Africa, the second-largest continent on the globe, is a captivating tapestry of diverse cultures, encompassing a remarkable variety of landscapes. Africa stands as a continent of unparalleled beauty and rich complexity, a place where a multitude of languages, customs, and histories intersect.
Its youth is booming and so will be the future generations of learners and manpower. Within the realm of education, Africa’s future appears promising. The collaborative efforts of governments, international organizations, and local communities are reshaping the education landscape, aiming at providing enhanced access to high-quality learning. As a result, an increasing number of students is provided with the opportunity to have access to higher education.
Among the institutions dedicated to this noble cause, the University of Mauritius (UoM) stands out. UoM is a publicly supported, non-profit organization with a unique heritage and a clear-cut mission to contribute to the educational growth of Africa and the Indian Ocean. Founded in 1965 by the Parliamentary Act, UoM’s mission was to play a key role in the development of the country. At first consisting of the Schools of Agriculture, Administration, and Industrial Technology, the university has grown significantly over time to become a comprehensive university.
Presently, the UoM is home to seven Faculties, a Confucius Institute, three research centres, a Doctoral School and a Centre for Lifelong Learning. Its broad academic offerings, which span across several subjects, demonstrate its dedication to adaptability and diversity as an education provider.
Based on its strategic plan, a set of essential goals serves as the university’s driving force. Its primary focus is on promoting excellence in research and providing top-notch teaching in order to advance knowledge. By so doing, it seeks to offer a learning environment which is both intellectually demanding and highly sensitive to Mauritius’s unique needs. The economic, social, administrative, scientific, agricultural and technological spheres are all catered for in the learning environment of UoM. The University of Mauritius is dedicated to fulfilling its objective of supporting the success of both its students and the country.
Collaboration for Student Learning and Research Opportunities
The University of Mauritius (UoM) achieved a significant milestone, after being ranked within the range of 1201-1500 out of 2,673 universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (WUR) 2024. This recognition highlights UoM’s commitment to strive for excellence in higher education. In the African region, the UoM holds the 46th position and 19th in Sub-Saharan Africa, solidifying its reputation as a respected institution.
Moreover, it has obtained accreditation for six engineering programs from the Engineering Council of South Africa and recognition from the Royal Society of Chemistry for its BSc (Hons) Chemistry program. These accreditations underscore the institution’s dedication to providing high-quality and practical education.
The university’s approach emphasizes a balance between academic knowledge and real-world applications, preparing students to better tackle actual world challenges. With a highly qualified faculty, including 68 per cent holding PhDs and 30 per cent and 9 per cent as Associate Professors and Professors, respectively, the UoM is well-equipped to deliver top-tier education.
It remains committed to cutting-edge research, fostering international partnerships and promoting inclusivity. The university provides state-of-the-art ICT tools and infrastructure, offering students access to modern laboratories, an electronic library and e-learning platforms.
Furthermore, UoM extends scholarships to international students from Asian developing countries and African mainland nations within the SADC and COMESA regions, covering half of the block fee payable to the university. This initiative underscores the university’s dedication to diversity and inclusivity.
The UoM has adopted the Learner Centered Credit System (LCCS) which emphasizes on learning outcomes and problem-based learning in line with the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). In addition, free counselling services are available to students to promote their wellbeing and sustain a positive study-life balance.
The university offers a wide range of extracurricular, academic and athletic activities to suit the demands of its students in the areas of culture, intellect, social interaction, athletics and recreation. These opportunities allow students to enhance their soft skills and realise their full potential. Besides, the university promotes a sense of social responsibility by encouraging staff and students to participate in community service-oriented initiatives, such as medical clinics and environmental conservation projects as well as fund raising.
To promote access to education, the UoM offers financial aid programs and scholarships that lessen the financial burden of education for needy students who wish to pursue their studies. These programs highlight the university’s dedication to inclusiveness and overall student development. UoM’s infrastructure is also adapted to welcome students with disabilities.
Hands-On Experience and Career Opportunities at UoM
The University of Mauritius upholds a commitment to non-discrimination and operates under an Equal Opportunity Policy. It maintains an open and inclusive approach to decision-making, engaging with various stakeholders, including students. The institution promotes diverse cultural exchanges and encourages students to share their perspectives, ideas and feedback. Additionally, it ensures accessibility for disabled students and provides tailored support to meet their unique needs during the learning journey.
The UoM maintains a culture of continuous improvement, regularly updating academic curricula and infrastructure to align with evolving Mauritian socio-economic trends. It fosters strong collaborations with local and international companies, offering industry training and internships that provide students with hands-on experience while meeting industry demands.
Many academic programs include mandatory internships and the UoM Industry Liaison Office organizes career fairs and networking events to facilitate student-industry interactions and to help students in finding a job. Furthermore, industry professionals are frequently invited on campus as guest lecturers to conduct workshops and seminars to expose students to current industry practices and trends as well as on-the-job challenges.
