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Ushering in change

The only varsity in the Capital to cater exclusively to the study of social sciences has a lot more to offer its students

education Updated: Dec 14, 2011 10:36 IST
Gauri Kohli

Two years ago, when Aishna Kejriwal had to pick a college for her undergraduate studies, she was in a dilemma. Although Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD) was not her first choice, Kejriwal still preferred it over Delhi University. “I was late in applying for DU admissions. AUD was very new at that time but after visiting the campus I was convinced that studying there was an equally good option. Now, after two years, I think I took a wise decision,” says Kejriwal, who is pursuing a BA (hons) with a major in economics.

The curriculum and teaching methodology at the varsity have impressed her immensely. “AUD provides a welcoming environment where everyone is exposed to so many courses in the initial months that they get to choose a subject of their (real) choice. This not only widens the domain of our learning, but also provides us chances of exploring our interests further. The focus is on non-rote learning and the course content is very refined,” she says.

Programmes: Though only three years old as a university, there are many accomplishments that its students and faculty are proud of. Eight MA programmes, seven (BA hons) programmes, apart from the MPhil and PhD programmes, are on offer through several schools.

The university has also been able to make a mark by institutionalising innovative practices in curriculum design, an interdisciplinary approach, and a versatile assessment system, among other things.

USP: AUD is the only university in the Capital to cater exclusively to the study of humanities and social sciences. The university has various schools, which include those for Undergraduate Studies; Human Ecology; Human Studies; Culture and Creative Expressions; Design; Business, Public Policy and Social Entrepreneurship; Educational Studies; Law, Governance and Citizenship; and Liberal Studies. The unique aspect of undergraduate programmes at AUD is that there are multiple exit possibilities, enabling students to graduate after three years with a single major, or after four years with a double major.

Assessment depends both on continuous and end-of-course performance, with a focus on avoiding unnecessary stress on students. Tutorials and regular mentoring are considered imperative. The end-of-semester assessment in any course carries no more than 40% of the course grade weight.

“This assessment component is in the form of written exams, term papers, term-end submission projects, viva-voce or a combination of these. The progress of undergraduate students is tracked through a mentoring system involving senior postgraduate students and faculty acting as tutors and mentors,” says Salil Misra, dean, School of Liberal Studies.
IT quotient: The Kashmere Gate campus boasts of various labs with the latest computers and high-speed Internet. The university’s website has details about the various courses, admissions, faculty, seminars, conferences and a section titled ‘students zone’.

Clubs and fests: The varsity has several inter-college activities for students round the year where they interact with counterparts from DU and JNU. AUD also has an annual fest called AUDacity in which several DU colleges take part.

Studentspeak: “I might have only been here for five months, but Ambedkar University, Delhi has allowed me to understand my interests. The set of foundational courses as well as obtaining a certain number of credits outside your majors gives you the opportunity to realise your actual potential,” says Akhil Veetil, a first-semester student.

Factfile
The university was established by the Government of the NCT of Delhi through an act of legislature. AUD began functioning in August 2008. The act mandates the university to focus on teaching and research in the fields of social sciences and humanities. AUD has been recognised by the University Grants Commission

Wishlist
“Extra-curricular and sports activities need a boost. We need more facilities for outdoor sports along with a nice canteen,” says Pankaj Suneja, who is pursuing BA (hons) in social science and humanities