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AfricaMoney | July 25, 2017

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Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Strategic Plan to focus on improved governance

Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Strategic Plan to focus on improved governance

The tertiary education landscape in Mauritius has witnessed significant transformation from the time when only one institution was in existence to the present when this sector encompasses some 65 institutions, and the draft Action Plan for Tertiary Education focuses on improved governance in the sector. (Image:ionnews.mu)

The draft Action Plan, forming the basis for the Tertiary Education Strategic Plan, aims to put in place better governance of the tertiary sector. This plan formed the focus of a presentation workshop held on 13 July 2015.

Funded by the European Union to the tune of more than Rs 5 million, the draft Action Plan has been prepared by a team of four consultants headed by Dr Rogier Van t’Rood, team leader at PROMAN.

The half-day workshop, organised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, in collaboration with the EU, brought together several public and private stakeholders from academia, as well as representatives of tertiary education institutions.

The resource person was Dr Rogier Van t’Rood.  Discussions focused on: Governance, Human Resources and Financial Sustainability; Quality and Relevance; Access and Equity; Enhancing Research and Innovation; and, Internationalisation of Higher Education.

In her opening address, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, observed that the construction of a Mauritian Knowledge Hub is contingent on better leveraging the higher education system.

“The Mauritian tertiary education system must lend itself to stronger local and international credibility.  It has to deliver an educational performance that matches international benchmarks. Our system also has to see to it that institutions are responsive to graduate labour market outcomes,” she stated.

Moreover, the Minister stated that Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Institutions must recognise the diverse needs of their student community and set up appropriate mechanisms to ensure that they are well prepared to attract international students.

“That being said, however, caution has to be exercised when participating in the growing internationalisation of tertiary education.  We have to ascertain the existence of relevant regulatory and safeguarding mechanisms that, among others, will call for a closer monitoring of cross-border education quality,” she cautioned.

For his part, the Ambassador-Head of the European Union Delegation to Mauritius, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, stressed the EU’s comprehensive approach and commitment to the education sector, which spans from early childhood to higher education and lifelong learning.  He dwelt on the need for quality education and appropriate skills, and expressed conviction that the EU-Mauritius collaboration will contribute towards achieving this important outcome over the medium and long terms, and that the document presented today will contribute to that noble objective.

The draft action plan noted that the four EU consultants led a field mission to Mauritius in June 2015 to undertake the groundwork for the Action Plan.  The EU’s technical assistance involves the development of a costed and implementable proposal for an Action Plan forming the basis of the Tertiary Education Strategic Plan 2013-2025. This must be supplemented by appropriate tools for monitoring and evaluation; and a training scheme alongside.

The consultants have developed a draft Action Plan which was discussed during the half-day workshop.  The main features include: the costed Action Plan and implementation schedule; the monitoring and evaluation plan; a training needs assessment and a training plan; a resource mobilisation strategy for its financing; and the suggested amendment to the existing legislation.

The tertiary education landscape in Mauritius has witnessed significant transformation since the country’s independence in 1968 when only one institution, namely the University of Mauritius (UoM), was in existence.

Presently, this sector is quite diversified and encompasses some 65 institutions, across public, private and regional arenas, each with its own specialties.

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