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Sri Sathya Sai University, established in 1981, was formally called the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Studies (and was denominated as a 'Deemed' university). Despite intensive attempts to publicise it as a top centre of learning, with devotees posting misinfomational halleluja statements about it, including on Wikipedia, it is not on the list of the QS World University Rankings® currently considers over 2,000 and evaluates over 700 universities in the world, ranking the top 400. Academic Ranking of World Universities 2011 ranks only two Indian Institutes within the first 500 best universities - between 300 and 500. No other ranking list contains any Sai Baba institutions of any kind.

Due to political and finance influence, rather than any hint of excellence of the Sathya Sai educational colleges, the Indian Government led by Sai devotee prime ministers and presidents - gave them subsidies and raised the status of his ‘deemed university’ to full official status. It is a faith university, and is completely inconsequential as regards science and humanities. After Sai Baba's demise, the University was relegated to the status of mere 'deemed university' again. Despite it being of such a low educational level that graduates were confined to the mental learn-by-rote methods – nor were they, of course, allowed to express any remotely citical opinions on the many fallacious and ignorant ‘teachings’ of Sai Baba that were part of their daily fare.The professed aim of providing both secular and spiritual education was marred by the total adherence to Sai Baba's moralistic near-fundamentalist directives, which stifled all intellectual and autonomous or individual personal growth and creates an atmosphere of hypocrisy and a toxic environment. This same regime continues in the Sathya Sai universities since his death.

Sai Baba was very keen to educate Indians on the lines of 'sanathana dharma', that is, the ancient religious Hindu value system. Since India is predominantly a Hindu nation with most of the population believing in the supposed glories of ancient India, this was widely appreciated, especially since all education there for students was announced as being free. Due to donations from Sai Baba's one-time very wide international follower catchment, this was largely possible. Many of the rich Indian whose sons were admitted had no doubt donated sums in advance, partly to ensure their getting a place. All talk about other hidden costs, such as regular subscriptions demanded of students for diverse activities, especially festivals at Prashanthi Nilayam ashram, were strictly forbidden, though some have informed about these after the death of Sai Baba in 2011.

Various universities in India that have endorsed and taken the Sai Baba name, which is still revered by many in India despite his unpunished crimes and protection from indictment by Indian PMs and Presidents etc. who had compromised themselves as worshippers and endorsers before his crimes became more widely known. However, various colleges or aspiring self-appointed universities bear Sai Baba’s name. The Vidyagiri Institute of Higher Learning at Prashanthi Nilayam (‘Deemed’ University) fails to achieve any recognised ranking for excellence. Not one of all his colleges or the ‘deemed university’ has ever achieved any place in any of the major established university rankings for educational excellence. For example, UniRank lists nearly 900 Indian universities in order of excellence. No Sai institution whatever appears among that number, (https://www.4icu.org/in/)

Unfortunately, the Sathya Sai (Deemed) University at Prashanthi Nilayam was a model of the most backward pedagogical and social kind. It was far from being any 'gold standard' to aspire to was run on the lines of an unquestioned and deeply flawed 'spiritual doctrine' and unquestionable military discipline for the borders who were hardly allowed any normal freedoms, even home visits on any normal basis. The educational standards left graduates with remembered book knowledge and virtually no independence of thought or research. Research outside the recommended literature was restricted so heavily that even an Internet connection was forbidden. Some of the educatinal failings introduced under the colonial British Macaulay system of education designed to produce only clerks, still apply, especially in the Sai Baba colleges.

Perhaps the worst aspect was no doubt the danger of being sexually abused by Sai Baba, his Warden or certain teachers and students and to become entrapped in Sai Baba's system of rewards for sexual favours, including Gold medals to the otherwise undeserving, the privileges and bribes given to such 'form boys' or 'Baba chics', including passes in examinations to the highest level. Due to political and finance influence, rather than any hint of excellence of the Sathya Sai educational colleges, the Indian Government led by Sai devotee prime ministers, presidents and high-ups, gave them subsidies and raised the status of his ‘deemed university’ to full official status. It is a faith university, and is completely inconsequential as regards science and humanities. The status of full university has since been withdraw from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

