Episode 3: Far from preposterous - imagining a creative community campus in Kerala
Episode 3, Feb 02, 08:32 AM
The latest episode of My Imaginary University sees Ben Tucker, Partner at Minerva, creating an exciting new university, some distance from the UK, in Kerala, India. Originally titled Preposterous University things quickly got a little more serious and Kerala Leadership University was founded with a very broad based curriculum and a strong widening participation ethos as wells as big fund-raising ambitions.
It's a functional rather than a glitzy campus - no lazy rivers here - and there is an ongoing debate about students wearing uniform. It's also a pretty egalitarian place with a triumvirate (or possibly quadrumvirate) in charge instead of a heroic vice-chancellor and the university has an intentionally unruly senate. There is little regard here for league tables and no distinction between academic and professional services staff.
The student experience is a positive and community-focused one and the university is ready for both a rolling programme of student-determined bans and expected demands for free condoms. The Keralan environment is believed to be an open and progressive one although the support of both local politicians and donors might be tested by the idea for an annual Karl Marx day. Ben suggests a couple of alternatives for university mascots and offers some uplifting options for the big university anthem to be played at graduation.
KLU certainly represents a novel approach to higher education and I'm sure you will enjoy hearing about Ben's imaginary university.