VSM’s journey that started with one student has increased manyfold over the years. With clear focus on our Vision, 425 students are pursuing their academic dreams with strong support from 14 Career Teams at VSM. These students are from all 36 districts of Maharashtra, bringing in the diversity of their backgrounds, challenges and career streams.
VSM admission process has enabled us to reach to needy but deserving candidates across the state with deep penetration into rural Maharashtra. With each passing year and increasing no. of students approaching us, we are committed to make this process more robust and sustainable
Applications Trend for Last 3 Years
The admission process is designed with an objective to identify students who have right aptitude and attitude/passion for knowledge/higher education but are underprivileged to complete their education. To ensure appropriate framework for judicious selection of deserving and needy students, the admission process has also been scaled up over years to provide better structure and to enable documentation for fairness. The process is also backed up by Admission policy which was rolled out in year 2017.
Admission process is carried out with several steps that keep up the fairness and alignment with our objective for selection. The process kick starts in the month of June and goes on till November across different streams.
Candid conversation with candidates:
Admission process involves candid conversations with the student by referring person, Branch Coordinators, Admission Committee and Career Guidance team to help them understand VSM Vision and the rules for selection are explained in detail before the process starts. This helps the students, who are only looking for scholarships and are not fulfilling the criteria, to opt out from the process – leaving us with genuinely deserving students.
Academic assessment by Career teams focus on understanding the student, his/her academic interest, awareness about profession, goals in life, employment opportunity for this course to make him / her academically independent after the course, exploring earn and learn opportunities / internships etc. Pre-admission Aptitude tests, Psychological testing have been introduced (wherever needed) to ensure appropriate courses are selected by students as per their aptitude.
Final interview with the Admission Team brings about conversations with the students to understand in depth about the societal, economic situation of the family, family’s awareness and inclination to support student’s further academic journey, academic progress of the student, thought process of the student while selecting a particular course, their aspirations and awareness about reality and responsibilities, their rigor to work towards their dreams, personality traits, social awareness etc. All these pointers help to understand the student beyond mere academics and enables us to take informed decision. Every student is expected to write transcripts of their interviews which are later shared with their mentors to enable them to know and guide the student better. Candidates are also encouraged to share which questions were liked by them during the interview, quality of interview (feedback and reasons), their experience about Group and personal interviews which pave way for betterment of the process and builds confidence in students to share their views.
Additional selection rationale:
Number of students selected each year is usually guided by the no. of students passing out in that specific year. Incremental 10% students are enrolled every year from all sections of society without any bias towards gender, cast, religion etc. and keeping sharp focus on deserving candidates who have profound interest in studying further. The selection strategy also focusses on societal necessities while enrolling students for specific streams. For example, in last few years, increased number of Medico, Nursing, Paramedical and Medical technician students are selected keeping in alignment with the Public Health Policy of Govt. of India to strengthen this sector in next 10 years. In last couple of years, many geographical areas had to face calamities such as cyclones, floods or were adversely impacted with the pandemic which devastated families crushing the dreams of young citizens. VSM took the responsibility to support such areas and initiated a campaign to enroll deserving students from these affected areas. This year we are growing by 20% and will be able to extend support to more students from these areas.
‘Virtual’ home visits:
With the pandemic in last two years, the admission process is conducted virtually which has given the flexibility to meet the candidates at their convenient time. Virtual interviews have also enabled to have house visits during the interview helping VSM to connect with the parents, witness the genuine condition at student’s home and also identify areas that the student may need support after enrollment.
Post Selection Orientation:
After the student is selected, next important step is to identify a suitable Mentor and To map the student to this mentor. Interview transcripts enable the mentors to identify right development needs and also help to create a connect with the student. This connect creates a strong foundation for a Mentor – Student relationship. Interview results are declared on a virtual meet (batchwise) where students and mentors are present. This encompasses an Orientation for newly enrolled student and assigned mentor. In this orientation, students are given information about VSM, its culture and philosophy. This often answers questions that students are having about source of funds that enable their education, their role in VSM and expectations from them. It also helps them to understand important rules and processes.