Dhruba Prasad Dhungel
Workforce Education and Development
Year: Doctoral Student
Research Interests: Higher Educational Access related Policy “Recognition of Prior Experience Learning”
Q: How did you end up at SIU Carbondale and in Workforce Education and Development (WED)?
A: In 1994, I came as a master’s student to WED under the Nepal project that was won by the WED Department from the Asian Development Bank to develop the capacity of Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) in Nepal. I was among the 35 fellows who came for training and education at SIUC.
The skills and knowledge I had acquired in the WED program helped me when I returned to Nepal. I became the Executive Director of the Training Institute for Technical Instruction (TITI), which is one of the wings of CTEVT responsible for preparing workforce for technical schools in Nepal.
Since then, the wonderful faculties, resources, and academic environment in WED had a perennial impact on me and I wanted to pursue my Ph.D. to help raise the career and technical education quality in Nepal. Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s WED program is high-ranked nationally and internationally.
Q: What do you like most about the department of WED?
A: WED courses are pragmatic and relevant in business and industries to develop human resources. WED is one of the most prestigious programs at SIU with significant international exposures.
Q: What do you like most about SIU Carbondale and Carbondale?
A: Courses and faculty are the most important facets in any university. Besides, Carbondale is a small university town, which is a key for good educational environment. Its greeneries, quietness, and diversity are also aspects that appeal genuine students.
Q: What are your career objectives and goals?
A: Although I have spent more than thirty years working in the Technical and Vocation Education System in Nepal, I still think there are many awkward policies and operational challenges associated with the education system. Ad-hoc policy development and implementation without rigorous research make the policies vulnerable and prone to termination before its full operation resulting in loss of scarce resources. After finishing the Ph. D. program, I am hopeful that I would be able to work independently as an educational researcher and train novice researchers in the field.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: School makes us busy. I love to read global news, watch movies, and go for a walk. Over the holidays, I looked forward to seeing my granddaughter, Ella. In the summer, I help my wife gardening.Q: What are your career objectives and goals?
Q: What types of extracurricular activities are you involved in or have been involved in while here at SIU Carbondale?
A: I was lucky to be the president of Nepalese Student Society in 2010-2011. We were striving hard to bring closeness, and share our cultural identity with the university community. I am also involved in some community programs in Carbondale.
Q: Are there any accomplishments or memories that stand out from your experiences at SIUC?
A: Most importantly, the skills and knowledge I acquired during our stay in Carbondale in the mid-nineties helped Nepal to frame and advance institutions effectively in the development of human resources in technical education. Now, these institutions are not only serving Nepal but also serving many countries in the world to develop technical and vocational education.
Because of the Nepal project success, GTZ of Germany approached the TITI to help other Asian, African and Eastern European countries in the development of technical and vocational education. We had to travel to countries such as Moldavia, Uganda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Albania.
I remember Dr. Bortz writing a note in my assignment in 1994, “Dhruba: You should go for Ph. D.” It triggered me to pursue the Ph. D. My youngest son, Shashi, eventually became a student at SIUC and completed his master in forestry in 2007. He got married to a lady who also received a master’s degree at SIUC. My elder son, Ravi, is a current graduate student here. It is merely a coincidence that father, sons and daughter- in-law are SIUC graduates.