5 Reasons to come to Ashoka University

When students approach the end of their high-school experience and start looking for universities to apply to, they are often confronted with confusion. This could either be because of the ambiguity surrounding the decision of which subject they want to study, the academic structures of different universities, finding out whether the faculty is good enough, or simply because there are too many questions surrounding the college experience and trying to tackle these questions is too daunting of a task to even attempt to begin. For these reasons, I decided to write an article on the university that I currently attend, Ashoka University, a liberal arts college in India, and disclose the different reasons as to why I chose my university.

1)     Academic Structure and Faculty

The academic structure of Ashoka University is unique. It provides flexibility to its students to study a wide array of subjects ranging from Philosophy to Literature to Mathematics, a flexibility that not many other universities in India provide. Although most students come to Ashoka with the mindset of studying one subject, a sizeable amount of students graduate with specialisations in completely different subject(s). This is either because they are exposed to and then consider majoring in multiple subjects that they might not have looked at before, or simply because of the extremely interesting way in which the faculty teaches them this array of subjects.

Ashoka boasts of some of the best faculty in the world, with professors who have both studied and taught at esteemed universities, including the Ivy Leagues. What sets these professors apart is not just their distinguished academic background, but also the fact that each and every one of them shows immense passion and love for teaching their subjects, which truly makes you understand the crux of what every subject has to offer. They are also very interested in speaking to students outside of the classroom, so you may end up meeting them in the hallway and striking up a conversation with them! To summarise, if you’re not completely sure as to what you want to study, as well as want exposure to interesting subjects that you might never have studied before from brilliant faculty, Ashoka is the place to be.

 

2)     Resources

There is a plethora of resources that are provided to students at Ashoka which help them cope with their rigorous academic schedules. Since college courses are structured in a manner that is different from high school, Ashoka has made sure that they help students in adjusting to these differences. Ashoka’s curriculum differs from other schools as there are a lot of courses that require students to research previously-written material, analyse them deeply, write critically thought-out responses to these papers and of course, come up with new research themselves, thus, inculcating a thorough bent of mind towards academic writing among the students.

The college helps in establishing this bent of mind through various modes of assistance like peer-tutoring programmes, discussion sessions with teaching fellows, office hours with professors and even through the well-stacked university library. There is also a Centre for Writing and Communication (CWC) which helps students in developing thinking and writing skills required for academic writing. The reason Ashoka students enjoy their college life immensely despite having extremely tedious academic, as well as extra-curricular schedules, is because they can fully utilise and understand different subjects with such modes of assistance.

 

3)     Clubs and Societies

Ashoka is home to several clubs and societies which include essentials like debating, music and theatre, but also expand to other fields like social work, film appreciation, linguistics and consulting, among others. What makes it even better is the fact that the administration wholeheartedly supports and encourages these teams by providing them with financial resources as well as mentorship when needed.

These clubs are quite active on campus and host meetings often, where people come together and discuss topics of their choice as well as train for competitions across the nation. Although there is a strong competitive side to these clubs and societies, there also simultaneously exists a warm, accepting side which welcomes everyone to be part of a team.

 

4)     Research Centres

There are several centres on campus which actively work toward tackling various issues, some of which are entrepreneurship, social impact and philanthropy, women’s leadership, political data research, gender and sexuality etc. All these centres work throughout the year to identify and solve problems in different areas, and they also provide opportunities for students to work with them in the form of volunteering or internships. This allows students to get a real-world experience of what it would be like to work in various sectors like research, social work, finance, academia, etc.

These centres, in association with the clubs and societies as well as the administration, often host talks by prominent figures in their respective fields. Whether it’s the ISHQ series hosted by the Centre for Studies of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) which features talks by LGBT+ activists, or the series of talks held by various academic departments which feature speakers who are specialists in their respective fields, these talks really help the students to gain perspectives from eminent figures who have field experience, thus, helping them understand the world a little better.

 

5)     Campus Life and Student Population

Last but not the least, is the campus life at Ashoka. Since all students live on campus, there is a flurry of activity day and night. Whether it’s late night club meetings or simply hanging out with friends in the common room, a good time is always guaranteed. The campus is also designed to accommodate students’ crazy schedules with its library that is open 24/7, food joints that are open up to 4 AM, lack of curfew for residential dorms and of course, your friends, who always happen to be lurking around at the oddest of times. There is also a certain ethos that all students at Ashoka inculcate through their years here, an important part of which is learning sensitivity and acceptance.

The people here educate themselves on different issues through conversations with friends, or through awareness talks that the campus holds regarding problems like gender sensitization and substance abuse awareness. There exists a Centre for Wellbeing, which provides help with mental health issues to students who require it, thus, also promoting a non-judgemental attitude towards issues that are generally a taboo in society.

 

For all these reasons, as well as a variety of others, I decided to join Ashoka University. My experience so far has been very fruitful, and I have learnt a lot of skills, both academic and otherwise that I feel like I might not have gained elsewhere. The people that I have met here are from diverse backgrounds, which has given me different perspectives that I had never thought about before. The lively discussions in classrooms and over food with people have taught me things that really expand my mind and fulfil the kind of college experience that I was looking for. For this holistic experience, I thank Ashoka greatly and hope to continue having a wonderful couple of years here!

Edited by Gauri Jhangiani

Photography by Viraj Malani

About The Author

Samyukta is a freshman at Ashoka University and can be described as a perpetually confused human. She is interested in so many fields that she has refused to conclude on what subject she wants to major in. However, she has decided that she enjoys Biology, Political Science, Economics, and Math. She particularly likes debating, playing the guitar/ukulele, reading novels, watching Netflix instead of sleeping, and listening to trash music. She is also keen on venturing into journalistic writing, especially in the form of (p)op-ed pieces.