The two year programme
The world is our classroom! Swaraj University engages with learners to their ‘self-design’ their learning processes. Rather than being dependant on external sources and frameworks for one’s education, we believe in enabling the learners to take responsibility for their own education and hence design their own learning path. A learner at Swaraj is hence called ‘khoji’ or ‘one who seeks’.
In a self-design learning approach, each khoji is encouraged to…
- Explore their learning styles, questions and passions without the institutional constraints that smother interest and joy, and breed mediocrity
- Engage consciously with unlearning, jugaad (playful improvisation), deep dialogue and gift culture
- Design individualised learning webs that are based on authentic real world trans-disciplinary projects and inter-generational relationships
- Build feedback frameworks and mechanisms to reflect on their learning
- Use the close, supportive learner community as a base from which to engage with local, regional and global communities
With this as a basis, the khojis design their own learning plan. Their learning plans revolve around one core feature of this program - intimate mentorships. Swaraj U aims to revive the traditional approach to education in India, through a guru-shishya parampara. That is, learners being placed one-on-one with mentors (also called ustaads) who share both a range of practical skills as well as personal philosophies/wisdom. These mentors have been carefully selected to ensure that, in addition to being cutting edge leaders in their respective fields, they are able to engage with youth in a true spirit of co-learning and friendship.
This is complemented by...
- Khoji meets: The khojis converge every few months to cross-fertilise their learning and build perspectives on the core principles of Swaraj at our campus 30 kilometres away from Udaipur city. (To know more see Campus)
- Individualised self-study program: After getting initial exposure to several practice areas, khojis chart and pursue their own path of study based on their interests. They are guided in developing their self-study program using various books, websites, films, etc. Significant attention is given to processes of self-awareness, self-understanding, and examining their life choices.
- Skill workshops: Khojis have the choice to participate in workshops featuring basic entrepreneurial skills as well as other skills such as: communication, facilitation and group dialogue, computers, financing, marketing, cooking, sewing, farming, yoga, film-making, web design and blogging, desktop publishing, writing of proposals and business plans, documentation, working English, etc.
- Service projects: Khojis design individual and group projects in collaboration with local communities and social movements.
- Organisational internships: Khojis can do internships with leading social organisations and social movements spread all over India. This experience gives them the opportunity to know the expectations of the real work-world.
- International dialogues: They interact with and spend time with visiting students from other countries. In addition, they are able to engage in virtual interactions with partner programs from around the world.
- Learning journeys: Khoji cohorts travel together to engage with the cultural diversity of India and visit inspiring people and places such as Auroville, Ladakh, and POSCO andolan.
Each khoji builds their own portfolio over the course of 2 years, comprised of recommendations, self-reflections, published work, photographs, etc.