UWC Mahindra College
Location: Paud, Pune, India; student profile: 200 students aged 16–19; founded: 1997
UWC Mahindra College opened in September 1997 thanks to the generous financial support of the Indian business house of Mahindra and Mahindra. The college occupies 175 acres of land on the shoulder of a hill overlooking the Mulla river valley in the Western Ghats some 40 kilometers to the west of the city of Pune.
Campus and facilitites
The prize winning campus buildings combine modern architecture with local materials and give the feeling of life in a small hill village. The academic areas of the campus centre on a quadrangle surrounded by classrooms, each with its own courtyard. The hall, library, art centre, science laboratories, catering and administrative centres radiate from the academic quadrangle.
The college has dedicated much of its land to the nation as a biodiversity reserve that was opened by the Prime Minister of India in February 2008. A geodesic dome acts as the centre for the reserve and hosts visitors from universities, schools and environmental groups studying the return of overgrazed land to its natural condition.
Activities and community service
Interaction with the communities in the neighbouring villages is a key part of the college community service programme. Foremost in this programme is Akshara, the Access to Opportunities project. Over 100 students from the local high school in grades 8 to 10 are provided with a supplementary education programme using college teachers and facilities. The project works in full cooperation with the faculty of the High School and has provided young people from the nearby villages with the opportunity to move on to universities in US and India and to see many youngsters take up vocational training that formerly was impossible.
The college makes full use of its location in India through providing all non-native speakers with an introductory course in Hindi, and weekly college-wide presentations on modern India to prepare students for project weeks in the country.
“Mahindra really opened my eyes. I became more self reliant, confident and incredibly inspired by the people around me”
Siri Aase, (UWC Mahindra College 98-00)
, now studying at Princeton University.
UWC Mahindra College contact details