The Royal Thimphu College develops students’ independence with responsibility in all spheres of their activities, including academics. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their own learning. We have consciously put in place measures to address common skill deficiencies, in areas such as communication and writing, as soon as the students arrive. We address communication and writing deficiencies through our home-grown module, Orientation to College Learning (OCL), which emphasizes improving competency in written and spoken English, developing an independent frame of mind, and supporting the students’ own voices as writers. This module also helps students to adjust to life in the residence halls, manage their time efficiently, prepare well for their stay at RTC and refrain from drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, RTC has strong faculty advising and mentoring services for its students. Confidential counseling services are readily available both for academic and personal issues.
Similarly, the College is aware of the difficulty for Bhutanese students with mathematics. Remedial classes are organized to address this problem in the first semester.
We also lay strong emphasis on IT and provide free internet access throughout the campus. Students are required to take classes on IT skills in the first semester in order to prepare them well for finding resources online and to make them proficient in using IT for all basic purposes. We encourage all new students to live on campus. A good number of faculty staff live on campus, which nurtures a safe, healthy, and academically interactive campus life. With IT and Library services open till late on working days as well as on weekends, the vibrancy of College life is kept up throughout the academic session. Virtual learning becomes even more essential at times of mandatory closure of the institution such as during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This led to the college completing its spring semester activities online, mostly through VLE. We are looking forward to a mixed mode of teaching-learning combined (face-to-face and online) in the Fall semester. Keeping such situations in mind, RTC is constantly improving its IT infrastructure, and it provides training to the faculty and the students to use virtual learning platforms on a regular basis so that the teaching-learning continues uninterrupted. Even in normal circumstances, virtual learning is found to support independent and continuous learning, which is one of the main goals of RTC.
The pedagogy at the RTC includes a variety of methods: presentations, active participation in class, discussions, and debates, case studies, field visits, guest lecturers, and writing assignments. These methods help the students to develop life skills such as the ability to learn independently and communicate effectively. This in turn prepares them for the world of work. More than 50% of student assessment is through coursework.