Indian regulator asks five Mauritius universities to stop admissions
While the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) of Mauritius has given these universities the green signal, sources in the human resource development ministry (HRD) of India and the UGC said the five have been asked to halt admissions with immediate effect. (Image: Study Mauritius)
The higher education sector in Mauritius continues to be in a flux as India’s higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission (UGC), has ordered five universities to stop admissions in Mauritius.
While the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) of Mauritius has given these universities the green signal, sources in the human resource development ministry (HRD) of India and the UGC said the five have been asked to halt admissions with immediate effect.
There are 980 students in these institutions in all, of which around 10% are Indian. While EIILM from Sikkim has a Mauritius campus with 539 students, Sikkim Manipal University, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Kurukshetra University and Bhavnagar University operate through Intraconsult, JSS Academy, Arya Sabha and Mauras College of Dentistry — all local institutions.
UGC Chairman Ved Prakash, who visited Mauritius last week, said that the Mauritius council, which had permitted operations by these universities, might recognise the degrees granted by these institutions. Hence, students from Mauritius may not find it difficult to pursue further studies or land jobs in their country.
Prakash was part of a delegation that Indian HRD minister M M Pallam Raju led last week to Mauritius to discuss education ties amid the controversy surrounding these five universities.
He added that these universities have been asked to stop admitting students and to explain under what rules they have been functioning in a foreign country. Hence, Prakash noted that Indian students may face problems as their degrees would likely not be recognized back home.
According to rules, private universities need permission from the UGC and the HRD ministry to open off-shore campuses, while universities run by state governments must have provisions in their acts to be able to operate centres abroad. Besides, the academic and executive councils of the universities concerned must have approved the courses to be offered at the off-shore centres.
Neither VTU nor Kurukshetra University has provisions to operate in a foreign country in their acts, UGC sources said. Bhavnagar University has the provision but its executive and academic councils have not approved the courses it has been offering in Mauritius. All three are state government-run universities. The Sikkim universities, both private institutions, did not take permission to operate abroad.
HRD ministry sources said the UGC chairperson met officials of the Mauritius education council and clarified that the operations of the five institutions did not have sanction under Indian laws.
UGC sources said the regulator and the ministry would consider applications from the two Sikkim universities if they applied for permission to operate abroad, while the other three could start operations after fulfilling the requirements.
However, Prakash clarified that any permission given would be with prospective, and not retrospective, effect.
Source: The Telegraph, India