What makes a university best among the rest?

university-best-amongWith so many universities in India, what qualities should a student look for while selecting a university? Is it just academics? What traits make one stand out? In this article, Careers360 provides the information about various universities to help you take informed decisions.


Students are spoilt for choices when it comes to admissions as more than 850 universities dot the breadth and length of India. However, deciding on the right one is a huge predicament. So, what should a student look for while choosing a university? Legacy, reputation, diverse curricula, exposure or campus life? Dr. Anand. A. Samuel, Vice Chancellor of VIT University, recalls what he read about the hallmarks of a vibrant university. “Somebody once said that if one visits the university on a Sunday evening and goes to their canteen, he or she should witness a set of students bubbling with joy, discussing about various subjects ranging from academics and non-academics. Then, it can be taken as a mark of a vibrant university,” said Prof. Samuel, adding that VIT, a technical education institute has a cosmopolitan flavour on its campus.


As a thumb rule, a combination of creative and vibrant atmosphere for students to rigorously engage in academics, research, discussions, cultural and sports activities is what student should seek while opting for a university.


Standout quality

Millions of students apply to 872 universities for admission to UG and PG programmes every year. A university’s academic excellence is one of the foremost qualities that make it stand out among the rest. For instance, those who want to pursue Commerce rush to the more than 50 colleges under Gujarat University. Similarly, Delhi and Mumbai universities are popular choices for Arts courses. But, other than the curriculum and pedagogy, a top university is a good blend of geographical location, basic facilities, multi-ethnic community, socializing, campus life including day-to-day activities, recreational clubs, fests and cultural events. 


Delhi University

Be it Science, Commerce or Arts, Honours courses of DU are quite popular. One of the premier institutes of India, DU is segregated into north and south campuses. While north campus houses cluster of colleges like the St. Stephen’s College, Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Hindu College, Hansraj, women’s colleges like Lady Shriram College for Women (LSR), Gargi College, Kamla Nehru and Venkateswara College are situated in the south campus. The admissions are done on the basis of cut-offs. Although, DU cut-offs skyrocket every year, it still becomes a center of attraction during admissions. DU campuses are well connected with road, rail and metro. Akanksha Sahay, a final year student of MSc Physics from Department of Physics and Astrophysics expressed that the moment one enters DU campus, a positive vibe is felt. “DU offers education with leisure. We have one of the best faculties. We have smart classrooms and well-equipped laboratories. Not only colleges but every department has a library. Cost of education is moderate which varies between Rs. 10,000 to 15,000 a year,” summarizes Sahay, who has also completed her BSc in Physics from Ramjas College.


Jawaharlal Nehru University

The 1000-acre JNU campus is situated on the terrain of the Aravali hill range in southern part of Delhi, attracting students from across borders, irrespective of their nationality. As you enter the sprawling campus, it is buzzing with something or the other; be it movie screenings, political activities such as protests, hunger strike, and seminars, cultural evenings etc. According to Rashi Randev, a PhD student from School of International Studies, “If you are considering an option of pursuing academic research then JNU offers a good platform. To attain an edge in academics you cannot afford to miss any lecture. There are frequent academic activities like international conferences, debates, and seminars. JNU’s elections are considered to be very democratic and they have presidential debates akin to the American one.” JNU Entrance Examination (JNUE) is conducted for admissions. The fee roughly is Rs.120-180 per semester. 


The JNU Central Library with nine floors is a huge asset for the students. Those who cannot visit the library often can access the E-library with the option of remote access. The university hostel system includes accommodation for boys and girls and a complex for married students which costs a maximum of Rs. 100 a year. Other than the canteen, one can savour food at popular hangouts like Ganga Dhabha, 24x7 Dhabha, Mughal Darbar and Teflas.


Jadavpur University

The unique feature of this university which was established during the Swadeshi movement is its strong nationalist legacy. It’s a university that is well-grounded in sciences and humanities. Prof. Suranjan Das, Vice Chancellor, emphasizes, “We have been able to develop a fine balance within emerging areas of science and technology and conventional subjects like English language, other branches of social sciences - sociology, history, politics, philosophy, etc. We have the centre for smart studies in some of the leading departments of social sciences and this is recognized worldwide.”


At least 70-80 international students study here. Jadavpur University is an active participant in cooperation and mobility programme in the field of higher education like Erasmus Mundus. The university has about 60-70 MoUs with institutes of higher learning and constant mobility of faculty and research scholars between Jadavpur University and other institutes. A strong community life adds to the dynamism of the campus.


Visva Bharati

This university is not only famous for its higher learning but also for its cultural festivals like Poush Mela (Winter Fair) which attracts people and students from outside India. It is a centrally-funded autonomous university established with Rabindranatha Tagore’s vision of holistic education. It is known for its renowned courses in Music; Dance; Fine Arts; Languages, Literature and Culture; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science; Rural studies etc. According to VC, Prof. Swapan Kumar Datta, “To cope with development and massive changes in all areas, the varsity has introduced all basic Science courses like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Environmental Studies etc.  Foreign students come here to pursue different certificate courses, particularly in Rabindra Sangeet, Literature & Language to study about Tagore and ancient Indian culture and languages. We do definitely need a law school and medical school.”


What do you gain?

Being a part of an elite university you get the advantage of adding a big brand name in your profile. Also, a good university leads to an overall development of an individual since it offers a harmonious balance of both academic excellence and vibrant campus life. While you are imparted quality practical and theoretical education that aids in building your career, the campus life adds on to your extra-curricular experiences which are memorable can be relished throughout your life.  


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