Profound uncertainty dictates our lives in the twenty-first century. To survive and flourish in such a world, we need a lot of mental agility and significant reserves of emotional balance. How can we confront an unprecedented situation and do what is correct? Higher education is facing forces that are bound to affect how faculty teach the students and how latter learn over time.
Sarvajanik University (SU), established under Gujarat Private University Act No. 8 of 2009 and Amendment Gujarat Private University Act No. 15 of 2021, sponsored by 109 years old Sarvajanik Education Society, Surat, is a gift to young and inquisitive minds of this region to quench their academic needs. The legacy enjoyed by this University and the heritage it holds has very few parallels.
When everything is in flux and everything is new, we remain busy inventing ourselves. Chaos is the new normal. Every day, new vistas are opening before us, and we have an entire world to conquer. However, when one can hardly afford stability, we are constantly guided by an eternal wisdom of Upanishads, ‘तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय’, Lord lead us from darkness to light; from ignorance to knowledge.
SU is a place of social development that provoke questions and find answers, build beliefs and destroy myths, delve into the depths of the past and rise into the heights of the future. SU represents a way of life. All at SU will show high respect for the laws of the land, high regard for the freedoms of others, high tolerance for diversity and difference, intense desire for peace, and shall be more giving towards those who are less endowed.
Beneficiaries of SU will be called to occupy positions of responsibility in society. SU will ensure that the learners choose vocations that suit their passion instead of getting driven by external forces. At SU, the students and researchers will collaborate across boundaries to solve the most pressing problems, viz. persistence of poverty, prevalence of disease, shortage of water, and dangers of global warming. Education has the power to counteract the risks towards humanity. Having better-educated citizens and leaders can only help.
What should be instilled in the young minds in this volatility? At SU, the emphasis will be to inculcate critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity, downplaying technical skills and accentuating general-purpose life skills. The faculty at SU will provide the conceptual scaffolding in the discipline to enable students to think critically and discover new forms of knowledge on their own. Administrators and faculty at SU have accepted the challenge in developing and institutionalizing innovative pedagogy and curricula linking teaching effectiveness to outcome assessment.
Faculty and students perform only when they feel that what they are doing is largely on their own initiatives. Academic freedom, freedom to express their opinions without fear of reprisal, freedom to initiate academic activities within the broad objectives of SU, freedom to plan work, freedom to innovate according to his or her thinking, freedom of movement to achieve his or her academic goals from any interference is granted to everyone for the healthy growth of SU.
SU is just born, ready to take a giant leap forward into the unknown. Taking this opportunity, SU invite young scholars and researchers to make our world a better place.
Live fully, leave beautifully.