The tertiary education sector maintained its momentum in 2012/2013 as an increasing number of tertiary 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 70 in 2011 to 77 in 2012 and currently stands at currently stands at 65. The number of private institutions went up from 59 to 67 and 55 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 Université des Mascareignes.
Some 778 programmes were offered locally in 2012 as compared to 772 a year earlier, of which about 44% was offered on a full-time basis. The Publicly Funded Institutions accounted for 440 programmes and private/distance education providers i.e. 338 programmes. About 1 in 4 of the programmes was at Postgraduate level and 46% at Degree level.
The sector employed a total of some 2,700 persons on a full-time basis, of which some 400 were working in private institutions. Overall, around 30% of the employees were in the academic, 35% in the administrative, 15% in the technical/paraprofessional and 15% in the services/maintenance cadres. The number of employees in the publicly funded institutions stood hover around 2,200 persons.
The tertiary student population reached 49,625 in 2012/2013 up from 45,969 in 2011/2012, representing an increase of 8%. A total of 40,165 (80.9%) students were pursuing their higher studies locally: 21,562 (43.4%) attended the PFIs and 18,603 (37.5%) students were studying in a private institution or through the distance education mode directly with an overseas institution. Some 9,460 (19.1%) 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 is estimated at 46.6%.
Enrolment in the PFI's was distributed as follows: University of Mauritius (excluding joint MIE and MGI enrolment - 11,318 (22.8%), University of Technology, Mauritius - 3,727 (7.5%), Mauritius Institute of Education - 3721 (7.5%), Mahatma Gandhi Institute/Rabindranath Tagore Institute - 590 (1.2%), Open University of Mauritius – 541 (1.1%), Université des Mascareignes (ex Swami Dayanand Institute of Management) - 523 (1%), Université des Mascareignes (ex Institut Superieur de Technologie) – 302 (0.6%), Mauritius Institute of Training and Development - 555 (1.1%), Mauritius Institute of Health – 106 (0.2%) and the Fashion and Design Institute - 179 (0.4%).
Similarly, around 12.7% students were enrolled on a Postgraduate programme, 60.9% were doing a Bachelor degree, 20.8% a diploma, 5.2% a certificate, 0.4% a Foundation programme or equivalent in Publicly Funded Institutions.
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 243 in 2012, of which 78 were doing PhD, 163 an MPhil and 2 a Masters in Research (MRes). The students were registered in the following broad fields: Agriculture - 15; Engineering – 49; Law & Management – 18; Science – 56; and Social Studies & Humanities – 32 at the University of Mauritius; in Business Management and Finance – 14, Engineering - 16 and Sustainable Development and Tourism – 12 at the University of Technology, Mauritius; and Administration/Management – 29 at the Rushmore Ltd.
It is worth pointing out that 101 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 OU, 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).