A University that Draws Inspiration from its Vision: The Success Story of Andhra University
About the Institution: Andhra University (AU) is one of the oldest educational institutions in India. It was established in 1926 by the Madras University Act to cater to the northern districts of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. The university with nearly 15,000 students on its campus, is offering a variety of courses in the emerging areas that have a direct impact on the economic growth and development of society. The 96-year-old institution is fortunate to have well-known educationist, Sir C R Reddy, as its founder vice-chancellor and former President of India Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan as the successive vice-chancellor, who strengthened the university with his impeccable planning and vision. In 2016, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of India have reaccredited the university with an “A Grade”. At present, the university is ISO 9001:2015 certified for its quality standards and maintenance. The university is identified as a “Category – 1” institute by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.
Major Challenges Faced by the University
The university hosts students from different parts of India and other countries. There are 376 affiliated colleges spread across five districts under the territorial jurisdiction of Andhra University. The enrolment in affiliated colleges is more than 1,00,000 students. Given this widespread reach and background, the university has faced multiple challenges:
- With the increase in the number of universities in the state, the number of affiliated colleges was drastically decreased for Andhra University as they were attached to the respective universities of their region. Hence, a decrease in funds was a challenge for the development of the large university.
- Since it is one of the most reputed state universities, the fee structure is very low when compared to other private or deemed to be universities. Over 90% of the students study in the university through fee reimbursement schemes from the State Government.
- Faculty recruitment is one of the biggest challenges the university is facing as the recruitment process follows the State Government’s approval and guidelines. Most of the state universities including AU face the challenge of delayed recruitment of vacant positions. Hence, the number of regular faculty in the university is very less.
- During Hudhud Cyclone in the year 2014, the university had lost most of its greenery, infrastructure, laboratory equipment, and roads. With the team spirit of fraternity, students, and the support from alumni and philanthropists, the university has regained its glory in no time.
- The recent pandemic was unexpected, and it threw a major challenge to the university. However, the university authorities were successful in restraining the spread of COVID 19 on the campus by taking appropriate decisions and by conducting online classes.
- Getting accreditations from NAAC, the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), and getting ranked by international organisations such as QS are challenging tasks for any university.
- Andhra University being a state-funded university has its limitations with financial aspects. Getting quality work done with limited resources is a significant challenge to the university.
Inspiration for the Success of the University
Primarily, the popular brand name of the university itself is the inspiration for the success of the institution. Secondly, several visionaries who led and the university played a major part in its strive towards success. The university has always accepted challenges and has come out with glorifying colours and stood as an example to its fellow state universities. Faculty of the university are always adaptable and strive for the betterment of their students.
The vision “to create new frontiers of knowledge in quest for the development of the humane and just society”, and the “zeal to ignite the lives of young minds and playing an important role in shaping up their future and thus in the development of the country,” empower the university to face any challenge and achieve success.
University’s NSS Units and Social Work
Andhra University has a very strong National Service Scheme (NSS) unit. It has adopted 4 villages (urban slums). Apart from the university’s own NSS unit, a total of 279 villages were adopted by 284 NSS units under the university’s jurisdiction. NSS units play a very important role in sensitising the local people on various social and economic issues.
Essential Qualities an Institution Must have to Achieve Success
It is appropriate to quote Swami Vivekananda’s words “We want the education by which character is formed, the strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one’s own feet”. Success is not an overnight journey and the key to the success of any educational institution lies in moulding its students into responsible, character-rich citizens who serve human society. Once any institution prepares itself for such a journey, success is a shadow. Following are the key qualities that institutions should have to achieve success:
- Able Leadership: Clear vision and leadership abilities of administrators at the university, as well as the Government, are very crucial for any organisation to succeed.
- Healthy environment among faculty & students: Sincerity and a sense of belongingness of the faculty towards the institute can do miracles. They are one of the strong pillars of any institution. Their dedication towards teaching, research, and consultancy are some of the most important factors for an institution to achieve The students in turn learn from their professors and peers. Establishing a healthy, competitive, and knowledgeable environment is a must for any institution.
- Efficient Infrastructure: Institutions must have well-equipped laboratories and infrastructure to facilitate research work, consultancy, and other activities for students and faculty.
Ever since its inception in 1926, Andhra University has had an impeccable record of catering to educational needs and solving the sociological problems of the region. The university is relentless in its efforts towards maintaining high standards in teaching and research, ensuring proper character building and development of students, encouraging community developmental programmes, nurturing leadership in young minds, and imbibing a sense of responsibility to become good citizens while striving for excellence in all fronts.
The views & opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of QS-ERA India Private Limited and/or its employees, partners, shareholders, or other stakeholders.