Taking Mauritius one step further in its ambition to become the education hub for Africa, UK-based Aberystwyth University is planning to open its Mauritius campus soon.

By establishing a branch campus in Mauritius, Aberystwyth University would become the highest ranking overseas university to operate in the country.

Also, it will be the second UK-based University after Middlesex University, which set up in Mauritius in 2010, to open its campus in the island economy.

Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, formally announced the management’s ambition to open a new campus in Mauritius in September 2014 at a conference hosted in London by the Mauritius Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday.

“Mauritius lies at the cross-road between the African and Asian continents and is ideally positioned to attract international students who wish to pursue a high-quality university education but might not be in a position to travel to the UK. It also enjoys political stability and provides a safe environment for international students,” said Professor April McMahon.

“The Government of Mauritius has ambitious plans to establish the country as an international knowledge hub and attract 100,000 students to study there over the next 10 years,” he added.

Despite setbacks to the sector, with certain Indian campuses in Mauritius being declared unauthorized in the recent past, the higher education sector in the island economy is on the upturn and the inauguration of the Amity Institute of Higher Education in Mauritius last month has served to reinforce the trend.

Also, last year, agreements have been entered between India’s tertiary education body Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)for mutual recognition of educational qualifications.

Coming to Aberystwyth University, it has already been working with Mauritius based Boston Campus Limited and is now planning to launch four undergraduate degree programmes and one MSc postgraduate programme. This course curriculum is, however, still subject to accreditation by the Mauritius Tertiary Education Commission and Aberystwyth University’s Senate.

For September 2014, the proposal is to deliver the courses in premises operated by Boston Campus Limited in CyberCity, Ebène, furthermore, plans are also being developed with Boston Campus Limited to build a modern residential campus catering for up to 2000 students at Quartier Militaire.

The academic programmes proposed for the 2014/15 academic year are BSc degrees in Accounting and Finance; Business Finance; Business Management; Management with Law and the MSc Masters in International Business, all of which currently run at Aberystwyth University.

Furthermore, it is anticipated that the new Quartier Militaire campus will open in time for the 2015 academic year, subject to final approval by the University’s Council.

Under the arrangement, students studying at Aberystwyth University’s Mauritius campus would enjoy the same status as their counterparts at Aberystwyth and upon successful completion of their course would receive Aberystwyth University degrees.

To ensure consistency of provision and foster close working relationship, academic and administrative staff from Aberystwyth would spend time working on the Mauritius campus and staff from Mauritius would be encouraged to spend time working in Aberystwyth.

Equally, students who might wish to transfer to Aberystwyth from Mauritius would be able to do so, and would be offered the choice of attending graduation at Aberystwyth or Mauritius, upon successfully completing their course of study.

Image (University): Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, announced the decision to open a new campus in Mauritius in September 2014.

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