Dear Alumni and Friends of Bhaktivedanta College,
Please accept my warm greetings and respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I am delighted to wish you a wonderful Christmas season and a happy New Year. I pray that Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha bless you and your friends and families with happiness, good fortune, and spiritual fulfillment. I am pleased to have this opportunity to update you on the developments at Bhaktivedanta College.
Besides the two BA degrees in Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) and Educational Studies, Theology, and Religion (ETR), which the College is offering on campus, in 2013-14 we began making available online our TRS degree, which increased the number of degree students. The University of Chester this year conducted a Partnership Panel Review at Bhaktivedanta College, which the University does with all its partner educational institutions every three years.
We are pleased that Chester University gave us very positive feedback about Bhaktivedanta College’s academic quality. The Panel representatives were particularly impressed by the thoughtfulness and maturity of our students. Another highlight of this year is that the Bhakti-shastri program is now officially accredited as part of both degree programs. During the Partnership Panel meetings we started to explore the possibility of offering a BA degree in Vaishnava Arts. More research in this regard is in progress, and the prospects look promising.
Our partnership with the Avanti Trust, in terms of finding placement for our college graduates, is moving ahead. The Avanti Trust needs qualified teachers for its growing number of schools. And our graduates have the possibility of working as schoolteachers after completing a Schools Direct training program at one of the Avanti Schools or after completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). It is also promising that some graduates are finding that our TRS and ETR degrees are useful in entering postgraduate studies in disciplines and professions such as Business, Law, and Education. Moreover, some of our alumni and students are actively taking leadership and other responsible positions in ISKCON projects, which directly meets the need for successors to the growing number of elderly ISKCON leaders who gradually retire. We are particularly focused on equipping and empowering the younger generations to preserve the Caitanya Vaishnava tradition and to contribute to society.
Bhaktivedanta College continues to organize academic conferences to enrich the educational experience and expertise of both students and teachers. In 2013 the College hosted the second International Educational Conference and the fourth ISKCON Studies Institute bi-annual conference. Leading scholars of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, many of whom teach at Bhaktivedanta College, organized and took part in these events.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your ongoing support and good wishes. Bhaktivedanta College is successful owing to the combined efforts of many persons. Your involvement in whatever capacity means a lot to us.
With affectionate regards, gratitude, and best wishes,
Bhaktivedanta College Principal