The Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) and its counterpart, the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to recognise university degrees issued in each other’s country.

The agreement was signed on July 17, 2014 at the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology in Ebène.

With the MoU, Mauritius and Seychelles seek to promote cooperation, information, expertise and experience exchanges on quality assurance, standards setting, recognition and evaluation of qualifications, as well as recognition of prior learning.

This new agreement is an outcome of the 10th edition of the Seychelles – Mauritius Joint Commission session on Bilateral Cooperation in September 2013 when it was decided that there should be collaboration between the respective qualifications authorities.

Robin K. Phoolchund, Acting Director of the MQA, signed the document on behalf of Mauritius, and Fiona Ernesta, Chief Executive Officer at SQA, inked it on behalf of Seychelles.

Besides, Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah, the Ambassador of Mauritius to Seychelles, Marie-France Roussety and the Honorary Consul General of Seychelles, Guy Fok Yew Min, also attended the signing ceremony.

Fiona Ernesta and Hilda Julie, Principal Officer at the SQA, shared their insights with the MQA on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) development and systems in place, including quality assurance, standards setting, recognition and evaluation of qualifications.

They also proposed opportunities for future cooperation with the MQA.

“The signing of this agreement is a great development for both countries. It will allow our youth to enjoy work experience elsewhere, other than in their own countries,” Fiona Ernesta said.

“We are very proud of this collaboration. I must say that Mauritius has invested heavily in the success of its young people and we have been very impressed by what we have seen in the course of our visits,” she added.

Minister Rajesh Jeetah welcomed the strengthening of regional ties between the universities of the two economic powerhouses in the Indian Ocean.

According to Minister Jeetah, the issue of qualifications framework is very complex and wide ranging, especially in the present context of increasing student mobility and internationalisation of higher education.

MQA and SQA will work together with their correspondents in other countries and strengthen international as well as regional linkages with other Qualifications Authorities.

The MQA has already established links with l’Académie de la Réunion, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Ministry of Education of Ghana, the national Training Authority of Gambia, TEVETA-Zambia, the Barbados Accreditation Council and the Vocational Education and Training Authority of Tanzania.

Moreover, Minister Jeetah mentioned that 21 students from Seychelles are currently attending universities in Mauritius and two of them are beneficiaries of the Mauritius-Africa scholarship.

Minister Jeetah said he was looking forward to more Seychellois students joining institutions in Mauritius at undergraduate and post graduate levels, pointing out that Mauritius has four public universities, a Fashion and Design Institute and other public institutions offering tertiary level courses.

Moreover, a Faculty of Ocean Studies, a Centre for Nanotechnology, a Centre for space studies, which will offer specialized programmes, will soon be open for applications.

The minister noted that this agreement signals yet another welcome collaboration between Seychelles and Mauritius.

Besides education, Mauritius has long-standing and fruitful collaboration in many fields with Seychelles.

For instance, two MoUs on health and cooperation and in the field of research and education for the mutual recognition of qualifications were signed during the visit of Seychelles President James Alix Michel to Mauritius in March 2012.

Also, four MoUs were signed between Mauritius and Seychelles at the first Mauritius-Seychelles Business Forum in Seychelles to promote trade and investment.

Image (GIS): Mauritius’ Tertiary Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah (left) welcomed the strengthening of regional ties between the universities of the two economic powerhouses in the Indian Ocean.

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