GIS - 13 September, 2013: The Bel Air Campus of the Open University of Mauritius was inaugurated yesterday by the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, in the presence of the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr Rajeshwar Jeetah, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Cader Sayed-Hossen, the Minister of Business Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Jangbahadoorsing Seetaram, and other personalities.
The new campus is seen as a means to translate Government’s strategic goal to widen access and ensure equity in tertiary education by increasing intake capacity, decentralising access to tertiary education, and offering a wider range of learning opportunities through distance education and lifelong learning programmes. It is situated on the ex-DWC premises in Bel Air.
In his address, Dr Ramgoolam said that the inauguration of the new campus in Bel Air is a huge step forward in the implementation of Government’s policy to democratise access to higher education, as the institution will contribute to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas in terms of access and infrastructure. He pointed out that Government is investing massively in the sector and has earmarked Rs 810 million for the construction of modern campuses in other rural localities namely Pamplemousses and Montagne Blanche.
Recalling the fundamental role of education as a factor of development, the Prime Minister stated that education is key to unleashing the potential of the people, which in turn leads to better socioeconomic conditions as well as the social and economic progress of the country. As such, said the Prime Minister, investing in education is not just about costs as the value of education goes far beyond the amount of Government spending; it is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people. That is why education will remain a priority on Government agenda, added Dr Ramgoolam.
The Bel Air Campus boasts of three full-sized lecture halls and several average-sized classrooms, with the capacity of accommodating around 600 learners altogether at a time. Because of the extensive premises of the Bel Air Campus site, other developmental works are being envisaged to enhance the experience of students by providing them with ample space for collaborative work and other self-development programmes.
It is to be recalled that the Open University of Mauritius was established on 12 July 2012 to provide wider opportunities for education and training to the population through open and distance learning and to promote lifelong learning. Its headquarters is located in Réduit. Its first campus, situated on the ex-premises of the MBC in Forest-side, was inaugurated last April. The Open University offers different levels of programme ranging from foundation and employability courses to undergraduate, master’s level and doctoral programmes.
The Open University of Mauritius has linkages with the Commonwealth of Learning, the International Council for Open and Distance Education and the African Council for Distance Education. It has also successfully forged working relationships with prestigious universities like Stockholm University and UNISA. It is presently negotiating with the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Canberra, Birmingham University, the Radio and TV University of China and Université Paris V.