The tertiary education landscape in Mauritius has witnessed significant transformation since the country's accession to its independence in 1968 when only one institution, namely the University of Mauritius (UoM) was in existence. Today, the Sector is quite diversified and encompasses some 65 institutions, public and private and regional, each with its own specificity.
Within the public sector, besides the UoM, tertiary education revolves around the University of Technology, Mauritius (UTM), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), the Rabindranath Tagore Institute (RTI), the Open University of Mauritius (OU), previously known as the Mauritius College of the Air, the Fashion and Design Institute (FDI) as well as the newly-created Université des Mascareignes (a merger of the former 2 polytechnics, namely the Swami Dayanand Institute of Management and the Institut Supérieur de Technologie). Overseeing these seven tertiary education institutions (TEIs) is the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) which, inter alia, has responsibility for allocating public funds and fostering, planning and coordinating the development of post-secondary education and training. Since 2005, TEC has the mandate to regulate private post-secondary education institutions locally through institutional registration and programme accreditation to assure quality. The TEC also determines the recognition and equivalence of post-secondary qualifications.
Three public institutions, namely the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD), the Mauritius Institute of Health (MIH) and the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) also run programmes at the tertiary level.
In addition to the above, 55 private institutions are registered locally, providing tertiary education in diverse fields, ranging from Certificate to PhD, with the awarding bodies mostly based overseas (52 out of 58). A majority of the private institutions operate on a part-time basis in the evenings and during weekends, with relatively small student cohorts. The courses offered are generally delivered through some franchise agreements using a variety of modes, namely face-to-face, distance learning or a mix of both. Apart from playing an administrative role, the local partners, normally, also provide tutorial support using exclusively their own resources.
The tertiary education landscape in Mauritius extends beyond the local boundary as a significant number of Mauritian students go overseas for their higher studies.