Tertiary Education in Mauritius
The Mauritian Tertiary Education Sector has witnessed major expansion and diversification in recent years. From a small-scale provision by the College of Agriculture (set up in 1924), the Tertiary sector now consists of an expanded and diversified system which has evolved over the years with several institutions in both in the public and private sectors.
Within the public sector, there exist two universities, namely the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology, Mauritius, which run both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including at the level of PhD in a range of disciplines. Other institutions are also included at Tertiary level, namely the Mauritius Institute of Education, which is responsible for the training of teachers at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels and for educational research; the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, which specializes in Languages, Performing Arts, Fine Arts, and Indian, Chinese and Mauritian Studies; and the Mauritius College of the Air, which dispenses programmes at various levels through the distance mode in collaboration with overseas institutions. In 2002, the Rabindranath Tagore Institute was set up as a Centre of Studies of Indian Culture and Traditions.
A third University, namely the Open University of Mauritius, is also in the process of being set up.
The Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (ex IVTB) and the Mauritius Institute of Health equally dispense tertiary education in selected fields.
The above public tertiary education institutions (TEIs) fall within the purview of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), which, inter alia, has responsibility to plan and foster the development of post-secondary education and training, allocate public funds, coordinate the activities and ensure optimum use of resources in the TEIs, advise the Minister of Education, Culture and Human Resources on the development of tertiary education in Mauritius and on policy matters on scholarships.
In addition to the above publicly-funded institutions, some 51 private institutions deliver tertiary-level programmes, mostly in niche areas like Information Technology, Law, Management, Accountancy and Finance. Most of these private institutions are local counterparts/agents of overseas institutions and are offering courses ranging from sub-degree to postgraduate ones through a mixed-mode system, encompassing both distance learning and face-to-face tutorials. The local tertiary education scene also comprises four regional tertiary education institutions, namely the “Institut de la Francophonie pour l'Entrepreneuriat", the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Medical College and the Mauras College of Dentistry and Hospital and Oral Research Institute.
An important national priority is to increase participation in tertiary education from the present Gross Tertiary Enrolment Rate of 42% in 2009 to reach about 72% by 2015. Furthermore, Mauritius aspires to be an education and training hub in the Region. It is therefore anticipated that the transformation and expansion of the Tertiary Education Sector is set to continue in the foreseeable future.