FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What do you learn at Swaraj University?


The program of study at Swaraj University is based on the principles of self-designed learning, which means that learners will direct their learning, driven by their passions, in a nurturing and conducive environment.
In this program, we would not only re-define the processes of learning but also the content and the outcome of the learning. The focus of this program is to prepare youth to start their own ‘green’ ventures in their communities rather than merely getting ‘a job’. Here learners will get the opportunity to get exposed to and then gain mastery in livelihood streams of action-knowledge that are based on principles of ecological sustainability, localization, social justice and social innovation. Some of the ‘green enterprise’ areas that learners would delve deeply into include, but are not limited to :
1. Organic farming and organic stores 2. Zero waste crafts 3. Community media and publishing 4. Self-healing techniques and products 5. Cooking with indigenous local grains and health foods 6. Eco-building, architecture and alternative energy 7. Natural fabrics and fashions 8. Beyond schooling and learning for the 21st century In addition to this, learners will have the choice to participate in workshops featuring basic entrepreneurial skills and other skills such as: communication, facilitation and group dialogue, computers, finance, marketing, cooking, sewing, farming, yoga, film-making, web design and blogging, desktop publishing, writing of proposals and business plans, documentation, working English, etc.




How will the learner know what to do with their time?


Being in the system, most of us start becoming so dependent on being fed structured knowledge and are accustomed to being told what to do with our time that we have difficulty remembering what it is we really want to do. So, when learners have unstructured time at their disposal it initially becomes difficult to deal with. However, it provides an ideal space for reflection, knowing oneself and one’s passions, understanding the world around and to unlearn their dependence on external sources of knowledge. It is through this process that the learner engages in his self-directed learning path and becomes cognizant of his responsibility for his own actions. After that, there is never any question of what to do with his time.
The beauty of being a learner at Swaraj University is that you are not alone in this unlearning process; you have the opportunity to co-create your self-directed learning path with your fellow learners who too are walking the same path.




If there are no exams, grades or report cards then how will the learner know how well they have learnt certain skills? And how can they show others what they have learnt?


When we pursue activities we are truly interested in, we are the best judges of our accomplishments, because we set the goals, we know what we hope to achieve, and what results we consider acceptable. When we are becoming proficient in some area, we can always turn to the examples of those already accomplished in our chosen pursuit to determine what an acceptable level of performance is. In this light we learn to self–evaluate and do honest reflection.
At Swaraj University, learners get the opportunity to build a personal feedback council and have supportive peer cohorts who are available to help the learner reflect on and improve his work in the pursuit of excellence.
Learners own confidence in themselves and their depth of knowledge in a particular subject driven by their passions is what will clearly show to others what they have learnt. In addition to that, we encourage that each learner build his own portfolio that will contain self-reflections, recommendations, published work, photographs, etc. Through this portfolio learners can show others what they have learnt.




Who are going to be the mentors and how good are they with their subjects?


At Swaraj University intimate one-on-one relationships with ustaads (mentors) is at the heart of the program. Each and every ustaad linked to our program has one thing in common – an infectious passion for his work. Ustaads are cutting edge leaders in their respective fields, who are able to engage with youth in a true spirit of co-learning and friendship.




Who can join the program?


If you are a passionate and driven person (16 years or older)

  1. interested in creating your own learning paths
  2. open to new ways of thinking
  3. have ideas and dreams of building healthy and resilient communities
  4. concerned about and willing to work on the problems faced by the larger world
Then, this program is for you. To be part of this program no formal educational qualifications are required. School walkouts are welcome.




When does the program start?


Please write to us at swarajuni@gmail.com to find about the program start date. or you can fill the enquiry form from here.




How do I enroll in Swaraj University?


Our admission process usually takes place during the months of May to July. During that time we set up a form online which you are expected to fill out and send it across to us. Upon receipt of this form we have a brief talk with you to understand your interest and passions and how it matches with the vision of this program. After that you will be invited to come for a 3 day orientation meet sometime during those months. If everything goes well then you are invited to attend a 5 day long selection round where you get a proper understanding of the idea behind the program and together we can decide if the program can work for you. Then the adventure begins!




What kind of work opportunities would be possible on completion of such a course?


The focus of this program is mainly to prepare youth to start their own ‘green’ ventures rather than merely getting ‘a job’. After the completion of this program individuals will have the vision and practical skills to: 1. Start a local community-based enterprise of their dream and raise resources for it as well 2. Work for (and shake up) leading social organizations in India and abroad 3. Get fellowships for launching social innovation ideas 4. Be an active part of larger social movements




After completing my study at Swaraj University will I get admission in other colleges for further studies?


We have found that there are several reputable online, open and foreign universities that recognize portfolio work. With a strong portfolio and a sound knowledge in your area of work it is now possible to get admission in such colleges.




Will I get a recognized degree or diploma after this course?


No. We will not issue any degree or diploma for this course. You will receive a Letter of Completion at the end of your learning program. During this program you will also develop your portfolio which will showcase your depth of knowledge in your work area which will be supported by Letters of Recognition from your mentors and organizations where you have done your internships. It is our belief that Letters of Recognition carry more weight than a degree / diploma. In addition, Swaraj University will introduce you to an impressive list of organizations who are willing to accept individuals in their organizations based on their portfolio work. We are currently building a database of organisations and universities that accept people not based on their degrees but rather on their experience and portfolios. We are calling it 'Healing Ourselves from the Diploma Disease'.




What are the expected expenses for a learner at Swaraj University?


Today we see commoditization of everything around us, including education. This is wiping out ideas and practices of deep learning, self-organizing learning communities and vibrant learning ecosystems. Hence, at Swaraj University we believe that learning should be free. This will not only help revive other practices of learning but will also give us the opportunity to re-examine our relationship with money. Through this we can explore money in a newer and holistic manner and experiment with the spirit of gifting, sharing, trust and abundance.
However, to run this program we will incur expenses for lodging, boarding and travelling for each learner. For those whom it is possible we ask a contribution against the above mentioned expenses. And if you can, your additional contributions will help to support other peoples' participation. However, if you cannot afford this for any reason, then please let us know and we will arrange for part or full scholarship for you.




How is Swaraj university different from other colleges?


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Where will the learners stay?


A big part of our program consists of group gatherings and apprenticeships. During gatherings, which are typically 2- 4 weeks long, the whole group will come together and stay at our campus with in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The second part of the program consists of apprenticeships. Here learners choose their field of interest and are placed under ustaads for a duration of 1-2 months. During this time learners stay at their ustaad’s location, which can be anywhere in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.




How can I Contribute?


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Frequently Asked Questions Hindi PDF