The tertiary education sector maintained its momentum in 2011/12 as an increasing number of tertiary education institutions and students join the sector, in line with the national drive to democratise access to tertiary education and make Mauritius a Regional Knowledge Hub and Centre of Excellence for Higher Education. Overall, the sector performed satisfactorily, as shown below:
The total number of tertiary education institutions increased from 65 in 2010 to 70 in 2011 and currently stands at 74 (October 2012). The number of private institutions went up from 54 to 59 and 64 respectively over the same period while the number of public institutions registered a slight drop, from 11 to 10, with the merging in 2012 of two polytechnics, namely the SDIM and IST, into a new university, the Universite des Mascareignes.
Some 772 programmes were offered locally in 2011 compared with 660 a year earlier, of which about 45% are offered on a full-time basis. The PFIs accounted for 463 programmes and private/ distance education providers 309 programmes. Over 1 in 4 programmes was at Postgraduate level and 48% at Degree level.
The sector employs a total of some 2,700 persons on a full-time basis, of which around 400 work in private institutions. Overall, 30% of the employees are academic, 35% administrative, 15% technical/paraprofessional and 15% services/maintenance cadres. The number of employees working in the publicly funded institutions hover around 2,300.
The tertiary student population reached 45,969 in 2011/2012, up from 44,334 in 2010/11, representing an increase of 3.7%. A total of 35,906 students (78.1%) were pursuing their higher studies locally: 22,442 (48.8%) attended the PFIs and 13,464 (29.3%) students were studying in a private institution or through the distance education mode directly with an overseas institution. Some 10,063 (21.9%) students, on the other hand, were studying abroad. The Gross Tertiary Enrolment Rate, which measures the total tertiary enrolment as a percentage of the population aged 20 to 24 years, stood at 45 %.
Enrolment in the PFIs was distributed as follows : University of Mauritius(excluding joint MIE and MGI enrolment -11,239 (24.4%), University of Technology, Mauritius- 4,370 (9.5%), Mauritius Institute of Education- 3,903 (8.5%), Mahatma Gandhi Institute- 597 (1.3%), Rabindranath Tagore Institute – 26 (0.06%), Open University of Mauritius (formerly Mauritius College of the Air)– 664 (1.4%), Swami Dayanand Institute of Management- 560 (1.2%), Institut Superieur de Technologie– 302 (0.7%), Mauritius Institute of Training and Development- 507 (1.1%), Mauritius Institute of Health – 122 (0.3%) and the Fashion and Design Institute- 152 (0.3%).
Around 14% students were doing a Postgraduate programme, 60% a Bachelor degree, 20% a diploma, 5% a certificate and 1% a Foundation programme or equivalent in the PFIs.
Research at the tertiary level which has so far been concentrated within the UoM and to a lesser extent the UTM, is now slowly gaining ground in the private institutions as well with the introduction of courses leading to PhDs. The total number of research students locally totalled 233 in 2011, of which 92 were doing a PhD, 139 an MPhil and 2 a Masters in Research (MRes). The students were registered in the fields of Agriculture-14; Engineering–39; Management–16; Science–52; and Social Studies & Humanities–35 at the University of Mauritius; in Business Management and Finance– 13, Engineering- 14 and Sustainable Development and Tourism- 14 at the University of Technology, Mauritius; and Administration/ Management- 36 at the Rushmore Ltd.
It is worth pointing out that 99 MPhil/PhD students were benefiting from scholarships and bursaries under the TEC MPhil/PhD Research and Related Support Scheme.
Some 6,255 awards were made by the PFIs in 2011, including 943 Masters Degrees and 2,837 Bachelor Degrees. The UoM conferred 2,706 awards compared with 1,396 for the UTM, 1,293 for the MIE, 142 for the MGI, 92 for the OUM, 82 for FDI, 301 for the SDIM, 53 for the IST, 164 for the MITD and 18 for the MIH.
A total of 1,496 students graduated in a Science and Technology Related field, of which 502 in Information Technology, 125 in Medical and Health related subjects and 424 in Engineering. A high number of graduates, on the other hand, were in the fields of Administration/Management (1,672), Education (1,302), as well as Arts/Languages/ Humanities (486).