Execute follow-up actions pertaining to University Grants Commission (UGC)/Equivalent Body meetings.
  • Issuance of sector clearance of visa for foreign students and faculty members coming to study in Bhutan under student exchange programme.

2. Governance:

The Higher Education system is governed by the Tertiary Education Board (TEB) which is an empowered board to take all major decisions including funding and others pertaining to tertiary education. It is also to give oversight and give direction to the Tertiary Education Institutions. The TEB was formed as per the clause 9 of the TEP, 2010, and was endorsed by Lhengye Zhungsthog with an executive order from the Government of Bhutan. The Board was formed with the Hon’ble Minister of education as the Chair person and many other relevant government secretaries as the Members. The HEPD functions as secretariat to the TEB.

The Tertiary Education Policy of the Kingdom developed with the approval from the parliament in 2010, covers both public and private tertiary education in and outside Bhutan. It helps in facilitating the establishment of private colleges as well as monitoring the existing tertiary education institutions

3. Implementation status: 

  • Developed Tertiary Education Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2010.
  • Revised Rules & Regulations for the Establishment of Colleges, 2012.
  • Printed Funding & Financial Mechanism for Tertiary Education, 2013.
  • Sensitized on the provisions of the funding & financial mechanism for tertiary education to relevant stakeholders.
  • Developed Tertiary Education Roadmap for Bhutan: 2017-2027.
  • Conducted 11 meetings of the Tertiary Education Board.
  • Provided loans to 522 students under Student Loan Scheme for Tertiary Education.
  • Conducted 9 Student Loan Committee meetings.
  • Developed on-line application system for Student Loan Scheme for Tertiary Education.
  • Developed and printed 5000 copies of brochures for Loan Scheme & distributed to Gewog Centres and Higher Secondary Schools.
  • Sensitized and registered over 1000 self-financing students studying abroad using online system.
  • Carried out study visits to Commission on Higher Education and reputed universities abroad.
  • Hosted 7th Meeting of the Governing Board of South Asian University in Paro.
  • Facilitated in conducting Entrance Examinations of the South Asian University.
  • Developed draft Guidelines for the Establishment of Universities and Autonomous Institutes.
  • Visited Higher Secondary Schools to sensitize on Student Loan Scheme and Higher education opportunities.
  • Facilitated issuance of visa for foreign tertiary students and faculty coming to study at Royal Thimphu College (RTC) under the various exchange programmes.
  • Published State of tertiary Education, 2015.2016 and 2017.
  • Facilitated and provided final approval to 4 colleges (3 Public and 1 private).
  • In-principle approval accorded to 1 private college at Phaduna, Punakha (under construction).
  • Developed DAHE website
  • Developed Tertiary Education Statistics system (TESS) to capture data on tertiary education.
  • Took over Prince Namgyel Wangchuck Academy at Tama, Zhemgang for the establishment of a TTI/TEI.

4. Division staff with designation:

  1. Mrs.Rinzin Wangmo, Chief Program Officer
  2. Mr. Dawa Tshering, Dy. Chief Program Officer
  3. Mr. Karma Tshering, Dy. Chief Program Officer
  4. Mr. Kuenphen, Messanger

5. Services provided:

  • Monitored and facilitated establishment of universities / colleges/ institutes for providing choices of tertiary education within the country.
  • Visited all the HSS to sensitize on Loan scheme for tertiary education and other opportunities on higher education.
  • Sensitized and registered over 1000 self-financing students studying abroad using online system.
  •  Issued recommendation letters to high school graduates aspiring to pursue tertiary education abroad.
  • Facilitate issuance of visa for foreign students and faculty members coming to study in Bhutan under student exchange programme.
  • Implemented student loan scheme for tertiary education to economically disadvantaged class XII graduates to pursue tertiary education.
  • Sensitized on higher education opportunities to the parents and students on daily basis.
  • Sensitized on the provisions of the funding & financing mechanism for tertiary education to relevant stakeholders

6. Documents:

  1. Tertiary education policy, 2010
  2. Rules and regulation for the establishment of colleges, 2012(Revised Edition 2017)
  3. Funding and Financial mechanism for tertiary education,
  4. State of tertiary education, 2018
  5. Draft guidelines for the establishment of Universities and autonomous institutes
  6. Road map for tertiary education