New Delhi: Private
Indian universities setting up campuses in Mauritius are helping
the island nation off the African coast realise its vision of
transforming into a knowledge hub.
Two of the largest private universities in India, the DY Patil
Medical College and Amity University, are in the process of
setting up their campuses in Mauritius. The JSS Mahavidyapeetha (JSSMVP),
a Karnataka-based educational foundation, established the JSS
Academy of Technical Education in Mauritius in 2006.
As private universities in India seek to expand to foreign shores,
Mauritius is an obvious choice for its proactive plans for
expanding higher education in the country.
The government in the Indian Ocean island nation, with a
population of 1.3 million, has placed a strong focus on education.
Education is free till the college level and is compulsory between
the ages of 5 and 12 years.
Amity University's director of international affairs Gen R.K.
Dhawan told IANS: "The Mauritius government has very good policies
on higher education. It is the objective of the Mauritius
leadership to have one graduate in every family by 2020. With this
type of commitment to education, the policy is very supportive of
By attracting foreign universities to open new campuses in
Mauritius, the government plans to increase the enrolment in
tertiary education within the country as well as attract foreign
students. The presence of large, dynamic private universities like
Amity and DY Patil will help bring in foreign students from
African countries as also other parts of the world. This would
help to make Mauritius a knowledge hub in the African region.
All three educational groups are among the larger private
educational institutions in India. The DY Patil Group has three
deemed universities in India, at Navi Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. A
fast-growing university, Amity has the experience of opening
campuses in Dubai, Singapore, Britain and the US.
JSS Academy is located in a sprawling eight-acre campus in Bonne
Terre, Vocoas, and aims to be the centre of excellence in
technical education in the region.
Amity will begin enrolment for its campus in Mauritius this year.
The Amity campus in the Ebčne area will eventually offer a range
of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of
management, finance, hospitality and tourism, engineering and
sciences, amongst others.
The DY Patil post-graduate school of medicine was started in 2009
at Quatre-Bornes, with 28 local and foreign students. It is
partnered with the University of Technology, Mauritius, (UTM) and
the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital for clinical training of the
students. The medical college offers specialties such as general
surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, general
medicine, paediatrics, dermatology and anaesthesiology.
The number of African students taking admission in Indian
educational institutions too has been showing a steady increase in
the past few years. "The main reasons for choosing India is the
quality education at relatively lower costs as compared to other
countries and a familiar educational system," explained Usha Negi
of the Association of Indian Universities.
The maximum number of students from Africa studying in India are
from Ethiopia, followed by Kenya, Sudan, Mauritius and Tanzania.
Under a hundred students each come from Eritrea and Somalia, while
a few of them come from Ivory Coast, Lesotho and Liberia.
According to some unofficial estimates, around 35,000 African
students are enrolled in Indian institutions of higher learning.
The Mauritius government believes that good educational facilities
would make Mauritius a preferred choice for the thousands of
African students who go abroad to study. Minister Rajesh Jeetah of
the new ministry of tertiary education, science, research and
technology has talked of creating "an education hub in Mauritius
where 100,000 foreign students can come to study."
Mauritius has actively sought foreign investment in higher
education by offering attractive investment opportunities in the
education sector in line with the rapidly growing education
demands in the region and in Mauritius. Mauritius expects
significant growth in sectors such as communication technology,
outsourcing, hospitality, financial services and healthcare.
(Shubha Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)