RESOURCE
7 August 2020

This is the website of Swaraj University, an alternative education campus, based in proximity of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Swaraj University runs two-year long learning programmes for youth that are focused on self-designed learning and on green entrepreneurship, including exploration of basic business skills within the context of ecological sustainability and social justice.

Focusing on self-directed learning processes, Swaraj University invites learners to “identify their hearts’ visions and engages them in developing the skills, relationships and practices they need to manifest those visions.” Learners can build their own educational pathways, exploring very diverse fields, such as: food and farming, spirituality, facilitation, media, social justice, entrepreneurship, healing and self-care, alternative education, design and architecture, art and history, event organisation, science, renewable energy and environment. As part of the “Healing ourselves from diploma disease” campaign, Swaraj University runs non-accredited, non-certified educational programmes for young people (over 16). The University also accepts khojis (seekers/learners) that have no prior formal education.

The educational programme of Swaraj University offers an example of alternative education that is grounded on a de-colonial critique of universalist assumptions of the value of Western education/schooling. Emphasizing the value of local-based knowledge, especially in relation to questions related to ecological and social justice concerns, the work of Swaraj University can offer valuable insight into how education can be imagined and put to practice differently. Its emphasis on learner-centred education and development of (social) entrepreneurship skills that could be seen as resonating with the more recent mainstream trends in formal (higher) education across the world that the project aims to critique, also provide for a useful case-study of the many challenges and paradoxes inherent in developing educational alternatives.

 

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