A pioneering institution: St Xavier’s College

There are about 50 colleges in Goa today. Of these, only a handful can be considered good colleges that impart quality education, have the right infrastructure, churn out leaders, and hence are worth joining. Given the large number of institutes to choose from, it is difficult for a student to make the right decision regarding the selection of an institute. To be able to cut through the clutter and identify these top colleges, it is necessary that one knows more about the institute and then evaluate and differentiate between the colleges so that one can arrive at a decision on which colleges to apply to.
A centre for academic excellence and achievement, St Xavier’s College in Mapusa is one of the finest institutions in the state. Established on June 20, 1963, by the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, the college is affiliated to Goa University. A forerunner in providing quality education, St Xavier’s has been recognised at the All India level and has been awarded the status of College with Potential for Excellence by University Grants Commission.
With the first accreditation in 1999 at a four star level, the college was reaccredited with grade A by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), in 2007 and again in 2014 got an A grade with CGPA 3.36 on a scale ranging from 0-4.
Besides humanities, science and commerce, the college specialises in BA in mass communication, BA in journalism, BSc in biotechnology, BCA, BBA, BBA(travel and tourism) and post graduate programmes in MCom , MA in psychology and MSc in physical chemistry. Thousands of students have passed through the portals of this institution during the last fifty two years and the list of alumni includes Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar, who later joined IIT Mumbai, Deputy CM of the state, Francis D’souza, ex union minister, Ramakant Khalap, NASA scientist, Datta Naik, deputy director, Directorate of Higher Education, Goa, Remy Dias, besides others.
One of the important things required for an institute to function satisfactorily is the availability of necessary infrastructure in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories, high-speed internet connectivity, well-stocked library, playground, conference hall and classrooms that are spacious and are furnished with audio-visual aids to name a few.
St Xavier’s constitutes of three main buildings spread over 24 acres of land and a separate building for indoor sports like football, basketball and volleyball. The college also has a boy’s hostel and accommodation for visiting faculty. There are fifteen laboratories which include the science, computer and language laboratories and the state of the art audio and video studio is well utilised by mass communication and journalism students and is definitely worth mentioning. Besides these there are NCC and NSS rooms, ladies common room, committee room, seminar room, conference room, recreation room, first aid room and a counselling room.
Internet connectivity is available in the college for students who are given passwords at the beginning of the academic year. Students also have access to the well-stocked computerised library and departmental libraries which house in total 28443 text books, 36849 reference books, 90,000 e-books and 128 journals.
The two canteens on campus are meeting places for most students and are always occupied. A mention here of the dungeon canteen as it is popularly called is a must. Situated in the main building where the offices are located, the canteen is below ground level due to the slope on which the college is built. Leisel D’Souza and Donovan Rodrigues both from Biotech stream frequent this canteen and recommend the bhaji. “It is much cheaper than the other canteen and for Rs 35 can get a coke and bhaji along with a batatawada. As a student with a limited budget this is very economical,” says Leisel. “The food at our canteen is really good and I would recommend the pulao and chicken curry to all,” says a TYBCA student about the other canteen where the fare includes more non-vegetarian items. “The food no doubt is good but the prices are not suited to our budget as we are not earning and this can be a strain,” adds a BBA student.
Thousands of students have passed through the portals of this institution during the last fifty two years and the list of alumni includes Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar, who later joined IIT Mumbai, Deputy CM of the state, Francis D’souza, ex union minister, Ramakant Khalap, NASA scientist, Datta Naik, deputy director, Directorate of Higher Education, Goa, Remy Dias, besides others.
One of the important things required for an institute to function satisfactorily is the availability of necessary infrastructure in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories, high-speed internet connectivity, well-stocked library, playground, conference hall and classrooms that are spacious and are furnished with audio-visual aids to name a few.
St Xavier’s constitutes of three main buildings spread over 24 acres of land and a separate building for indoor sports like football, basketball and volleyball. The college also has a boy’s hostel and accommodation for visiting faculty. There are fifteen laboratories which include the science, computer and language laboratories and the state of the art audio and video studio is well utilised by mass communication and journalism students and is definitely worth mentioning. Besides these there are NCC and NSS rooms, ladies common room, committee room, seminar room, conference room, recreation room, first aid room and a counselling room.
Internet connectivity is available in the college for students who are given passwords at the beginning of the academic year. Students also have access to the well-stocked computerised library and departmental libraries which house in total 28443 text books, 36849 reference books, 90,000 e-books and 128 journals.
