Friday, August 29, 2014

Is Sharda University Only For Those Who Can Afford It?

Sharda claims that “The world is here“, but is the reason for it the near 100% cut-offs in conventional universities like DU? And, of course, the most important question - even if the world is really here, should you be here? - except as a last resort?

Greater Noida based Sharda University is one of the larger private universities in the country, and one of the largest in Uttar Pradesh. Due to the limited number of seats at public universities and their affiliated colleges, and the resultant high cut-off marks, the burgeoning student population is always on the lookout for self-financing institutions like Sharda. 

Founded by edupreneur Pradeep Kumar Gupta, Sharda University belongs to the large Sharda Group of Institutions (SGI) which has a claim to be the largest educational group in UP. Other SGI constituents include Hindustan College of Science and Technology and the Hindustan Institute of Management and Computer Studies, both based in Mathura; and Anand Engineering College, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Management, Anand College of Education, and Anand College of Pharmacy, all based in Agra. 

Spread across the three cities of Greater Noida, Mathura, & Agra, SGI spans 167 acres of land and 3.5 million sq ft of built-up space. Together, these campuses teach over 25,000 students at a time, and has a faculty strength of more than 1250. Operational since 1996, SGI has so far produced 23,500 alumni, with many of them placed directly from the campuses. 

Sharda University stands as the pinnacle of achievement for the Group, with its world-class infrastructure, compared with the rest of the Group colleges. But such posh nature comes at a price - SU is one of the more expensive places to study in NCR. 

For his part, founder Pradeep Kumar Gupta, who is also the Chancellor of SU and Chairman of SGI, argues that youngsters and their families need to invest in quality education. And quality education is not possible without associated high costs. SU provides quality by way of infrastructure like modern classrooms, labs, & libraries, but the same can’t be said of its faculty. Though the faculty has some eminent teachers from IIT/NIT backgrounds, and though SU claims to pay well, faculty quality across all departments and teachers is not something Sharda is famous for. 

SU has also been criticised in social media by students for being too rigid in its non-academic rules and regulations, like in its student vehicle parking rules. Other often cited complaints include high fines for various issues. 

Admissions remain open for some non-MBA postgraduate programs. 

Graduating or post graduating from an institution like Sharda University is likely to be a mixed bag, as though it can deliver a reasonable job for a hardworking student, academic respectability can be an issue when going in for further studies, especially in premier public institutes in India and abroad. It is well-known that Sharda University is a self-financing entity and that it has relatively low entry-barriers compared with public institutions. 

But exceptional students can pass this hurdle too, and go on for higher studies at reputed universities worldwide.

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