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Making Mauritius an Intelligent Island



Dr. Arup Barman

Higher education in Mauritius includes colleges, universities and other technical institutions. The Government of Mauritius aims to develop the country into a centre for higher education. Mauritian government has recognized the higher education as one of the key elements for the growth and social development in Africa. The government is committed to promote capacity-building at high level across the continent. Mauritian higher education sector has been envisaging in transforming the small island state as a “knowledge hub’ since 2009.  Mauritius government could visualize and realize that Mauritius might be an attractive place for western universities. As a consequence, government of Mauritius allowed setting up satellite campuses of various western universities in Mauritius. Now, the country is expecting that it will attract as many as 100,000 international students by 2020.

Propelling Visions & Missions   

The ministry of higher education realized the need for quality education for all and human resource development as the base for transforming Mauritius into an intelligent nation state in the precursor of global progress and innovation. In achieving the aim, the ministry of higher education aims to achieve the culture of achievement and excellence by promoting an efficient, effective, inclusive and integrated, comprehensive and holistic education and training. The ministry emphasized in fostering innovation and to generate new knowledge for the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation.  To foster innovation holistically in the society fabric of Mauritius, the ministry attempts to ensure learning opportunities are accessible to all. In addition, it provides learners with values and skills to further their personal growth with embedded attempt to enhance their critical and exploratory thinking so that youth can innovate and adapt to change in the globalised environment.

Status of Higher Education in Mauritius

The status of higher education in Mauritius can well be described from the perspective of the existing numbers of educational institutes.  The table-1 describes lucidly the status of higher education in the country.

Premier Higher Learning Institute in Mauritius Operating Arrangement

Faculties and Courses operating

University of Mauritius (UOM) Full Fledged University
  • Faculty of Agriculture, of Engineering, of Law and Management, of Science, of Social Studies and Humanities.
  • The Centre of Information Technology and Systems, Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies, and the Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning.
University of Technology of Mauritius (UTM) Full Fledged University Sustainable Development Sciences, Health Sciences, Banking and International Finance to Engineering & Information Technology and Tourism and Hospitality Management.
The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) Govt. of Mauritius

Teacher Education, Curriculum Development and Research

The Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) India & Mauritius

5 tertiary schools, i.e. – School of Indian Studies, School of Performing Arts, School of Fine Arts, School of Mauritian and Area Studies and the School of Indological Studies.

The Rabindranath Tagore Institute  (RTI) Corporate body

In Film Production, Arts & Crafts and Dramatic Arts. Courses in the following fields are also being run: Yoga, Music (Vocal, Tabla, Harmonium, Guitar) Arts & Crafts.

Open University of Mauritius (OUM) Public University

Basic Coursed from UG, Post Graduates, and PhDs

Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) As a Trust

Operating program of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) nature

Mauritius Institute of Health As Statutory Body &  An Arm of Ministry of Health and Quality of Life
  • Epidemiological surveys and Health Systems Research.
  • Curriculum development and administration for basic and post-basic courses for health practitioners.
  • Postgraduate courses for specialisation in different disciplines of medicine are organised in collaboration
Universities Des Mescareignes  (UDM) Under Act of Mauritius Govt.

(French university, Université de Limoges)

  • Faculty of Business and Management
  • Faculty of Sustainable Development and Engineering
  • Faculty of Information and Communication Technology
Fashion Design Institute  

School of Design of the Industrial and Vocational Training Board (1995-2009), and the Textile and Apparel Development Centre of Enterprise Mauritius (1998-2009).

The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) of Mauritius Government listed out various courses those are offered by the tertiary educational institutes. They are, Accounting, Administration, Advertising, Arabic, Architectural Technology, Architecture, Arts and Design, Banking, Bioinformatics, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Commerce, Communication, Construction, Dentistry, E-Commerce, Economics, Education, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Fashion, Finance, Hospitality, Hotel, Humanities,  Information Technology, Insurance, Interior Design, Investment, Islamic, Law, Leadership, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Medicine, Mentoring, Nursing, Offshore, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Project Management, Psychology, Public Relations, Quality , Science, Software, Sports, Telecommunication, Theology, Tourism, and Travel & Tourism. At this moment almost 50 numbers of agencies including indigenous and foreign agencies are holding the licenses for operating the education and education related activities in the country of Mauritius.

The Future of Mauritian Higher Education

Due to globalization, Mauritius is shifting its economic base to an increasingly knowledge-based economy. However, considering the sluggish rate of the tertiary education participation, the present rate needs to be significantly increased. To meet this challenge, the government of Mauritius has proposed to make Mauritius a “knowledge hub”.

The strategy for declaration of “knowledge hub’ is to encourage the encourage the existing public universities to become institutions of international standing, to facilitate setting up of local, quality private universities and to attract renowned foreign universities to set up branch campuses in Mauritius. The tertiary education in Mauritius stands on the cusp of exciting developments, encompassing a Ugandan incursion for the Open University in Mauritius, as well as a quality assurance review due to the involvement of United Kingdom in the higher education sector.

Strategic Policy Thrusts

In order to promote agenda of making Mauritius a knowledge hub as well as an Intelligent Island, major priority areas have been identified. An appropriate regulatory framework for tertiary education has been established, an investment package has been proposed and student financing program has also been defined. It is appreciable that the government of Mauritius is looking at the option of creating new set up to facilitate the transfer of knowledge. In consonance with the government expectations of making Mauritius an Intelligent Island, government has announced multi-tiered system of tertiary educational institutions to provide a diversity of diplomas, certificates, and degrees to the local, regional, and international students. Government is promoting offshore centers for learning in Mauritius.

In addition to above, there are efforts is being seen for the Mauritian Tertiary Education Council in propagation and establishment for Regional Training Centre in the country. Government wants to transform the country through its manpower development with the help of establishing the training centre augment the programs for developing manpower to serve in the financial services throughout and other countries of the world. The government is also focusing on the hospitality management, teacher education, aircraft maintenance and repair training service centre, training of language, textile sector service development training centre, also efforts has been given on education and training consultancy services for developing export potential from the country.

Investment Potential in the Intelligent Island 

The Mauritian higher education sector is a fantastic opportunity for investment. The latest trend of global higher education and the phenomenon of global massification of higher education have attracted the attention of foreign students towards the institutions operating out of Mauritius. Foreign students studying in Mauritius are from India, African Countries, Indian Ocean Islands, Germany and other countries of the world. At present, almost 58 private institutions are operating in the educational and human resource development trajectories of Mauritius. It’s true that for developing human resource so as to transform this small island to an intelligent destination demands holistically intelligent plan, which the government of Mauritius is taking care of strategically, and holistically too it is evidenced from many sources of information.