1st AAERI Nepal Annual General Meeting 2019

AAERI Nepal was formed on 7th June 2018 with an objective of ensuring credibility, integrity and ethical practices of Nepalese education agents working actively with Australian Education Providers. AAERI Nepal is an extension of AAERI (Association of Australian Education Representatives in India) and has been registered as a not for profit association with the Government of Nepal. The very First Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AAERI Nepal took place on 16th January 2019 in Hotel Ambassador, Lazimpat, Kathmandu. The meeting was segregated into two sessions viz. Closed and Open Session. The closed session commenced with welcome note by AAERI Nepal Secretary Mr. Naren Aryal followed by AAERI’s voice by Mr. Bubbly Johar, Vice-president of AAERI India. The program further took its course with Annual Report sharing by the AAERI Nepal President Mr. Dwiraj Sharma and Treasurer Mr. Buddhi Sagar Aryal respectively. One of the major agendas of the closed session was to come up with a newly elected group of Executive Committee for AAERI Nepal.  Mr. C. Balaji, in the capacity of Election Officer declared that no two nominations were observed for a single position hence the five-member Executive Committee was declared to be elected for next two years (2019/20). The elected candidates officially took over their roles with office bearer declaration/oath taking. Elected Executives List: 1. Mr. Dwiraj Sharma, President 2. Mr. Mahesh Babu Timalsina, Vice President 3. Mr. Naren Aryal, Secretary 4. Mr. Buddhi Sagar Aryal, Treasurer 5. Mr. Nabaraj Khatri, Executive Member.

 

AAERI Nepal AGM Open Session: The Open Session of the AGM started with the seat taking of the distinguished guests. The Guest list included Australian Government Officials, Office Bearers of various related associations, Representatives from Education Providers, top Executives from Banks and other dignitaries related to Australian Education fraternity. H.E. Mr. Peter Budd (Ambassador of Australia to Nepal) and Ms. Katherine Bannister (Senior Migration Officer, Department of Home Affairs) had happily accepted our invitations to join AAERI Nepal AGM. Mr. Mahesh Babu Timalsina, Master of Ceremony of the event and the Vice President of AAERI Nepal, formally welcomed the delegates and requested the guests to take their seats. All newly conferred members of the Executive Committee were felicitated by His Excellency Peter Budd. All current AAERI Nepal members (list in the Appendix) were also provided certification of membership by His Excellency. This was followed by the presentation from Mr. Dwiraj Sharma, the newly elected president of AAERI Nepal. Mr. Sharma gave a brief overview of the history behind the conceptualization of AAERI Nepal, its mission and vision and how the association aims to be the umbrella organization for all the Education agents working closely with Australian Education Providers in the country. He further insisted that AAERI Nepal’s vision aligns with the ‘London Statement’ and integrity, ethical practices and credibility are its minimal expectations from its member organizations. He further took the audiences through the major activities carried out by AAERI Nepal in the year 2018 and its plan of action for 2019 which included expansion of its members to 30 by end of the year, hosting a mega convention in Nepal around March/April 2019 inviting the Australian Government, DHA and Australian universities, organize an education fair under the banner of AAERI Nepal in close collaboration with Australian universities etc.

 

AAERI Nepal Members with respected delegates on the First AAERI Nepal AGM

 

The insightful presentation by the president of AAERI Nepal was followed by the speeches by the distinguished delegates. Mr. Anukool Bhatnagar (MD & CEO of Nepal SBI Bank Limited) was the first delegate to deliver his speech. Mr. Bhatnagar briefed the audiences on the global presence of the SBI Bank (38 countries across the world) and its world class services. His focus was on the zero bad loan the bank had and why they insisted on the good research of each and every student’s background besides the securities they show in Nepal, the major concern being students’ sustainability issues. He showed his support to the AAERI’s agenda and its members and even committed that the bank will provide support to AAERI Member in opening their offices in Sydney, Australia.

 

Mr. Bijay Sapkota (President of Council of International Students- CISA) was the next guest to follow. He said the role played by the education agents was very crucial as the students rely heavily on the agents while embarking their decisions to study abroad. He further stressed that the mental health issues among the Nepalese students being witnessed currently can be minimized to a huge extent if the students are provided proper pre-departure information. The same issue of addressing students’ excitement after reaching Australia, minimizing cultural shock, information on geographical diversity and differences as compared to Nepal and minimizing the huge gap between the expectation Vs reality was further stressed upon by Mr. Mana Khatri, Former Spokesperson of Non-Resident Nepalese Association(NRNA), Australia

 

Mr. Bobby Abraham from Excelsia College, Sydney however had a different take on the whole issue. He showed his concerns from the Education provider’s point of view. The students’ eligibility in being able to commence and complete his studies and whether we are setting the students for failure was his major take.

 

Further the session was carried forward with a very inspirational speech from Dr. Damodar Pokharel (President-Association of Nepalese Alumni from Australia, AANA). Mr. Pokharel’s speech revolved around the importance of Nepalese youths getting back to their homeland and serving their own country, utilizing the skills and expertise learned back in Australia. He also focused on how AANA has been actively working on engaging Australia returned professionals into various projects and making the difference in people’s lives. Mr. Deepak Khadka (Consulate General-NSW) highlighted on the roles of the Consulate office based in NSW in general and the importance of briefing the students on post study opportunities available back home after they are done with their studies in Australia. His Excellency Mr. Peter Budd –Ambassador of Australia to Nepal was the next one to join the stage. He began his speech with congratulation note to the newly elected members of AAERI Nepal Executive Committee and was all praises for the role played by AAERI for its contribution in strengthening education system in general and promotion of Australia as a study destination in particular.

 

His Excellency shared the statistic that around 42000 Nepalese students are currently studying in Australia and his major concern was the sustainability of this number and justified expectation of the students being capable of receiving education in Australia. Having said so, Mr. Budd seemed very pleased with the positive impact the Nepalese community was making on Australian society and praised them for their hardworking nature and entrepreneurial capabilities.

 

H.E. Peter Budd delivering his speech in the First AAERI Nepal AGM

 The session formally ended with closing remarks by Mr. C. Balaji (Executive MemberAAERI). He admired AAERI Nepal’s remarkable performance in short span of time and assured that AAERI India team members will make frequent visits to support AAERI Nepal team in crafting guidelines and necessary tools. According to him the major challenge for all the education agents is balancing quality and quantity as the general trend exhibited is the number of students going down when the stringent policies are brought in and vice-versa. However, he emphasized on the fact that students’ satisfaction is the key for the sustainability of the Education agents sector and made a point on coming up with appropriate strategies to ensure the same.

 

All AAERI Nepal Members and the guests attended the networking dinner afterwards.

Updated Information on Immigration Regulations

16th January 2019

From 1 May 2019, the Department will be requesting the provision of evidentiary documentation for English language skills and financial capacity for all Nepalese Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector applicants for a Student visa.

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AAERI Nepal Board Meeting With Nabil Bank

25th January 2019

AAERI Nepal had a board meeting with Nabil Bank. AAERI Nepal was lead by President Mr. Dwiraj Sharma and Mr. Anil Keshari Shah had lead Nabil Bank. As Nabil bank is one of the trusted bank for Australia applying students.

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Acceptable financial institutions with Australian High Commission

16th January 2019

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