GIS – 14 December, 2017: Our higher education sector has to be modernised, it has to be revamped and, above all, it has to be more responsive to the emerging needs of the country, said the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, on 12 December 2017, in her statement on the Higher Education Bill which was adopted by the National Assembly.
The Higher Education Bill, is in line with Government’s Vision 2030 to transform Mauritius as an education hub.
Minister Dookun-Luchoomun, said that Higher education is one domain where dissemination of knowledge goes hand in hand with the creation of new knowledge, and that research is the part of the core business of higher education institutions, and the international prospective demonstrates the change in nature of research. The movement is now from disciplinary to inter-disciplinary and from individual backroom research of operating as a loner to team research and even trans-border research, she observed.
According to the Minister, the power of higher education to boost economy has never been and will never be questioned. Thus, for Mauritius to become a high-income country, certain objectives of higher education must be attained, she stressed. These are: generation of knowledge through research; knowledge transmission, and application of knowledge. In addition, we must see to it that as the country, poised to become a knowledge hub, will leverage on our capacity to attract highly reputed international higher education providers as well as international students and thus, posit itself as a sine qua non criterion for Mauritius to become a favoured higher education destination, she added.
The Higher Education Bill provides for the creation of three new bodies along with the repeal of the Tertiary Education Commission Act. The aim is to ensure the reorientation of the system towards the main policy goals and areas bearing in mind the intention to position Mauritius as a favoured destination for higher education in the region.
The Bill proposes the creation of three entities with very well-defined and distinct roles:
· A Higher Education Advisory Council to advise Government on policies for the effective direction, promotion and development of higher education in Mauritius;
· A Higher Education Commission to monitor the performance of public higher education institutions, including measuring their performance against specified outcomes; and
· A Quality Assurance Authority with the power to do regular quality audits in any tertiary institution operating in Mauritius.
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