BBA Flexi : An Adaptable Approach for Working Students

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This new BBA programme at KCM can be a boon to working students to receive quality management education.

Not all students who complete their intermediate level education are in a position to get enrolled in a ‘conventional’ bachelor’s level business education course. Some students may have to embrace their family businesses, while others may have to take up other jobs - eitherout of interest or compelled by the circumstances around them.

It is naturally difficult for such working students to join a regular bachelor’s level business education. Realising this, Kathmandu College of Management (KCM), in affiliation with Siam University of Thailand, is planning to start a course named BBA Flexi from January 2020. The course is the first-of-its-kind in Nepal and is especially targeted at the working students.

According to Deeptangshu Thapa, a faculty of marketing at KCM, as the name suggests BBA Flexi is really a flexible course. “In our two decades of teaching experience, we received a number of inquiries from students with different business backgrounds who cannot join a regular, day-time BBA course.

It is really difficult for such students to get enrolled in the regular BBA programme. So, we have introduced BBA Flexi for which the classes are run in the morning from 6:30 to 9:30,” she says.

Bishnu Raj Adhikari, the principal of the college who echoes a similar view, says, “The course is designed so as to help students evolve and find better avenues to grow in the sector they are acquainted with.” He adds that KCM mentors are determined to provide education to not only make the students ready to take on the daunting tasks that their endeavours entail but also to excel in whatever they do.

Course Formation
Before introducing BBA Flexi, KCM had conducted a nearly seven-month long market research. “There are many colleges offering morning classes for working students but there is no other BBA college offering such a flexible course of international standards,” claims Thapa. According to Thapa, the college’s 23 years of experience in teaching the regular BBA programme helped the college in the market research for BBA Flexi. Moreover, KCM’s partnership with Siam University in 2014 helped the college in designing the BBA Flexi programme.

The BBA Flexi course was designed by the coordinators and faculty members of the regular BBA programme at KCM. Thapa says that KCM has improvised the regular BBA course to create BBA Flexi. “Yes, it was a bit difficult to modify the regular BBA course. It was also difficult to come up with a common course suitable for students from various business backgrounds,” explains Thapa, adding, “We will be taking 30 students in each batch. Students with different business backgrounds have different needs. But the course has been designed such that it considers those various needs.”

The Course
BBA Flexi is a four-year, semester-based programme. Its syllabus is similar to that of the regular BBA programme and has a totalof 134 credits hours. It focuses on finance and marketing as is the case with the regular BBA programme. Besides that, it embeds subjects like Principles of Management, Information Technology, Entrepreneurship and Startup Business, Corporative Education, Marketing Management, Debt Instrument and Mutual Fund Investment etc.

KCM has designed the BBA Flexi in such a way that the students cannot pass it just by passing the exams. Besides the formal exams, the students are evaluated on the basis of attendance, presentations, assignments and project works. Also, they have to sit for separate exams conducted by Siam University. Since the students of BBA Flexi will be job holders, their own projects carry more weightage than the examinations.

KCM plans to bring in teachers from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmadabad, and Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi, India, to mentor its BBA Flexi students for two weeks, focusing on the students’ businesses. BBA Flexi is different from other bachelor level business courses in this regard as well.

The aim of BBA Flexi is not to find jobs for its students because they are supposed to have their own jobs already. Instead, the course aims at filling the skill-gap so as to help them excel in their own businesses or professions. “We don’t aim to make them market-ready. Rather, we will be just providing the working students a platform where they can exchange business skills and ideas among themselves and also explore the possibilities of working together,” says Thapa. In this way, Thapa says, the students can sharpen their skills to advance, improve and upgrade their own businesses.

For the first three years of the course, the students will be studying at KCM while they will spend the first six months of the fourth year in Thailand to get international exposure. And in the last six months of the final year, they will be asked to carry out a research and produce a report outlining the improvement in their businesses.

The BBA Flexi programme also includes studying the Chinese language in the second and third year of the programme. Thapa says that a maximum of seven to 10 BBA Flexi students will be mentored by one coordinator.

To be eligible for BBA Flexi, the students will have to submit valid certificates of their employment or certificates proving their engagement in their family businesses.Working students from any stream who have passed their intermediate level education securing at least the ‘C’ grade will be eligible for BBA Flexi.

Fee Structure
The total cost for the BBA Flexi programme will be approximately Rs1.3 million, according to the college. Scholarships will also be provided to the students on merit basis.

Preparing for the Programme
At present, KCM is preparing to run the programme from next academic session i.e.August 2020.The college is trying to promote the programme through different means of communication, including social media and through the regular BBA students as well as former students.

The college has been receiving a lot of inquiries about BBA Flexi, especially from people with family businesses in Biratnagar and Birgunj. “We have found that many students who are already enrolled in other programmes at different colleges are willing to join BBA Flexi through credit transfer. We will start the intake from the next academic session only,” shares Thapa.

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