NMA is a unique name in itself in Nepal's mountaineering spectrum. NMA stands for 'Nepal Mountain Academy'. Nepal Mountain Academy is purely a government entity formally instituted on 30 May 2002 under the aegis of Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation. NMA has 140 hectares of an area at Garma in Solukhumbu district and has an academic complex at Thapagaun, Kathmandu district.
According to Lakhpa Sherpa, the President of NMA said it aims to build Tourism University at Garma, Solu in the future. NMA has turbocharged Nepal's academic mountaineering and training. It has initiated many pioneering academic courses and training packages not only in Nepal but also in the world.
NMA is the first institute in the world to run a university-level academic mountaineering course with practical exposure. It got affiliation from Tribhuvan University on 24 January 2018, for Bachelor of Mountaineering Studies (BMS).
NMA started to run Bachelor of Mountaineering Studies (BMS) in October 2018. There are a total of 110 students, including 10 female students, studying BMS at NMA. The yearly intake quota for BMS is 30.
NMA has allotted 30 seats for each batch of BMS, informed Uttam Babu Bhattarai, the Spokesperson and Information Officer at NMA. The eight-semester BMS fee for Nepali is Rs. 600,000. The same fee for SAARC and foreign students is Rs. 800,000 and Rs. 1,200,000 respectively. This course has not attracted students from abroad, though. However, for Nepali youngsters, BMS has fulfilled their long-cherished dream. Pranjal Pokharel ( 23) had not seen a mountain in his childhood. However, Pokharel, currently studying in the seventh semester at NMA, has joined this course to live his dream. ''I simply wanted to wander through various parts of Nepal and want to know about the mountains more'', said Pokharel. ''This is what brought me here.'' Pokharel has been to the base camp of Mardi Himal and even has climbed little known Diji Diri peak of Mustang. NMA also holds its title as the pioneering institute in Nepal to run a master's program in Adventure Tourism Sector (ATS).
On 9 December 2019, Tribhuvan University granted affiliation with Masters in ATS. From January 2020, MATS classes are operational.
As of the ongoing academic calendar of 2021, the total number of students studying MATS is 35 including nine female students. MATS fee for Nepali, SAARC, and foreign students is Rs. 400,000, Rs. 600,000 and Rs. 800,000 respectively. The total yearly quota for MATS is 35 seats.
On 18 May 2011, NMA-trained and guided nine civil servants who scaled Everest for the first time. It was a historic achievement for Nepal's civil servants. For this feat, 15 civil servants were trained and guided by NMA. They were selected among many aspirants.
In Nepal's Everest Measurement of 2019 also, NMA instructor Tshiring Jabgbu Sherpa was the Sherpa guide for summit observation led by Surveyor Khimlal Gautam. The summit observation was made on 22 May 2019. Pioneer of female trekking guide training and other pieces of training NMA introduced female trekking guide training for the first time in Nepal. It has produced 291 female trekking guides and 1,890 male trekking guides. As of September, the total trained people of liaison officer training for mountaineering, ski, mountain safety, and security training and high altitude training are 960, 116, 80, and 451 respectively.
For ski programmes, trainees are regularly taken to Switzerland for further training. For the exploration of new peaks, rock-climbing venues, and other adventurous avenues, NMA is doing its best, said the Spokesperson and the Information Officer, Uttam Babu Bhattarai.
In the academic and research field, NMA published two separate volumes of 'Voice of Himalaya' and 'Journal of Tourism and Himalayan Adventures'. So far, three volumes of Journal of Tourism and Himalayan Adventures and eight editions of Voice of Himalaya have been published featuring dozens of research works and creative articles including authors both from Nepal and abroad.