"...going to this college is not worth the cost, intellectual and emotional. Years after graduating from this college, I’m still uncomfortable with people, distrustful of groups, and in general not as happy as I would be if I went to another college." by Kartick Vaddadi, a former student at Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions whose incisive views give food for thought to anyone who has any hopes of receiving a rich intellectual, social and scientific development. Excerpts of his article are examined here:-

Kartick Vaddadi on Sathya Sai University

This view reflects that of one of Sai Baba's very closest servitors, V.K. Narasimhan, who had an illustrious career as a top journalist of the Hindu and later the editor of the Indian Express group. He told me a lot about the colleges, university and students and bemoaned the fact that the instruction was sadly lacking in any attempt to awaken a questioning mind but only to enforce learning of a set syllabus , leaving graduates unable to answer any questions put to them other than with standard answers learned by heart. In short, a recipe for failure as researchers or independent thinkers in any sphere. A very pragmatic, but spiritually interested person, Narasimhan took on the job of editing Sai Baba's journal (Sanathana Sarathi) , but eventually became virtually trapped at Prashanthi Nilayam - first through his blind devotee wife, later through his inavalidity and dependence on help provided at the ashram. In his writings and talks, VKN had to censor himself strictly due to Sai Baba’s instructions, to the tradition of positivity set by the (over-zealous) writings of his predecessor, Prof. N. Kasturi, and not last also because of ‘group effect’ or the pressure of predominant opinion throughout the ashrams and the Sai movement generally. He told me he had to suppress many things known to him, but keeping entirely quiet was so against his nature and habit that he used me (and a few other Westerners) as a safety valve outlet, though these facts had to be kept confidential. VKN once told me that he was the chief "doubting Thomas" (his very own words) due to his need to be able to air opinions and doubts. He found the atmosphere of the ashram oppressive as regards meaningful discussion, since even most of the college teachers could only discuss on the premises they had imbued in them by Sai Baba. Narasimhan was a world-travelled thinker and was always looking for intellectual conversation and stimulation from outside the confines of both the ashram and India.

Referring to a long-standing Sai devotee friend who lived for decades in Prashanthi Nilayam, Eileen Weed (who first began to live there in 1984) wrote:-
“She said in the mid 1970s, soon after she arrived in India, there was an event like that, when many students just left the college in disgust. Another time that it happened was soon after I arrived in 1984; we had heard many boys walked out of college because of something which we never learned details of. That was when sb did not go to Whitefield for 18 months (waiting for the controversy to die down, no doubt). All of us, even those like me who were generally clueless in the early days, heard about the mass exodus of walk-outs in the Whitefield college in 1984.

The above refers to an episode that was well-known to persons involved at Brindavan College at the time, but about which all information was systematically suppressed by the entire Sai Baba movement, as indeed has been and continues to be the policy. Barry Pittard, who lectured in English for two years from 1978 at Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield College, wrote:-

“When I returned from Australia to India in 1983, I heard that the Whitefield college had been closed down, and that a number of parents had withdrawn their boys from Whitefield college because of sexual abuse scandals, in which SSB was central.” This came after Barry had defected from his nearly 3 decades of service to Sathya Sai Baba’s mission, having finally been convinced of the sex abuses when the magazine Nexus published a damning article.

The full story of Narasimhan's time with Sai Baba can be read here. Also, from a scan of my notes made at the time, his comments about the Sai colleges and Sai Baba's uneducated views can be viewed here

See also Sri Sathya Sai University or Institute of Higher learning and Academic Ranking of World Universities

Life at Sathya Sai University

See also 'Sri Sathya Sai University - Or All That Glitters Is Not Gold'

Sai Baba’s teachings and education in total academic isolation
(Those chosen by Sathya Sai Baba for top offices in his organisation and institutions (for all the academic titles they flaunt) show themselves to be isolated from the entire world education research community and lacking in up-to-date in modern knowledge and intellectuality. Not a single one of them seems to have published a major serious work of impact on peers or the informed public in science, philosophy or other comparable serious literature, yet many are at the same time hagiographic writers about Sathya Sai Baba. Sai Baba himself is more or less unknown to – and unmentioned by – any major world thinker of high achievement. Incidentally, nor is he quoted or referred to by any important world religious leaders.)

Sri Satya Sai University of Technology & Medical Sciences
Sri Satya Sai University of Technology and Medical Sciences imparts education in multiple fields of Engineering, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Management

A fuller overview of the Satya Sai University - up-dated to 2015 - is to be found here

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