Ashoka University today announced that admissions to the twelfth cohort of its flagship programme, the Young India Fellowship (YIF) are open from October 1, 2021. YIF is a residential one-year multidisciplinary postgraduate diploma in liberal studies that equips young people with diverse perspectives and competencies for the 21st century.
The programme began in 2011 and is divided into eight terms of roughly six weeks each. Fellows study about 20 courses across distinct areas of study, although many are interdisciplinary in nature. Course offerings include leadership, group dynamics, communication, public policy, artificial intelligence, art appreciation, gender and media studies, business, international relations literature and political science. Other programme components include the Critical Writing Programme and an Experiential Learning Module, which are supplemented by a range of guest lectures, workshops and peer learning sessions spread over the year. This allows students the flexibility to craft their own Fellowship experience and align it with their aspirations.
Candidates who have a recognized undergraduate degree in any discipline (can be final-year student at the time of application), and are no more than 28 years of age on 1st August 2022 are eligible to apply. Working professionals, entrepreneurs, postgraduates and those taking a gap year, are all encouraged to apply.
Each year, around 200 young individuals from India and abroad undergo a transformational journey at the YIF. The ongoing 11th cohort comprises Fellows from 28 states and UTs in India, and represents more than 125 undergraduate institutions. 65% of the cohort identifies as female and the average age is around 23 years.
Speaking about the 12th cohort, Aniha Brar, Dean, The Young India Fellowship, said, “The YIF came into the higher education landscape a decade ago as an unprecedented offering. The programme was built around an exceptional cohort, great faculty, and an emphasis on writing, critical thinking and real-world projects. The strength of the YIF lies in not resting on its legacy, but always reinventing itself to remain an outstanding offering at Ashoka University.”
According to Karan Bhola, Director, YIF Outreach and Admissions, “We look forward to building a diverse and outstanding 12th cohort. Our holistic admissions philosophy and reflective application process endeavours to help candidates think deeply about their own journeys and bring out their most authentic selves at various stages of selection. Having been a Fellow myself, I am acutely aware of how transformational this multidimensional programme can be for young people.”
All interested individuals are required to complete an online application (free of cost). Applications are holistically evaluated and shortlisted for an online writing test and a personal interview. The entire admission process will be conducted online to ensure social distancing and safety in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, while also encouraging greater accessibility and convenience to all candidates. The first round of applications will remain open till December 15, 2021.
There is a need-based financial assistance for admitted candidates at Ashoka University. Need-based financial aid is offered in the form of fee waivers of up to 100% of the entire fee including residence and meals. This is to ensure that education is accessible to individuals from all walks of life. 52% of the YIF Class of 2022 is on financial aid.
Over the years, YIF Fellows have created an impact across diverse spheres. While some are running India’s most successful entrepreneurial ventures, there are others who have secured some of the most coveted higher education scholarships in the world. Some of the alumni work at organizations across for profit and non-profit sectors. These include United Nations, World Bank, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Co., Bain and Co., Dalberg, Genpact, Deloitte, Teach for India, Central Square Foundation and so on. Ashoka University has also collaborated with international universities such as University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, King’s College London, Sciences Po, HEC Paris, Trinity College Dublin, University of California Berkeley, Centre for South Asia at Stanford University, Wellesley College, Duke University, and Yale University to enable faculty, curriculum and student exchange.