- Bharat Raj Upreti
Some universities in Nepal have started conducting its specialized programs at the undergraduate level. Similarly, some training provider educational institutions are also conducting short-term AI classes. Apart from this, there are also colleges that run AI programs affiliated with foreign universities.
Universities and colleges that formally teach AI courses are limited in Nepal. Courses like BCA, BSc CSIT have some parts of AI, but there is no specialized study. But in recent times, AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard have attracted common people to it. For this reason, apart from universities and colleges, various training provider organizations conduct short-term training or certified courses related to AI. Fuse Machine, Nami, Broadway Infosys, Tech Axis and other organizations are some examples of this. We will provide information about universities and training providers in Nepal offering AI studies:
Kathmandu University (KU)
This university, which formally started teaching AI courses for the first time in Nepal (since 1978), is conducting educational programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
This course is conducted by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering under the School of Engineering of KU. At the undergraduate level, there is a course of 129 credit hours called 'BTech in AI' (BTech in Artificial Intelligence). It is a four-year and eight-semester course, which has both science and engineering courses.
Although it is under the School of Engineering, this is not an engineering course. The aim of this course is to provide basic knowledge about math, programming and algorithms, to provide theoretical knowledge about AI domains, to make large-scale data analysis (analysis) possible by applying AI algorithms.
The course includes programming, mathematics, computer science and other basic subjects. Also, the main topics like machine learning, neural network, computer vision, language, game development are covered. Project work starts from the second semester of the course. An internship has been arranged in the last semester. To get admission in it, one should have taken Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCA) or Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science (PMC) in class 11/12.
Similarly, in the final result of class 12, minimum 2.0 CGPA or more than 50 percent marks should be obtained. In addition, one must pass the entrance exam conducted by Kathmandu University. The university, which takes 30 students in a one-time admission, has set a fee of 8 lakh rupees for this course. Education is at Kavre, Dhulikhel University.
Purwanchal University (PU)
For this academic session, Purvanchal University has opened admissions for the 'B Tech in Artificial Intelligence' course at the graduate level. The course was planned to be conducted since the last academic session 2079, but the university postponed it due to insufficient number of students.
This course has a mix of computer science and engineering. Including the first two years of general AI subjects like; Introduction to AI, AI with intelligent system, programming for AI and other subjects should be studied and in the remaining two years subjects like machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, cloud computing, IoT for smart city should be studied.
In the course, project work starts from the second semester itself. Internship in seventh semester and elective subject in eighth semester. PU has allocated a quota of 48 students annually, for which a fee of four lakh rupees is charged. Education is in the central college of the university located in Biratnagar.
Lumbini Technical University
This provincial university, which was established last year, is also going to conduct AI courses at the graduate level. The university is going to conduct a course called 'B Tech in Computer Science and AI'.
Although AI is studied, computer science subjects are also covered in this four-year (eight semester) course. The aim of the course is to produce manpower for industries related to technology and AI.
According to the university, this course is designed to give students knowledge about AI, which is developing rapidly along with computer science. This course has been prepared by mixing the specialized subjects of AI with traditional computer science subjects.
The course covers basic subjects of computer science, mathematics and statistics, ethics and social implications. Similarly, there are advanced courses like programming, web technology, blockchain, machine learning, cloud computing. To enroll in this course, students must have obtained a minimum grade of 'C' or second division in Physics, Chemistry and Maths (PCM) in Class 11/12.
Every year, a quota of 48 students has been allocated for this year, which will be studied at the Lumbini Technical University Building in Nepalganj, under which 130,000 will be enrolled in the regular fee (scholarship). And it costs five lakh 18 thousand rupees to study in full fee.
The British College (TBC) located in Thapathali, Kathmandu is conducting an educational program named 'BSc (Honours) Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence'. The college has brought this program in collaboration with the University of the West of England. This course conducted by the college is not a complete AI course. Students can acquire specialized knowledge through the course.
This course of four years (eight semesters) has computer science, web technology, programming and other subjects. The aim of the course is to understand the needs of the changing society and develop the manpower to develop the technology according to it, to prepare technicians who understand the principles of AI and work on innovation ideas.
Along with computers, language (English) in the initial years and professional subject courses in the final years are also included in the course. Similarly, there are computer related courses like programming, internet technologies, foundation of computing, database.
In the AI course, there are subjects like artificial intelligence, machine learning. In order to enroll in this course, a minimum of 60 percent or 2.4 GPA must be obtained in the final examination of class 12. Similarly, more than 75 percent marks should be obtained in English subject.
Islington College, Kathmandu
This college affiliated with London Metropolitan University of UK is conducting B.Sc (Hons) Computing with Artificial Intelligence program. The duration of this educational program is 360 credit hours.
In the course, students have to study basic subjects like computer programming, mathematics. Similarly, the main subjects like robotics, neural network, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing should be studied. This course developed by the college itself has been evaluated by London Metropolitan University.
To enroll in the course, a minimum CGPA of 2.2 (55 percent) or a minimum grade of 'D' in all subjects must be obtained in class 12th examination. But minimum 'C' (50 percent) in mathematics subject in SEE and 2.4 GPA (60 percent) in English subject in class 12 should be obtained. The college is taking 120 students annually for this year. For which a fee of 14 lakh 38 thousand rupees is charged.
This college, which is under the SoftEd Group, also conducts the AI program of British universities. This college is affiliated to Birmingham City University (BCU). The college conducts 'BSc (Hons) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence' course.
It is a four year course of 480 credit hours. In which the subjects of computer science and AI are included. The college has classified the course into 'Level Four', 'Level Five' and 'Level Six'. Under which 'level four' includes computer programming, algorithm, computer system, website development and basic subjects like computer science and AI.
In 'level five', four models of computer science and two models of AI are studied. In which there are computer science related subjects like software design, cyber security, database and AI related subjects like machine learning, machine learning operation.
Similarly, students go to work in companies for one year after completing their third year. The college calls it 'Professional Placement Year' of 120 credit hours. 'Level Six' focuses on AI and its applications, in which topics such as deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing are kept.
A minimum of 3.0 GPA (65 percent) in class 12 must be obtained to enroll in this course. On the other hand, a minimum of 'C plus' (50 percent) should be obtained in mathematics in class 10th. At present, the college enrolls a total of 300 students with two intakes per year (150 students per intake). Its fee is 10 lakh 30 thousand rupees.