For Uttara Dhawan, choosing a college was very important for her undergraduate studies. Just like thousands of aspirants, who throng the Delhi University campus to experience the ceaseless buzz and outbreak of activity, Dhawan was also hopeful of securing admission to her preferred college but a 75% cut-off was not enough to fulfil her dream. Disappointed but not disheartened, she started looking for other options and came across Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD).
“Before I took admission at AUD, I still wanted to go to Delhi University as AUD was an upcoming university at that time. But a faculty member at AUD convinced me that studying there is an equally good option for me. Now, after two years, I think I took a wise decision,” says Dhawan who is pursuing a BA (hons) with a major in psychology.
The curriculum and the teaching methodology at the varsity have impressed Dhawan immensely. “The fact that there’s plenty of choice given to students in terms of subjects makes it different and unconventional. Sixty per cent weightage is given to presentations, internal assessment and round-the-year evaluation and 40% is devoted to final exams. The focus is on non-rote learning and the course content is very refined,” she says. But does she miss being in DU? “Not anymore. There are normally 14 courses in psychology comprising core (compulsory) and optional courses of the discipline. Teaching uses films and popular narratives to highlight and illustrate significant contexts of the course. We are evaluated on presentations, written and oral examinations. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” adds Dhawan. Comparing these aspects with some of her friends studying psychology at DU, Dhawan says she sometimes feel she has an upper hand. “We study like we are in a pass programme in the first semester and gradually specialise in one discipline, unlike DU,” she says.
Her friends at the varsity also second her views. “The curriculum at DU does not help you start from scratch. But at AUD, even a student who has not studied the subject earlier can cope with a new lesson. Plus, teachers don’t go on strike or are not absent here. They are even available for guidance during study leaves. The best part is that every student has a separate mentor who is accessible all the time for any queries,” says Aishna Kejriwal, a student of BA (hons) with a major in economics. Kejriwal sought admission at AUD because she “did not like the atmosphere at DU.” “I heard from some friends that students go to DU to have fun and not to study. That’s why I decided not to study at DU,” she says. The small, nice and friendly crowd at AUD is what she always wanted.
Despite these plusses, there are some things on the wish list of students that they would like to be improved at AUD. “We have dance, drama and music societies at the varsity but we want these activities to happen more frequently and on a larger scale. Extra-curricular and sports activities need a boost.
Also, we sometimes miss being at a larger campus but we will soon have that after we shift to the Kashmere Gate campus from August this year. Though we have a big library and a good hostel, we need more facilities for outdoor sports and a nice canteen,” says Pankaj Suneja, who is pursuing BA (hons) in social science and humanities.
The varsity though has several inter-college activities for students round the year where they interact with their counterparts from DU and JNU. AUD also has an annual fest titled Audacity in which several DU colleges take part.