Role in Solving Global Challenges
Graduates from the University of Mauritius have had a big influence locally and internationally. They have performed exceptionally well in roles as academic staff members, teachers, directors of different organizations, business owners, scientists, legislators and government officials, including ministers and members of parliament. Alumni from the University of Mauritius have a significant impact on how Mauritius develops its agricultural, scientific, technological, economic, social and cultural sectors. Every alumnus success story highlights how important the UoM is to the growth of the country.
It regularly collaborates with competent and expert Industry Advisory Boards to mould academic curricula and match them to industry demands. They organise industry-focused events that encourage professional and academic networking.
By pooling resources and co-funding projects to solve domestic and global issues, UoM researchers work closely with industry partners on collaborative research initiatives. In addition, the UoM works in partnership with the Human Resource Development Council (a state owned entity) to implement the Graduate Training for Employment Scheme, which offers unemployed graduates training and placement while guaranteeing employers to have access to the skills in demand. Industry professionals in need of customised solutions can also receive consulting services from faculty experts.
A wide variety of academic programmes designed to address all facets of the Mauritian society and global concerns are available at the University of Mauritius. Linguistic and cultural studies, interfaith conversations, historical research, climate change, blue ecomony, sustainable agriculture and engineering are all included in these programmes.
The Doctor of Medicine programme also seeks to develop well-rounded medical professionals with clinical experience and effective communication skills and who are dedicated to enhancing local and regional healthcare.
A Leading Think Tank for Social Issues
Faculty members at the UoM actively participate in research, analysis and policy formulation, positioning the university as a well-known think tank. They work together with governmental organisations, corporations and non-profit groups to provide evidence-based recommendations that guide decision-making on matters pertaining to social equity, healthcare and the Circular Economy.
It prioritises sustainability by putting energy conservation, renewable energy, waste reduction and environmentally beneficial campus programmes into practice. It also sets the standard for solar energy research and education, creating an Innovative Solar Energy Laboratory with the help of the Huawei Mauritius to advance industry capacity-building and photovoltaic understanding.
The institution trains future professionals and leaders to take on important concerns through its programmes in environmental science, public health, medical and healthcare and social work. Research projects include environmental projects, deep learning detection of diabetic retinopathy and diabetes self-management. It actively engages local communities and non-governmental organisations to address urgent healthcare, social justice, and sustainability issues while providing training in solar energy systems and trash management. Community outreach is at heart of UoM research endeavours.
Global Collaborations with Renowned Universities
The University of Mauritius offers specialized modules on entrepreneurship and innovation, encompassing business planning and startup topics. It hosts hackathons, startup competitions and innovation challenges to foster idea development and prototyping. It collaborates with industry partners, facilitating projects and research that lead to practical applications. Research Funding Schemes aim at promoting innovation and commercial potential. The UoM Knowledge Transfer Office supports intellectual property protection and commercialization, including patent applications and licensing agreements for staff and students.
Prestigious international universities such as CY Cergy Paris Université, University of Geneva, Université de Bordeaux, University of Arizona, University of Malawi and Zhejiang Sci-Tech University have strategic partnerships with the University of Mauritius. These partnerships include staff and student mobility programmes, foreign conferences, cooperative research projects and dual-degree programmes. These collaborations are strengthened by formal contracts such as Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda of Agreement, Research Collaborative Agreements and Internship Agreements.
Furthermore, the UoM actively engages in the Erasmus+ programme, upholding inter-institutional agreements with academic institutions in Greece, Austria, Poland, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Every year, the institution uses Erasmus+ to welcome staff and students and it interacts with delegations from other universities to discuss possible areas of cooperation. UoM actively participates in a number of well-known worldwide networks and associations including SARUA¹, AAUN², AAU³, ARUA⁴, and ACU⁵.
Nurturing Soft Skills and Lifelong Learning
The University of Mauritius has proven that it is firmly committed to integrating innovation and technology into its teaching methods. It has a digital transformation strategy and technology-enhanced learning policies in place, which have made it flexible and effective, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It invests in state-of-the-art labs, electronic equipment and training to facilitate online learning. It provides a large array of online services, including research databases, virtual classrooms, e-learning platforms and online exam proctoring. The UoM is currently involved in several research works on the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology to improve the educational process.
Providing assistance to students in developing their soft skills and updating its curriculum frequently to reflect the changing needs of the labour market remain as priority to UoM. It encourages global alliances and cooperation between academia and business while promoting a culture for lifelong learning.
¹SARUA: Southern African Regional Universities Association
²AAUN: Australia Africa Universities Network
³AAU: Association of African Universities
₄ARUA: African Research Universities Alliance
⁵ACU: Association of Commonwealth Universities