These are my opinions of Manipal University and Manipal after spending the past 5 years + here.
Educational and Student facilities
* Fantastic to put it mildly
o From the clinical and practical labs, the class rooms, actual clinics, the Anatomy museum and the central library. There is no question that with regards to educational facilities Manipal ranks among one of the best in the country and possibly have a say worldwide. Considering that it’s regarded as the top dental college in country for another year in row should say volumes.
o The student residences are fabulous. With no issues of electricity shortages, maintenance work schedules on time. The relative cleanliness is also not any issue anywhere. Workers are provided for the same.
o Opportunities for students: Be it cultural, sports or educational programs outside the college are immense. It’s one of the best parts of being in Manipal. You’ll have cultural activities between your own batches, to being inter Manipal to being up against Manipal University the behemoth: every single university from Sikkim to Dubai to Mangalore in UTSAV. The encouragement from staff for all the events is unparalleled.
o With respect to restaurants and nightlife this is comparable to any modern university town anywhere.
o Gym: The MARENA Sports Complex is one of the best gyms around for miles by far. Has almost everything you could wish for in a sports complex.
o This is a town built solely around students. This can be in regards to shops and availability of “imported” items at most shops. Though we have to be wary of products which are being sold even months after their expiry date.
o Considering the entire town is within a 2 – 3 km x 3 km, total, the accessibility to everything is very easy.
o Having a town like Udupi close by with much larger stock of shops like Nilgiri’s and Big Bazaar do make life a lot easier for students. Mangalore, the only major town in close proximity (60 km away) takes about 1.5 hours to reach by bus.
* From the student residents to the phenomenal number of high rise buildings that have come up in the last 3 years or so. There is no shortage of available apartments for student. Manipal has a sky line at this point, something I don’t think Udupi or Mangalore can boast of.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD:
In Manipal University:
1. Treating University going students like pre-teens. Controlling every aspect of their life.
a. Dress Codes (justifiable)
b. Imposing ridiculous curfews of 1145 PM as the last time to get back in the residences.
a. Again there seems to be more rules here then anything else. For every small thing there are at least 10 rules that are put up for all the INMATES.
b. It seems that the administration has it in their heads that unless rules are made for everything, nothing will be followed.
c. Sad part is besides making life difficult for everyone with so many rules, they don’t do anything much.
d. You can’t enter the hostel after 12? Can’t have a night out with your girlfriend / boyfriend in your hostel as the residences are not CO-ED and opposite sex aren’t allowed in it? Get a hotel room. Rs 400 or so a night in a decent enough one. 700 for an AC room. Or just live outside. What ever you do, please for the love of anything do not hide your partner in a suitcase to try to bring them inside. Yes this is a true story.
3. Limiting student independence.
Actually not allowing students to be independent. They leave the comfort of their homes to begin life with some newfound freedom, yet they are caged once again. The actual word for student residents in Manipal is “INMATES”, the only time I’ve seen that word used is for criminals in jail. Not a good comparison is it.
Then again with the residences locked from inside and out after 12 they are in a jail. The security guards usually sleep on their duty outside. Even if there is a medical emergency the guards don’t have the common sense to let the student get medical attention. I’ve gone through this when a buddy of mine had an asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital at 2AM. Just because we have a medical hospital close by doesn’t imply that they have anyone with basic medical qualifications on campus all time. Sad.
Responsibility isn’t just attained by getting grades in tests and coming for 75% attendance, a lot more is needed.
4. Constant Fear of Administration by students.
I’ve seen this all the time. Some administrators have the wrong idea that fear is the same as respect. There is a big difference. Maybe someone should teach it to them a little. A few classes on ethics might be helpful. Students are criticized and censored more then they should be. This isn’t advancing them as good human beings or furthering their intelligence in any way.
It’s not about regurgitation it should be about understanding the fundamentals. Barring some teachers who inspire you to go above and beyond, quite a few just want you to regurgitate everything. One-page definitions for example. Again it curtails students to think and actually learn.
Why can’t undergrads lend books? We have to get a no dues from the lib before our final exams for what? We can’t even get books. Just another waste of time. But shouldn’t this practice be in place? A simple fine will keep whoever does not bring the book back on time in check. I recall a place where they rented class videos and charged $3 / hour for every hour late.
7. Constant harassing by security guards
a. Each guard is given a whistle to blow anytime they feel
i. A male student is within 100 mt of the girls hostel. He could be there to pick up someone / drop off someone, just talking. They will whistle and whistle and whistle some more.
ii. They need to call you
iii. They feel like you are bending the rules
iv. The just feel like harassing you
v. They feel like making new rules or reinforcing ones that have no meaning what so ever like for example: “Don’t take pictures of the hospital / clinics / parking lot” when you are OUTSIDE.
b. Harass students who come to the MARENA whenever as it makes them feel like they are in the special forces
c. Harass students whenever and wherever they can.
Just a note on this. Guards are to blame yes, but the bigger blame here lies in the administration that aren’t teaching the guards properly with respect to ethics and just normal humanity. They are taught to treat students as INMATES and as such they do the same. It’s the top dogs that need some major revision.
a. Constant harassing of students by the guards.
b. You’ll waste more time getting in and out of the gym than actually working out.
c. Complete and utter waste of space.
d. Inadequate facilities’ for the one thing that’s most needed in a gym: Gym Equipment
IN MANIPAL as a TOWN
9. Blatant Robberies of the students everyday by:
a. Shop owners ALL especially the food industry.
b. Public Transportation via Auto Drivers
With regards to being an educational town, Manipal succeeds tremendously. It’s a good place to learn and become something better. But because of age-old mentalities of some people it’s preventing it from being great.
Keep this in mind. When you arrive in Manipal, you can become what ever you wish. They will give you almost unlimited opportunities if you show that you deserve them. Getting the right company is imperative in Manipal. I’ve know enough that failed blaming on “bad” company. I don’t buy that, but it’s something that is to each his own. Keep the negatives in mind yes. They seem like a lot, it’s because I’ve pinpointed things that you will have to watch out for. The positives far out weight the negatives.
Just an FYI!