The DU admissions took up most of this week. There were campus visits, college visits — all to pick up and deposit forms on behalf of my younger brother who is getting ready to start college this year. Naturally, the GMAT prep took a substantial hit — not only because of the time spent on travelling and planning and discussing, but also because I was too tired after a day of running about in the heat, and then attending office, to sit with any prep materials.
If one were to visit North Campus — one of the two campuses of DU, and clearly the most sought after location for students — one will certainly be necessitated to visit St Stephens College and Ramjas College which form two out of the three constituent colleges of DU. The difference in attitude in these two colleges, even though both lie in very close proximity to each other, are remarkable.
St Stephens College feels old-world. It had maintained its old student’s desks, black-boards, architecture, notice-boards and classrooms with veneration. The red-brick architecture, which is almost eighty years old, has been expanded only slightly over the years, and that too in sync with the present style. There’s a sense of pervading nostalgia throughout St Stephens which is oddly comfortable.
Ramjas College, on the other hand, is avant-garde. While almost as old as St Stephens, Ramjas prides itself on modernity and in-your-face high technology. Digital notice boards, Wifi campus, state-of-the-art canteen (housing an MF Hussain print at one point of time), fully air-conditioned auditorium, dedicated seminar room with Jamo-Denon audio system and LCD projectors, black-boardless class-rooms, eccentric mosaics etc. is the norm at Ramjas. There is a constant ripping out of the old and ushering in the new there.
I mention these two colleges not only because they are the best two colleges in DU, but also because they remind me of the top MBA schools across the world. Institutions always display enormous pride in their heritage, and in the number of years they’ve been standing. A few MBA schools in the USA are over a century old. The ones in Europe are relatively new. Students have to choose between the new and the old. Both have their selling points and weaknesses. And at the end of the day, it eventually comes down to individual choices. A high-tech experience, or an old world charm. Personally I’d prefer a mix of the two; but I have a fondness for old institutions. I have a fondness for heritage which shows in the facade of the school and within. My choice, if I cannot have both, would be the old-world charm. I love the smell of Ivy!