Friends of Utah: Mr. Rinchen and Mr. Chainga

In April 2017, UCCD welcomed International Visitors from Bhutan with the Enhancing Higher Education program to Salt Lake. While here, the group explored Utah’s practices in higher education internationalization as well as opportunities for establishing and maintaining international research collaborations.

Bhutan April 2017 photo by Allison1 Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacyInternational Visitors at Westminster College

Mr. Chainga was among our visitors. For more than seven years, Mr. Chainga has been involved in formulating tertiary education policies and plans, implementing and reviewing policies, reviewing project proposals and managing projects. He is currently leading the vital project of developing the Tertiary Education Road Map for Bhutan which will serve as a strategic guide for shaping the future of tertiary education in Bhutan.

Of his experience in Utah, Mr. Chainga shared, “My visit to Utah had an immense positive impact in life and particularly in carrying out my daily duties in my organization. I not only quote the learning experiences that I gained from numerous sessions of conference and meetings in Utah but also already started implementing professional strategies wherever possible. For instance, I gained lot of confidence after my visit to Utah and I could get Roadmap for Tertiary Education endorsed by Tertiary Education Board. So, I am very grateful to Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy for making our stay in Utah a memorable one.” Mr. Chainga continues to share his Utah experience with others as he networks.

Mr. Rinchen of  Enhancing Higher Education also joined this group in Utah. Mr. Rinchen has been a key contributor to the foundation of the Royal University of Bhutan. He has spearheaded the University Transformation Plan that has led to autonomy for the University.  He has implemented changes in funding mechanisms, planning norms, and university standards, and has led the Organizational Development Exercise at the University to identify emerging challenges and areas for reform.  In addition, Mr. Rinchen has been instrumental in improving the higher education landscape throughout Bhutan with his work on Tertiary Education Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2010, and Funding and Financing Mechanism for Tertiary Education Institutions in Bhutan. He is currently assisting the Ministry of Education on a task force to develop guidelines for the establishment of autonomous institutes, colleges, and universities in the country.Upon returning home to Bhutan, Mr. Rinchen shared the professional and personal  impact of his visit to Utah: “We are able to share the knowledge with our senior executives and colleagues on our lessons learned. Personally, it has given us more confidence to contribute to various planning and policy formulation at higher education back home. We hope to continue doing so as we get engaged in various policy forums.”

We wish Mr. Chainga, Mr. Rinchen and the rest of Enhancing Higher Education the best in their pursuits to improve their own organizations and continue fellowship with the U.S. through exchange and research collaboration.