The two canteens on campus are meeting places for most students and are always occupied. A mention here of the dungeon canteen as it is popularly called is a must. Situated in the main building where the offices are located, the canteen is below ground level due to the slope on which the college is built. Leisel D’Souza and Donovan Rodrigues both from Biotech stream frequent this canteen and recommend the bhaji. “It is much cheaper than the other canteen and for Rs 35 can get a coke and bhaji along with a batatawada. As a student with a limited budget this is very economical,” says Leisel. “The food at our canteen is really good and I would recommend the pulao and chicken curry to all,” says a TYBCA student about the other canteen where the fare includes more non-vegetarian items. “The food no doubt is good but the prices are not suited to our budget as we are not earning and this can be a strain,” adds a BBA student.
Speaking about the infrastructure a SYBCom student says: “The college has good infrastructure and the teaching staff is well qualified and helpful. The classrooms are spacious but get extremely hot during the summer. I would suggest the management installs more fans otherwise it would get difficult for students to concentrate in class.” Another student from Science stream is of the opinion that the audio-visual equipment in the classrooms needs to be upgraded and says: “Sometimes the equipment just doesn’t work but overall the college is good and very conducive to learning.” “The college is fine and everything is good but I would suggest that more buses be made available from the bus stand as coming to college gets to be a real headache with the overcrowded buses and walking up the slope is really tiring,” says an Arts student.
“Since the time I was a student here many facilities have been added that make work easy for students. Our chemistry laboratory is equipped with expensive instruments like FTIR, gas chromatographs, UV-visible spectrophotometers, HPLC, DTA, AC susceptibility, resistivity measurement setup, dielectric constant measurement setup, cyclic voltametry, microscopes, etc, which are not available in all colleges. In fact students from other colleges come to our college to use these equipments,” says assistant professor, physical chemistry and an ex-student of the college, Mamta Prabhugaonkar.
The college has initiated several programmes hand-in-hand with the academic curriculum, in order to provide wholesome education to students. There are various cells and associations (29 in total), linkages, centres, etc, with a variety of activities and students are encouraged to join any one.
The college has also signed MOUs with five institutions which allows exchange of resource material and resource persons by way of visits, workshops and various programmes. This gives exposure to a wider range of experiences, activities, people and knowledge. The institutions are National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula; Indian Council for Agricultural Research; Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers; I-Create, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Goa Commerce Association; Fundacao Oriente and Institute Camoes.
In any college the quality of education imparted depends entirely on the quality of the faculty. Most top colleges have a judicious mix of full- and part-time faculty members. The full-time faculty team provides the continuity and monitoring that is needed, and guides and supports students whereas the part-time faculty give students the much-needed external exposure. Many points about the faculty – their tenure at the college, their research contributions, association and collaboration with foreign colleges, etc, along with the number of faculty with doctorates – help students get an overview of the quality of faculty at the college.
St Xavier’s is supported by research and development and has a Research and Development cell which publishes a research journal ‘Spectrum’. As many as fifteen publications are churned out by the various departments of the college. The teaching staff includes 25 teachers with PhD degrees and others mostly with NET and SET qualifications. Teachers have also published more than 37 research papers in international journals and more than 35 research papers in national journals. Two of the faculty along with the principal are national level awardees.
It is not just books for students of St Xavier’s as they are encouraged to participate in a variety of projects, inter-collegiate fests and technical seminars. Annual Day, Sports day, Mediascope, Calamus, Enigma, Portuguese day, Faculty Enrichment Programme are some of the annual events organised by the college. In terms of publications, inter-disciplinary journals and department-wise newsletters are an integral part. Halcyon, Spectrum and Xaverite are the magazines of the college and some of the department-wise newsletters include X i Byte, Plantae, Altius, Catalyst, Samazacho Asro, Microscope and Xavier’s Post besides others.
Industry experts also visit the campus regularly to interact with the students. The college has a strong industry connect with corporates like Rishab Industries, Ascent Management, Tata consultancy Services, Marinha Dourada, Ciba Industries Limited, Wipro, TCS, Sesa Goa, Infosys, Zuari Industries Limited, Siemens, Sandu Pharmaceuticals, Country Club, Panandikar Institute of Research and Training, Reliance India and others and organises campus interviews for its students. To date about 300 students have been placed.
“If I am what I am today, it is greatly due to my time in St Xavier’s. I was a hostelite then and there was a strong bonding amongst us that I still remember. We were taught values that are very deep-rooted. Our teachers were not just teachers but mentors who prepared us not only for class but for life itself. St Xavier’s was and still is an institution not just a college,” says ex-student and assistant professor, english, Carmel College, Brian Mendonca.