GUWAHATI, (C.M. Paul) – The Assam Don Bosco University based in Guwahati into its fifth year offers an ambitious outreach programme for students in northeast India. The offer also marks the beginning of a three-year celebration of the upcoming birth bi-centenary of its patron Don Bosco (1815-1888). This significant educational scheme is christened the DBU Global North East Outreach Program.
“The initiative aims at awarding a 100% fee waiver scholarship to students from North East India, with a mission to cover over 5,000 students in the next 3 years,” says the founder Vice-Chancellor Dr. Stephen Mavely announcing the scheme. One thousand scholarships are designated for the current year,” says the founder Vice-Chancellor Dr. Stephen Mavely announcing the scheme.
“These students can enrol for an Online Graduate Degree Program without incurring any expense whatsoever, with the University funding their entire program, including the cost of course books,” explains Dr Mavely.
The Outreach program plan has identified and started the setting up of seven student support Centres, one each in each of the seven states (Assam, Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura), at various Don Bosco Institutions. These centres will provide computer centre facilities, library and online classroom access to students enrolled via the Outreach Program, as well as act as Examination Centres for these students.
Currently the university offers two undergraduate programmes under this initiative: Bachelors in Business Administration – a three-year degree program that provides a fundamental education in business and management principles. With a solid academic foundation and practical management training it provides students with tools to successfully navigate a large or small organization or a career in the public sector.
Bachelors in Computer Application – equips students to cope with the changing aspects of human life; trade, commerce, communication, manufacturing, service, entertainment, education and global security.
Looking for Collaborators and Sponsors
The Outreach Project Coordinator and Controller of Examinations of DB University, Fr V.A. Cyriac informs that “impressed by the initiative shown by the University, several Corporates have already expressed interest in participating in the project under their own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments, helping to increase the size of the scholarship grant to cover more students. Institutions already working with the University in other areas have also come forth and expressed keenness to join in on this project.”
He hopes, “with increased individual and institutional participation, thousands of students across the North East are projected to benefit from these scholarships in the coming years.”
Corporate funds could either be used to sponsor the setup costs of a Centre (at Rs.5,00,000/= per Centre), or to fund the courseware costs of a student (at Rs. 3,125/ (USD 56) = per student for a 3 Year Degree Program). For instance a Rs. 25,00,000 (25 lakhs) donation will fund either 5 Centres, or the courseware given out to 800 students.
Permanent Campus Plans
With the help of past pupils, benefactors, its own institutions in India and abroad, Foundations and agencies, the University has acquired 500 acres of land on the outskirts of Guwahati to build its permanent campus. The main campus at Tapesia Gardens (16 kms off state capital Dispur) when completed in five year’s time will house some 6,000 staff and students and research scholars.
The Assam Don Bosco University, set up by the Don Bosco Society, was established as the first State University of Assam in the private sector by the Assam Don Bosco University Act, on 29th March 2008.