UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New initiatives for 2011

Foundations for the new faculty wada
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."  

- St Francis of Assisi 

After nearly two years as Head of College, Dr Long sees a clear strategy for long term planning emerging which combines a distinct educational and pastoral philosophy with exciting developments to the physical infrastructure.  The repair and renovation of many of the college facilities presently include:
  • a new sewage treatment plant
  • renovation of the electrical supply
  • a new generator which will reduce diesel consumption by at least 40%
  • repair of all leaking roofs 
The new generator supplied by Mahindra

The aim is to achieve a secure and stable physical infrastructure together with a planned and rolling annual maintenance program. The initiatives to be taken on in 2011 are divided up into three main categories.

Tank for new sewage treatment plant
Academic improvement:  The highest standards in education continue to be actively pursued and there are continual efforts in place to improve the outcomes of student learning. Careful self-evaluation and discussion characterizes our approach to maintaining a commitment to excellence and allowing our students to achieve their potential in this remarkable environment.

Pastoral care: A high quality, coherent, pro-active and holistic approach to pastoral care is at the heart of an effective school. The need to develop the best possible approaches to pastoral care has been placed high on the priority list. This is not just about residential life, discipline or rules – it has implications for every dimension of school life, the quality of what we do and our interactions with one another. 
New buildings: New guest house accommodation and a new science laboratory are urgently needed to cater to the existing need for more space. Four more guest houses will give us greater flexibility to accommodate visitors in term time and will also help support a stronger scholarship-based approach to student admissions.

Site for new guest houses

Work has already begun on 2 separate, 2-storey buildings to provide faculty accommodation in a new faculty wada on the land adjacent to the existing basketball court. This will provide faculty apartments ranging in size from flexible 1bedroom to 3 bedroom units. These will be built using designs and materials which avoid the leakage and noise issues of current housing and constructed in keeping with our commitments to biodiversity and environmental responsibility.

Progress on new faculty block as of end of January 2011

Over the next 2 years we will begin a complete overhaul of existing student accommodation and reduce over-crowding by modifying vacated faculty houses to accommodate students. The intention is to give us a comfortable student capacity of an additional 10-15% by 2013.  A Wada Parent and an assistant faculty member will remain in each existing Wada.  However, faculty living in the new accommodation will maintain close and active contact with all aspects of residential life.

Tree house overlooking the water tank
Over the winter break the gardeners built 3 tree houses, on their own initiative, to enable to students to have quiet and interesting study / chill out spaces. Thanks to all of them for undertaking these very welcome additions to the campus grounds.
the Pagoda
Completed just before the end of last semester, the Pagoda is a beautiful new structure on the edge of the meditation walk, with arguably the best view on the whole campus, and serves as an outside study space for selected classes as well as a wonderful meditation space for those who want some quiet moments for reflection and contemplation.

From the fine base established in the College’s first 10 years we are now launching out into new and exciting frontiers of possibility and opportunity!

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