Plans to create new universities in Mauritius in the coming years highlights the government’s ambition to transform the island into a regional knowledge hub. The country aims to attract about 100,000 foreign students by 2020, and campaigns are now being conducted in India and Tanzania to promote the island as a tertiary education destination.
Tertiary Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah (pictured) has presented a series of proposals that include reinforcing efforts to attract respected tertiary education institutions to Mauritius through the provision of incentives and through bilateral and multilateral mutual recognition agreements.
The island’s government will also invest in the physical expansion of existing institutions and the setting up of new campus universitaires in different parts of the country.
Another recommendation is for the creation of a medical university. This project, says the local authority, will enable Mauritian students to complete their study on the island, as an increasing number cannot afford to study in European and Australian universities.
Admission to local universities has soared by 10% annually in the last nine years, and the tertiary participation rate for 18-24-year-olds is now estimated to be nearing 40%. Mauritius has a population of around 1.3 million people and scores highest in Africa on the United Nations Human Development Index.
The government stated last June that it wants to have at least one graduate in every Mauritian family. And one way of achieving this goal, said the Tertiary Education Ministry, would be to make tertiary education accessible to all.