By July next year, Sherubtse College’s Bachelors of Science (Computer Science) course will be moved to Gyalpoizhing College of Information Technology (GCIT) in Mongar.

However, students currently pursuing the programme at Sherubtse would continue their degree at the college.

This means that the 39 students (27 regular and 12 self-financed) who would be selected to undergo B.Sc. Computer Science programme at Sherubtse starting July this year would be the last batch to pursue the course at the college.

After July 2019, students wishing and who fulfil the criteria to pursue B.Sc. Computer Science would be admitted directly at GCIT.

Sherubtse College president, Tshering Wangdi, said that the move to transfer the programme was following the recommendation from the academic board of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB).

In 2016, during an Organisational Development (OD) exercise of the university, a few of the colleges were found to be providing similar programmes. “There was a duplication of courses at different colleges under the same RUB umbrella,” the president said.

Tshering Wangdi said that the initiative was as per the requirement of the RUB. “It was done to streamline the programmes at colleges and at the same time to help improve the quality of courses provided.”

He also said as recommended by the academic board, the B.Sc. Computer Science programme would be more suitable to be offered at GCIT as the course would blend in well with other information technology (IT) based programmes at the new college.

Tshering Wangdi said that the transfer of the course would be done phase wise. “When the first batch of Computer Science students join GCIT in 2019, the second and third year students would continue here at Sherubtse,” he said. “Only by 2021, the programme would be completely phased out from here.”

The college would also transfer its computer faculties to GCIT, which would also be done phase wise. “Two assistant lectures would be sent for a masters programme in India which would be supported by GCIT.”

He said a full-time lecturer from Sherubtse would leave for GCIT by July next year. “By 2021, five faculties from nine would be relieved to the new college in Gyalpoizhing.”

It was also learned that except for the B.Sc. Computer Science programme, the remaining computer-based programmes taught in other courses would continue.

The college in Gyalpoizhing currently offers bachelors in computer application (BCA) programme. There are 79 students undergoing the programme and 89 more would join the college by July this year.

Officials of the college said that by July next year, the GCIT would be providing three programmes – the existing BCA course along with the B.Sc. Computer Science programme from Sherubtse and a new programme in B.Sc. IT would be introduced.

The college is one of the three new colleges in the east.

Meanwhile, Sherubtse College would focus on providing liberal arts and sciences programmes. Last year the college introduced B.Sc. Mathematics programme. Next year the college plans to start B.Sc. Statistics and by July 2020 B.Sc. in Data Science programmes.

Tshering Wangdi said that with the moving of the B.Sc. computer course, it has provided the college with a space to diversify other B.Sc. programmes.

Since 2013 Sherubtse has started to do away with its double-subject degrees and has focused on providing a single subject course. With the phasing out of BA in English and Environmental Studies in 2013, the college introduced B.Sc. Environmental Science.

Similarly, the college today provides single subject programmes in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. “With the introduction of single-subject courses in Dzongkha, English and Geography by 2019, all double-subject degree programmes would be phased out,” Tshering Wangdi said.

The initiative was first carried out to improve the scope of learning among students. It was also done to enable the students to specialise in a particular subject.

Younten Tshedup | Kanglung