Admissions at Lady Doak College has reached an all-time high, with 1,454 new students admitted this school year. These students were selected from a pool of over 16,500 applicants, making Lady Doak College the most preferred college for young women in the region. Currently, there are a total of 4,784 students enrolled at the college, instructed by a teaching staff of 252. Over 40% of all students come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, 35% of the student population is comprised of first-generation college learners.
The college continues to win numerous awards for academic excellence, community outreach, and sports. Last June, Lady Doak College won the Best College Award from the region’s educational authority. Madurai Kamaraj University also presented Lady Doak College with an award for its active and purposeful involvement in various joint-college activities promoting improved hygiene and environmentally-friendly living. Lady Doak’s sports teams have won championship trophies in almost every sport and there are even some students competing in sports at the national level.
Many plans have been made to expand and improve the facilities of Lady Doak. In May 2017, work began on a satellite campus, located approximately 10 miles away from the main campus. The satellite campus will function as a community college to serve the needs of students located in rural areas. The main campus will also undergo many changes. College officials plan to develop a Business School and a School of Textile and Design. Staff accommodation and student housing are also necessary additions.
There are many new learning opportunities at Lady Doak. A new Christian Studies program is giving students the chance to learn from prominent scholars and theologians. Students are also already enjoying an international student exchange program with Seoul Women’s University in South Korea. Lady Doak College is pleased to give students an international experience and is in the process of arranging exchange programs with more universities in other countries.
To ensure the continuation of these projects and make future ones possible, obtaining sufficient monetary support is essential. Currently, the two areas with the highest funding priorities are capital projects and student scholarships.
With the increased intake of students, space in every campus building is very limited. A staff member commented, “We are literally bursting at our seams. New classrooms are a need.” Student housing is also greatly affected. The demand for dorm rooms on campus is very high. Under normal circumstances, the college is able to accommodate 700 students in its dormitories. However, due to a severe water scarcity in the area, the college currently only permits 600 students to live on campus to ensure that the available water supply is sufficient for all dorm students. Women from disadvantaged backgrounds are given priority for living on campus, but there are still many more qualified students who must resort to more expensive off-campus living. The water shortage has also delayed much of the construction of the new satellite campus as no water has been available from the wells drilled on site.
Scholarships are crucial for all students in their college career, but a significant number of the students from disadvantaged backgrounds at Lady Doak College are in need of more financial assistance. Fewer than 40% of students currently receive scholarships. The college aims to build up an alumni network to encourage donations from graduates, including former scholarship recipients, so that a cycle of gratitude and generosity can begin.