Ashoka University, India’s first liberal arts university, is all set to start its undergraduate courses from August 1 this year. Ashoka is an independent non-profit private and fully residential campus university established under the Haryana Private Universities Act.
Ashoka has partnered with University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Carleton College and Sciences Po, and is in talks with other top global colleges. It has recruited teaching talent from top US and British universities such as Cornell University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of technology, to name a few, besides hiring Indian talent.
The university has been founded by Vineet Gupta, MD, Jamboree Education, and Rakesh Jaggi, Vice-President, Sustaining at Schlumberger and has been funded by Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and Vice-Chairman, InfoEdge; Puneet Dalmia, MD, Dalmia Cements; Jerry Rao, Chairman and Founder, Mphasis; Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO of Makemytrip.com.
Ashoka offers a four-year undergraduate programme where students can chose an area of specialisation from a list of pure majors (such as economics, history, mathematics) and a set of inter-disciplinary majors (like politics and society, economics and finance).
The course also offers a broad set of disciplines through 12 foundation courses which include data analysis, great books, critical thinking, and principles of sciences, among others.
The first under-graduate batch is expected to start with 350 students churned from 1,500 applicants, while the full capacity of the University is 4,000 students. The total cost of the four-year UG course will be around Rs 20 lakh (Rs 5 lakh per year) including the fee and accommodation. It will provide scholarships ranging from 25 per cent to 100 per cent to over 200 students.
The university will further expand to two more phases over the next seven-eight years. There will be 36 course credits in areas such as social economics, humanities, and social sciences, natural and applied sciences that include 12 major credits and 12 foundation courses over eight semesters.