INTERVIEW WITH REV. FR. JOHN FELIX RAJ, VICE CHANCELLOR,ST. XAVIER'S UNIVERSITY - By Pawan Dalmia - Editor - We Xaverian
1) What is your feeling after your dream of
SXUK is realized?
Its not my dream alone, it is the dream of the
whole Xaverian Family, it includes the Jesuits,
alumni, alumnae, the people of Kolkata, the
Government, including the Honorable Chief
Minister and many more.
It is a collective dream, I was there to give a
lead; yes the dream has been realized, it has
become a reality but the vision 2020 must now
take a different shape as vision 2025, because
this vision must continue.
We are still in the process. Our journey has
been a successful one, there has been a lot of
development in the university campus; students
have been admitted, professors have been
appointed, construction of buildings is going
on, we are concentrating on offering to our
students & faculty, as much facilities as
possible for academic teaching, learning,
research and consultancy.
I am sure with the support of many people,
alumni association & the Xaverians, we will be
able to successfully complete this vision and be
at the service of thousands of students. I feel
very happy that this collective journey has been
very fruitful & I am grateful to all those
involved & to God almighty for his blessings &
2) Kindly tell us the story of journey of how
your dream of SXUK came into realty?
It is a journey; rather a long journey right
from 2010 when we began to expand St. Xavier's
College, establishing St. Xavier's University (SXUK)
was a part of that expansion, we started working
towards that and that's how the journey for the
3) You always say - "if it is God's work, it
will happen" ! Will you kindly share this
conviction of yours?
First & foremost, I am a Jesuit & my primary
conviction is that everything I do is God's
work, it is God who is working through me, I am
only an instrument, this is what Saint Ignatius
of Loyola and the Society of Jesus have taught
If it is God's work, no one can stop it.
Everything is possible for God. I don't think, I
had the slightest idea of starting SXUK, it all
happened spontaneously; that is why I believe
that it is the work of God and so in the last
six years we could successfully journey towards
this goal of establishing the university.
Nothing stopped us because God was there; God
has been inspiring us to work for this goal, for
Sometimes, our work may not be God's work,
because it may be out of selfish motive or it
may be out of self centeredness, egoism might
come in, so it may be an individual's
achievement, individual mission, but often, if
it is an individual's mission, if it is not
God's plan, it stops, but whatever is God's work
continues. God chooses us as his instruments &
makes us work; it is He who inspires, so we need
to put our total trust in Him and continue the
work, He will take care of everything.
4) What are the factors on which you are going
to give stress in the teaching, learning process
Off course, we need to give focus on different
methods of teaching and also more effective ways
of learning and facilities are provided taking
into account these requirements; classrooms,
libraries, research centers, studios, hostels
all these are facilities that we offer, for a
good academic environment so that teachers can
teach well and students can learn.
We have started a good process and I am sure
this process will be strengthened as we go on.
We started with six courses, now we will have
ten courses, five P.G. Courses, five
undergraduate courses and an MBA programme; we
will have in July 2018 around eleven hundred
students. We want to introduce, taking into
account the future needs, more courses relevant
to our students, so that these courses open up
avenues for further studies, research or for
proper placement. We are discussing amongst the
faculty members, on how and what type of courses
we must introduce. We are thinking of starting
Ph.D programme from 2019 and a law college in
the near future & a sports academy soon.
5) What are the expansion-plans of SXUK?
In terms of expansion of the university, we are
thinking of academic expansion; by 2025 we must
have at least 8,000 students in the university,
we must introduce more courses, with CBCS
(choice based credit system) & a cafeteria
system in which students can choose their
We will also emphasise on skill formation, we
shall also use the facilities for neighborhood
children who want to study; we want to build up
a good rapport with the neighborhood, so that
SXUK is a center of change and development in
We are also thinking in terms of physical
expansion; improvement of facilities, sports
facilities, games facilities, hostel facilities,
library facilities, research facilities,
recreational facilities, medical & health care
facilities, placement, proper placement of our
students, all these will be looked into as we
grow. We are also thinking in terms of
collaborating with other universities.
6) Do you have any plan to open a Law School in
SXUK in future?
Yes, we have a plan to open a law school at
Saint Xavier's University & I will be soon
appointing a committee to look into it and
taking advice from our alumni who are experts in
Thank you Pawan. God bless you.