Planning assumes critical importance in the development of tertiary education worldwide, without which activities risk being carried out in a piecemeal and disjointed manner, focusing on the short term rather than long-term, with little strategic direction as to the future. The main responsibility of the TEC, since coming into operation in 1990 has, inter-alia been to focus its activities on planning at the tertiary education level; the objective being to ensure that government resources being channeled to the sector are judiciously and optimally utilized, in line with national priorities for tertiary education.
The Research & Planning Division (RPD) is headed by the Head of Research and Planning who is assisted by a Planning Officer, three Research Officers, two Programme Officers and a Statistician. As and when required, the Division also avails of the services of graduate trainees on short-term contractual basis to help in specific assignments.
The Functions and activities of the RPD consist inter-alia of the following:
The Tertiary Education Management Information System (TEMIS) is the database on tertiary education in Mauritius. It contains vital statistics on various aspects of tertiary education, amongst others, with regard to enrolment, courses, output, staff, budget and costs, research, etc. The database is updated on a regular basis to attend to requests for statistics from stakeholders, assist in planning and policy-making.
Studies and surveys are conducted on a regular basis to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the sector, to assist in planning and decision-making. Hereunder are some of most recent surveys/studies/reports:
"Participation in Tertiary Education" is derived from the TEMIS. This annual publication gives latest statistics on enrolment in the tertiary education sector. The report provides a succinct but comprehensive view of the tertiary education landscape in Mauritius. It treats tertiary enrolment from four broad perspectives, namely in relation to the Publicly-funded institutions (PFIs), private Post-secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs), Self-studies as well as Mauritians studying overseas.
Employers from both the public and private sectors are regularly surveyed to assess their demand for graduates. An Employers Survey is currently on-going with a view to update the List of Indicative Priority Fields of Study for 2014-2015. Another survey was conducted on-line last year to study the profile of graduates by economic sectors.
Graduate Tracer Studies are carried out on 5-yearly basis by the Commission in respect of full-time graduates of the public universities. The objectives are to estimate the level of employment, underemployment, unemployment and job satisfaction amongst the graduates, as well as the proportion of those pursuing further studies. These studies also aim at assessing the length of time that it takes graduates to find a job that corresponds to their qualification including difficulties encountered, the relevance of their studies to the world of work and the extent to which the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired are eventually utilized on the job. The studies assist the tertiary education institutions and policymakers to reflect on the future challenges from the world of work and to bring necessary changes to their curricula and teaching and learning process. The last Tracer Study carried out by TEC was conducted in 2011 and a report published. It covered 5 cohorts of degree graduates, from the UoM and the UTM, over the period 2006 to 2010.
A survey on the socio-economic background of student joining the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology Mauritius is undertaken every 2 years with a view to study the trend over time of the profile of new entrants benefitting from free tertiary education. The findings of the survey are published and are used for informing policies with regard to access and equity. The last Student Profile Survey was carried out in 2012.
The activities with regard to planning consist inter-alia in the:
RPD also contributes to planning at the level of the Ministry. For instance, it has provided significant inputs to the Ministry's Strategy Paper on Tertiary Education.
Advice on scholarship matters are provided through representation on the following committees, namely:
Centres of Applied Research/ Chairs in Indian/African Studies
RPD is also assisting in the creation of 3 Centres for Applied Research to be located at the UoM (2) and the UTM (1). So far, funds has been released to the UTM to launch its Centre.
The Chair in Indian Ocean Studies (IORARC) is jointly funded by TEC and the Research Information System, India. A new chair to be based at the UOM is currently being recruited.
The creation of the SSR Chair of African Studies is also in progress. TEC has been requested to fund the project. The Chair will be based at the UOM.