It’s that time of the year when students fresh out of school look for answers to help them take the biggest step of their life - choose the right college and the right course. To help them with this decision, HT Campus Calling organised four counselling sessions on June 7 and 8 in the Capital.
Faculty members from various departments from Delhi University presided over the sessions. A number of anxious parents and students attended the sessions. Most of them put forward questions related to choosing college over course. The panelists highlighted the importance of laying more stress on the course.
“Today, students aim at getting into a college with a better crowd. They need to shift their focus towards choosing the course that interests them. Only then will they be able to excel in the future,” said panelist Dr Renu Malviya, associate professor, Lady Irwin College. Academics also pointed out that students need to assess their aptitude and personal interest, consider their Class 12 scores before choosing a course.
They were also advised to consider their long-term career goals. “Even if a student doesn’t get admission in a renowned college but scores well in all the exams, his/ her chances of getting a good job at the end of four years is very high,” said Dr M K Shankardas, associate professor, department of sociology, Maitreyi College.
Students were also informed about the changes in the DU admission guidelines for 2014. Two per cent marks will be deducted from the best four aggregate of a student if they apply for a course they did not study at the 10+2 level. Also, marks will be deducted for including vocational subjects (having less than 70% theory in the academic curriculum) in their best four aggregate.
The wide variety of courses offered at DU add to the confusion students face. While traditional courses in commerce, economics, psychology etc attract the largest number of students, unconventional courses like anthropology and sociology have also found several takers. Students raised the problem of less number of co-educational colleges which offer seats in psychology and sociology, which pose a problem for boys who wish to pursue such courses.
“I am interested in psychology and have good academic scores, but the lack of good co-ed colleges offering me a seat in the course, as well as the competition is compelling me to reconsider my options”, said Sarthak Ahuja, who scored 93% in his Class 12 Board exams.
Students also asked if they should apply to colleges in other countries, to which Dr S R Khanna, department of commerce, DU, responded by saying that “until and unless a student gets admission in an Ivy League college, there is not much colleges abroad offer that Indian colleges don’t. At such a young age, students need to concentrate more on their academic career. Living away from parents does give children a lot of freedom, but most of the time this freedom poses a problem to not only their marks, but also their health” he said.
Students aspiring to get admission through ECA/ sports quota were advised to create an elaborate portfolio with their achievements.
“Add as many certificates, newspaper/ magazine coverage, pictures etc, along with very good recommendation letters from your teachers to your portfolio. The more detailed and extensive your portfolio will be, the higher chance you will have of being called for auditions,” said Dr Kanika K Ahuja, associate professor, department of psychology, LSR.
While most parents were satisfied, a number of them expressed dissatisfaction with the issue of vocational subjects. Subjects like informatics practices, which are considered to be core subjects by CBSE, are considered as vocational subjects by DU.
“Informatics practices is not considered to be equivalent to C++ by DU, whereas CBSE acknowledges the same. Our children are going to suffer despite scoring very well in this subject because of the negative marking DU has introduced,” said Anju Joshi, a parent.