About University of Mauritius
1. The legal existence and corporate entity of the University of Mauritius were established by the University of Mauritius Ordinance No. 39 of 1965.
2. The University of Mauritius Act, 1971, providing for the present Constitution and Statutes, received the assent of H.E. the Governor General on 31st May 1971 and came into effect on 1st July 1971. The Act establishes the fundamental powers and structure of the University and defines its purposes and entity as a legally independent body. Details of the Constitution are contained in the Statutes, which describe the means and terms of appointment of the officers and staff of the University and the membership, terms of reference and standing orders of committees.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was accompanied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, inaugurated the University on 24th March 1972.
3. Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra was installed the first Chancellor of the University on 21st October 1974. Sir Maurice Rault succeeded H.R.H. Princess Alexandra from May 1985 to June 1994.
4. The University was founded on the developmental concept to help in the general development of Mauritius. As such, one of the dominant concerns of the University when it was created was to meet national manpower needs.
Starting from its original nucleus, the two buildings of the former College of Agriculture which were donated by the Government of Mauritius, the University expanded to the following:
(i) Phase I of the Development Plan: the School of Agriculture, the School of Administration, the School of Industrial Technology, the Library and the Students’ Common Room.
(ii) Phase II of the Development Plan: extension of the School of Agriculture; Lecture Theatre of the School of Agriculture; extension of the Library.
(iii) The Paul Octave Wiehé Auditorium inaugurated on 28th July 1975 by Mr Pierre Abelin, Ministre de la Coopération du Gouvernement de la République Française and named on 25th May 1981 after the former Vice-Chancellor Dr P O Wiehé.
5. Other developments of significance that indicated the direction in which the University was moving in were as follows: the setting up of a Computer Centre, the creation of a Department of Law in 1985 and the inauguration of the SSR Centre for Medical Research in 1986; the Department of Textile Technology was set up within the School of Industrial Technology in 1987 although the Textile Technology Building itself became functional in 1992; the Radio Telescope Project is operational at Bras D’ Eau since 1989; in 1989 itself, following the Visitor’s Report, the University set up a School of Science; the School of Industrial Technology was re-named “School of Engineering” and the School of Administration became the “School of Law, Management and Social Studies”. In the same year, an ‘Antenne Universitaire’ was inaugurated in Rodrigues.
6. In 1993, the School of Law, Management and Social Studies was re-structured into two Faculties, namely the “Faculty of Law and Management” and the “Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities”. At the same time the other three Schools, namely Agriculture, Engineering and Science became “Faculties”.
7. The New Academic Complex, inaugurated in November 1994, provides classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate up to 2500 students at one time and the Tower Block provides accommodation for the Faculty of Science and Law and Management as well for the Central Administration of the University. December 1995 saw the inauguration of the University Students’ Centre and the Cafeteria. Extension of the former Students’ Common Room and Faculty of Agriculture were completed in 2001 and March 2005 respectively.
The University Gymnasium opened its doors in October 2004 and the Engineering Tower is expected to be fully operational this coming academic year.
The total space currently available at the University is 51831 m2 including the newly built multi-purpose Gymnasium and the Engineering Tower of 10 levels.
8. The J Baguant Centre for Distance Learning, initially called Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, was set up in 1993 with the help of the Canadian International Development Agency and Laurentian University (Canada) with a view to introducing Distance Education methods. It is responsible for running some programmes and modules using Distance Education Techniques. The Centre has also been entrusted to administer a postgraduate qualification in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. In June 2005, the Centre has been renamed as Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning (CPDL).
9. The increased use of IT resources compelled the University to split the Computer Centre in 1997 into an academic department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and a Centre for Information Technology and Systems (CITS). The CITS is responsible, amongst others, for providing wider and convenient access to computing facilities by students, staff and administrators in the University through the most cost-effective means for procuring, maintaining, modifying and upgrading hardware equipment and software systems, and developing and maintaining in-house Management Information Systems for University administration.
10. A Consultancy Centre, later renamed Consultancy and Contract Research Centre, was set up in 1998 to encourage staff to undertake consultancy and to establish closer links with industry.
11. The University of Mauritius entered a new development phase when the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies (VCILT) was created in 2001. The VCILT is responsible for providing technical support to academics and tutors to develop on-line web-based education and telelearning at the University.
12. Quality Assurance has taken a new dimension with the setting up of the Quality Assurance Office in October 2002. The Office aims, amongst other activities, at contributing to the formulation of the University’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement Policies and Practices and to their implementation and monitoring across the University and, where appropriate, in collaborative partner institutions.
13. The concept of Lifelong Learning was formalised in October 2003 through the Lifelong Learning Cluster. This project enables the three Centres (JBCDL (now CPDL), CITS and VCILT) to pool resources and collaborate with Faculties to provide tailor-made programmes and services to Lifelong Learners.
14. All this development and expansion on Campus has been accompanied by a simultaneous increase in the student population. Starting with the modest figure of 481 in 1968, the University had an overall student population of 11 031 (headcount) in 2010/2011. 1200 students are registered on postgraduate (taught and research) programmes, and 9831 on undergraduate degree programmes. Percentage of female enrolment at the University amounts to 57.7%. Of the 11 031 students, 3034 (27.5%) are following part-time programmes and 594 (5.4%) are enrolled on programmes run collaboratively with Partner Institutions (Mauritius Institute of Education, Mahatma Gandhi Institute and School of Advanced Computing). 83 students are from overseas, coming from countries such as Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mozambique, Norway, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
15. Since its creation and up to October 2010, the University has produced over 30 738 awardees, out of whom 125 obtained a PhD, 62 an MPhil, 2599 a Master’s degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate and 17 975 Bachelor’s degree.
16. Over the past decades, the University progressed slowly from a mostly in-service training institution to a fully-fledged University concentrating increasingly on Bachelor’s and postgraduate degree programmes, research and consultancy in response to the contemporaneous and emergent needs of the various sectors of the Mauritian economy.
Currently, the University offers programmes in all the principal fields of studies or disciplines, which would normally be expected of a tertiary education institution. All the programmes at the University are now modularised and the majority of them are credit-rated, with a modular weighting system. In 2010/2011, the number of taught Programmes of Studies being run at the University reached a figure of 195, including 44 postgraduate and 151 undergraduate degree programmes.
17. During the year 2010/2011 (as at 31 Jan 2011), the University of Mauritius employed some 293 academic staff, together with 707 staff in other categories. The University also employs a large number of part-time staff for its teaching.
18. Close partnership exists between the University and the other tertiary institutions, and different Government Ministries, parastatal bodies, the private sector and the NGOs.
19. The University of Mauritius is an active member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of African Universities and of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie. Furthermore, the University has links with various UK Universities, and with institutions in other countries such as Canada, France, Holland, India and the USA.