Voices Colleges

What students expect from their college

Emphasis on co-curricular activities can help students turn their hobbies into a profession. Photo: N. Rajesh   | Photo Credit: N_RAJESH;N_RAJESH - N_RAJESH

College is an exciting phase of life. In a way, it marks the beginning of independence and responsibility and honing one’s mind further. Students have several aspirations and dreams as they join college. But do all of them get fulfilled? Does the college experience meet their expectations? In many cases, it does not. Though changes are rapidly being implemented to make college life better in terms of both academics and life skills, students believe that there are a lot of grey areas that need to be tackled.

Practicals pay

Aphrodite Chakraborty, a first-year student of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata, pursuing M.Tech. in Biotechnology, feels that regular class tests are ineffective and should be done away with. These should be replaced with practical assignments to teach students practical implementation of the subjects they study.

“Students should be encouraged to write review papers or create working/non-working models. It is more important to learn how things work in real life. Such changes can be helpful in both arts and science as well as engineering colleges,” she says.

Students need something to take their mind off the academic pressure and stress they face. “A lot of times, colleges lack proper facilities for outdoor games. Since the 7.5-hour college schedule is pretty hectic with only one half-an-hour break in between, more opportunities for recreation should be provided to enhance productivity,” says Arpit Sarkar, a fourth-year B.Tech. student of Amity School of Engineering and Technology, New Delhi. Shrestha Ghoshal, a first-year MBA student of Dr. B. C. Roy Engineering College, Durgapur, adds, “College acts as a threshold of professional life for students. More emphasis on co-curricular activities can help students turn their hobbies into a profession, if they wish to.”

Ideal Library

Having a good, well-stocked library is one of the biggest attractions for students. But what should it be like, ideally ? “The library should be stocked with magazines, novels and comics as well and not just heavy volumes of engineering books,” asserts Arpit. For engineering students, outdated machines and broken equipment also pose a problem. Students feel that colleges should keep their technical equipment up-to-date so that experiments can be performed safely.

Madhumita Banerjee, a fourth-year civil engineering student of Bengal College of Engineering and Technology, Durgapur, feels that instead of spending time teaching the basics in the first year, engineering colleges should start with the core subjects in which the students want to specialise. “We can then be assigned internships or practical projects, which will help us gain first-hand experience of the practical work done in offices,” she says.

Another aspect that colleges need to focus on is flexibility in choosing the subjects, irrespective of the course that the students are pursuing.

This option is common in universities and colleges abroad, but is available in very few institutions in India. Komal Sachdeva, who is pursuing her Master’s in Communication Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, U.S.A., says, “Having an interdisciplinary approach is the new trend. The more versatile your academic background is the better will be your employment opportunities. Therefore, colleges should give students the freedom to choose whatever subjects they want to study, even if it means cutting across streams.”

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Printable version | Nov 17, 2020 1:54:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/what-students-expect-from-their-college/article7569373.ece

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