Based on the decision of the 11th Senate meeting held in Lumbini on August 14, 2019, LBU has decided to establish the School of Development Studies & Applied Sciences as one of the seven innovative initiatives to be incorporated in its domains. The establishment of the School is a part of the LBU Vision 2030 as stipulated in the Seven Initiatives.
Buddha’s teachings direct humans towards achieving the ultimate happiness. In Buddhism, development is interpreted as uplifting people in terms of spiritual and psychological needs upon securing the basic needs of a decent livelihood. Similarly, Buddhism recognizes the importance of fulfilling the minimum material needs for a decent living and seeks to eliminate poverty both material and spiritual. In Buddhism, moral issues are associated with material wealth, and the primary objective being poverty alleviation. It has been emphasized that it would be essential to address the issues of poverty prior to dealing with crimes. Thus, it is not just relevant but also essential to impart Buddhism in the overall development theories and practices.
The LBU’s School of Development Studies & Applied Sciences is to help create an ideal society having sustainable livelihood through environmentally friendly, economically vibrant, and ethically managed systems.
The mission is to develop academic programs of higher education suitable for professional careers as administrators, entrepreneurs, mobilizers, planners, policy-makers, researchers, or teachers in the fields of sustainable development, agroforestry & its allied subjects, and environmental management.
The proposed academic program will be based on the values of Buddhist philosophy as elaborated in Buddha’s explanations on four noble truths pertinent to the sufferings such as existence, causes, ending and remedies, and the noble eight-folded path of righteousness on View, Thought, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration.
An objective of the programs is to run academic courses for 90 students at the rate of 30 in each program (development studies, agroforestry, and environmental studies) with the value-based knowledge, skills, and attitude based on the latest science & technology for serving the people to elevating their standard of living through social entrepreneurship as appropriate for their environment.
Focusing on the key areas of study, the courses of MDevS will be as follows:
- Buddhism and Development
- Buddhist Economics
- Conflict Management
- Development Communication
- Development Field Experience
- Development Planning
- Development Policies
- Development Project Management
- International Relations
- Management Information System
- Monastic Experience on Sustainable Livelihood
- Outreach Program
- Principles of Sustainable Development
- Research Methodology on Development Studies
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Social Impact Assessment
Focusing on the key areas of study, the courses of MSAF will be as follows:
- Buddhism and Natural Resource Management
- Buddhist Ecology in Agroforestry
- Cooperatives on Agroforestry
- Extension of Agroforestry
- Farm Experience
- Geographical Information System
- Global Trade in Agroforestry
- Herbal Farming
- Integrated Pest Management
- Monastic Experience in Natural Resource Management
- Outreach Program
- Plan & Policy of Agroforestry
- Products & Markets of Agroforestry
- Research Methodology in Agroforestry
- Socio-Economics of Natural Resources
Focusing on the key areas of study, the courses of MSES will be as follows:
- Buddhism and Environmental Management
- Buddhist Ecology
- Ecosystem Services
- Environment Education
- Environment Field Experience
- Environmental Impact Analysis
- Environmental Planning
- Environmental Policy
- Geographical Information System
- Globalization and Environment
- Green Technology
- Monastic Experience in Conservation
- Natural Disasters
- Outreach Program
- Research Methodology in Environmental Fields
- Socio-Economics of Environment
In order to address the diverse needs of students, LBU has conceived three types of master programs in the School of Development Studies & Applied Sciences. They are:
- Master by Coursework
- Master by Independent Study
- Master by Research
Each type of master program will have a specific pedagogical approach as appropriate. There will be experiential learning opportunities, modular courses, and open examinations as suitable.
A total of 60 credit hours have been proposed for each program with four semesters having 15 credit hours in each. Theoretical courses will carry 3 credits. Similarly, practical courses of experiential learning at the monastery, development agency, and community will also carry 3 credits each. Research works have been categorized into three types: Thesis (9 credits), Special paper (6 credits), and Term paper (3 credits).
Focal Areas of Courses
Of the total 17 courses including thesis, 10 are core subjects covering 50% of the total 60 credits; and three courses each are in the areas of practice and research. This arrangement of a minimum 50% coverage of the core subjects fulfills the requirements as defined by the University Grants Commission in the qualifiers of a master degree. Similarly, students will have experiential learning opportunities in practice and research courses.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Courses
In respect to Bloom’s taxonomy, the majority or 70% of the courses fall in the category of Analysis (30%), problem-solving (25%), and innovation (15%). In the case of the thesis, each half of its 12 credits falls in the levels of analysis and innovation. Only 15% each are assigned to the levels of Knowledge & Understanding combined, and separately in Application.
While developing the courses, the conceptual coverage of the program will be considered as follows
- Conceptual areas (40%)
- Nepal context (30%)
- Regional and Global context (30%)
As per LBU’s examinations policy, the evaluation of students will be in two stages. The internal evaluation will cover attendance, assignments, term papers, and internal assessments. Similarly, the external examinations will also be of open type, or comprehensive.
The minimum qualifications of students for admissions will be as follows:
- CGPA 2.5 or 50% aggregate in the four-year undergraduate programs
- CGPA 2.5 or 50% aggregate in the three-year undergraduate programs, and 2 years of experience
SDSAS will organize for an entrance test to evaluate the language proficiency and other required skills. However, the entrance tests will not be mandatory for those applicants who will submit the recent certificates of international tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, SAT, etc. SDSAS will set the minimum scores for those tests.
General computer skills such as word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations will be essential for admission. However, the college may run extra classes for those students who may need additional skills such as SPSS, apps for a survey, etc.