Academic life here at Maynooth compared to at home

The concept of academic studies is very different from the concepts that are followed back in my country. The Indian way of teaching is to a reasonable extent, theoretical, without any practical applications being taught while the module is taught at universities.

When I started my degree here at Maynooth, I was reasonably happy to find the extent to which the lecturers were approachable, and how everyone, irrespective of their age, preferred to be addressed by their first names. This approach provides for a very flexible relationship between teachers and students which helps students make better academic progression as they can be relaxed whilst concentrating upon their education. Such an approach is not present in my home country, where students and teachers share extremely formal and rather strict relations between each other. It creates a level of stress among the students, which hinders their academic progression.

Here at Maynooth University, I am encouraged to approach any member of the faculty over a very short period of time. In particular the manner in which grades are sent out to students is admirable. It’s completely done privately without the grades being published. Not everyone may have performed to very high expectations and every student should have the right to maintain privacy over their grades. However in my home country such practices are not followed and grades are published by universities, which in reality is a source of embarrassment for many students, which in my opinion should not be allowed.

The system of assignments both individually and in groups, allows students to explore their true potential by conducting adequate research and provides them time for submitting the assignment. This system is not followed by universities in India, where the sole source of gauging the academic progression of a student is by way of written examinations. Students often fail to perform to their fullest potential in written examinations owing to the excessive amount of pressure that they have to subject upon themselves in order to remember everything they studied.

In particular I admire the liberty which is given to the students to choose which module they would like to study, instead of forcing students to study a set range of modules, which they have to study even if they don’t like such modules. Alongside daily lectures, there are specialized modules such as advocacy for law students, as an example, which allows students to pursue a placement with an organization they may be placed into by the respective department. It provides students with an opportunity to explore the practical aspects of the course they are pursuing instead of confining themselves solely to academics.

I would advise anyone who has secured an offer on any course at Maynooth, to come here and witness all that this amazing institution has to offer. It certainly has been a wonderful experience for me.          

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