With a vision of Inspiring Education in Bhutan, Royal Thimphu College hopes not only to provide an education that will inspire our students to achieve their full potential, but also to positively affect changes in the landscape of tertiary education in the kingdom.
RTC was founded with the aim of providing an alternative to the exam-centered, textbook-based learning prevalent in the region. With a view to challenging its students to think critically, act independently, and to be responsible for their own learning, RTC’s mission is to produce graduates who are well-rounded, life-long learners.
To provide a more enriching learning experience, RTC has made several innovations and fundamental changes to the way education is commonly delivered at the tertiary level in the region through:
- A heavy emphasis on skills development, moving away from the traditional rote learning and memorization. Our approach includes developing skills in communication, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. as well as providing opportunities for internships and on-campus jobs.
- Strong support to enable students to become more responsible for their own learning and actions. For example, such support is provided through Orientation to College Learning, a freshmen seminar-style class that helps students adjust to the academic rigors and other challenges of college life. Other examples include a directly-elected and empowered Student Government that plans and runs most student activities.
- Active support of student learning through faculty advising; personal counseling; a Learning Resources Center (LRC) that provides tutoring; and a Career Development Office (CDO).
- Developing and introducing new courses that address specific learner needs. For example, in 2013 RTC started the country’s first-ever evening program for working adults wishing to obtain their college degrees.
- Providing a diverse environment that offers students opportunities for international learning and connections. An example is our award-winning semester long program bringing students from Wheaton College in the U.S. to RTC every semester. Our partnership with SEISA University in Japan provides a mutual exchange of students across campuses and we have additional exchange agreements with institutes in Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. (Texas A & M, Kingsville).
- Active engagement with the larger community and addressing issues of national concern through:
- Conduct of regular talks by distinguished leaders –RTC has hosted the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Chief Justice, National Council Chairperson, religious luminaries, business leaders, celebrated authors, government officials, renowned academics, notable musicians, etc.
- Organization of international conferences (2) and symposiums.
- Hosting of the Presidential Debate of the Political Parties for the second parliamentary elections in 2013.
- Encouragement of student involvement in community activities resulting in regular blood donation drives, clean-up campaigns, collection of clothing for the needy, and two recent awards from the Bhutan Center for Media and Democracy to groups of RTC students for social action programs.
Although the college has been able to meet most of its goals, one area where we continue to face challenges is on the financial front. With a view to attracting the brightest students as well as providing opportunities for the most needy ones, RTC, along with its local partners, provides scholarships to over 60 students. Although the college would like to provide support to more students, especially to those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, it has been unable to do so due to a lack of funds. Even as RTC enters its fifth year of operations, it continues to accumulate annual losses, in large part because the College is committed to continue providing the same level of annual scholarship support (approximately US$ 100,000 p.a.), as well as keeping the fees low enough to make our education affordable to potential students.
A significant portion of our students come from poor families, often with parents who have little or no education, who find it extremely difficult to pay their children’s tuition. Many students simply do not apply because they know they do not have the financial capability to cover the fees or they are unable to secure education loans from the local banks.
In order to enable more highly qualified but needy students to enroll at RTC, the college has set up the RTC Scholarship Fund. The proceeds of the fund will be used to finance students from under-privileged and under-represented backgrounds so that the RTC student body is more diverse and representative.
We hope that you will share in our goal of making a difference. The entire college community will greatly appreciate any contribution you can make to the RTC Scholarship Fund. Contributions can be made in cash (appropriate receipts will be issued) or, for larger contributions, we can arrange for bank wire transfers.
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