Report by India Education bureau, Bangalore: The Azim Premji University held its fourth convocation ceremony on 17 August, 2016 at Bangalore. The Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Vala and Mr. Azim Premji, Chancellor of the University conferred degrees on the graduating students.
Established in 2010, the Azim Premji University is sponsored by the Azim Premji Foundation. The University is a philanthropic, not- for profit institution with a clear social purpose, of contributing towards a just, humane, equitable and sustainable society.
The University is focused on offering programs and conducting research in Education and related areas of Human Development. The University currently offers four Masters Programmes: Masters in Education, Masters in Development, Masters in Public Policy & Governance and the Masters in Law & Development (LLM). In 2015, the University commenced its Undergraduate programme (B.A/B.Sc.). These programmes offer students a variety of specializations and are guided by the core social purpose of the University and their need and relevance in higher education.
Nearly all the students from the fourth batch, who were conferred with the degrees today, are working in the social sector across the country, having completed the program in May 2016. The University has so far enrolled 1580 students in six batches and built a dedicated team of 220 faculty and staff engaged in teaching, research, continuing education and field practice. The University is deeply committed to diversity and to offering equal opportunity to students from disadvantaged backgrounds: around 50% of students at the university come from rural areas and small towns of India and over 50% of the students are women. Around 50% of the students are also offered financial support.
Azim Premji Foundation works very closely with the Government school systems of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand and the work spans all dimensions relevant for improvement in quality and equity in the government schooling systems. The University thus engages significantly with capacity development of professionals working in the education department and in departments such as health and rural development of the Government. In the past year alone, more 75 workshops have been done, reaching over 1900 participants. These programmes are typically 1-2 weeks and cover a very wide range of areas within the education domain, livelihoods, public policy etc.