Originally uploaded by Heaven on Earth Bristol.
Lately, the local press pundits have been reveling in their criticism against the University of Mauritius and to celebrate the wonderful initiatives from the private sector, which according to them, heralds a dazzling academic future for Mauritius. The gist of their discourse is that the University of Mauritius is obsolete and that those private universities will save Mauritius….
If you don’t believe me, read
– the editorial of Raj Meetarbhan in L’Express published on Monday 23rd April
– the editorial of Gilbert Ahnee published in Le Mauricien on Tuesday 24th April
Although one can appreciate the fact there exist such ventures, one cannot deny that for the time being that there are major differences between those private universities and the University of Mauritius. As an academic of this institution, I am the first to acknowlege that there is a lot of room for improvement, that there are many incoherent decisions, that there are administrative bottlenecks, that there may be some lecturers who are not up to standard (according to students’ feedback), etc.
Let’s compare like with like
Yet, if you compare those private institutions with UOM, it is clear that
– the programmes offered by UOM are developed by the institution whereas the private institutions rely on distance education programmes franchised to them by foreign universities
– consequently, lecture materials in private institutions are not developed and tailor-made for Mauritian students
– lecturers there are not really lecturers, they should be called tutors rather as they do not develop the material; they only use D.E. manuals provided to them by the foreign university. One can even ask whether they actually master the content of the subjects they teach…
– the academic staff of the private institutions do little or no research as opposed to UOM
Also, I am quite intrigued by the fact that no journalist has cared to investigate the rapidity with which that Eastern University got its authorisation to bear the appellation of university (something the DCDM Business School which is now renamed Charles Telfair Institute does not even have).They were probably too busy doing the promotion of the Charles Telfair Institute….
In a nutshell, I would tend to say that, except for one or two programmes of study (e.g. I acknowledge that the DCDM Design course is good as it has a hands-on practical approach), those institutions are far behind the University of Mauritius. These institutions are here to make money basically, to exploit the unmet demand of people who need diplomas and degrees to get jobs.
Still, the University of Mauritius needs to improve, that one cannot deny.
Uom vs DCDM
well i don’t thing that there is a competition, UOM has his share of students and so does DCDM.
i’ve been critising UOM for the past weeks but frankly by far i prefer UOM to any other institution..
first its cheap.. its been here for ages and it already has a standard (thanks to work the performance of past graduates)..
Uom might be having financial difficulties but it doesn’t affect the way lectures are given..
we can’t really make too many demands about new labs etc.. but there are still some lecturers that are dynamic and we are able to work with the resources we have.
as you said private institutions put emphasis on practicals..
BUT 1 thing that is still obscure.. y can’t uom also emphasis on practical?
y in our exams marks only 10% come from real practical work and 90% come from written exams..???
there is a lot of restructuring to be done in some courses.. BUT DESPITE ALL THOSE PROBLEMS WE HAVE @ UOM.. OUR GRADUATES ARE AMONG THE FIRST TO GET EMPLOYED lol..
One comment that got misplaced from someone from Australia who studied at DCDM BS and now works under the supervision of a UoM graduate…
Avinash Meetoo says
The University of Mauritius together with the University of Technology are the only institutions in the country that develop their own content AND award their own degrees. Furthermore, lecturers do research work as well.
Consequently, we should compare apples with apples.
On the other hand, it’s also true that quality sometimes suffers at the university as we have too many students given our limited budget.
Government must decide once and for all:
(1) Either we stay a “free” university and, in that case, our intake MUST decrease in order for us to offer quality teaching, equipment, labs, etc.
(2) Or we start making students PAY and then, with that additional income, build an institution that can combine quantity and quality.
Now that I think of it, I would favour (1). My reasoning is that University-level studies is not made for everyone (like it or not). University is not about getting a degree. It’s about getting world-class knowledge in a specific field and develop that knowledge further. Universities throughout the world focus on top-quality research and development. A university should not be an extension of secondary school.
I would be perfectly happy to have DCDM get 80% of the young people of the country while the UoM takes the 20% best…
Remember, UoM is not a business… Rather, it is a subsidized service to the whole Mauritian population.
University is also not only getting world class knowledge. It is also abt socialisation and self development. I was talking abt this issue with a colleague lately. I was telling him that someone who left Mauritius to study abroad tends to be more mature in terms of development of personality and of character. He did not agree with me and cited examples about a wealthy family who sends his son or daughter to a foreign university and at each semester holiday tells him/her to come back. In this case, there will be no development. True s/he will be making friends on campus but what abt off-campus?
Avinash Meetoo says
Dormitories are essential for the proper development of young adults 🙂
As a student of Charles Telfair Institute let me give my opinion.
I agree with Avinash that we should compare apples with apples.
CTI is not a university as yet and therefore lecturers do not have to do research may be when they become uni.
I do not know if they are making money but they are giving us chance to pursue our studies.I doubt that all the UOM students are better than CTI ones.
Personaaly given the chance I will have gone to UOM but my HSC results are not that good but does this mean I am second category?
LAst point it is not true to say that all the courses are not suited to Mauritian context.
In my case our assignments are based on Australia context but Curtin allow the lecturers to do it on their own country.
Whenever some of our lecturers or tutors who are foreigners cannot teach on mauritian context there are guest lecturers that are invited.
The problem is that there is not enough public tertiary education in mauritius…
pff long comment…
Just to set the records straight: I am not at all against the existence of private institutions that provide tertiary education. I am all for it on the contrary as it meets a demand on the market and ‘democratises’ access to education…
What I fear is that the discourse in the media is geared towards only criticisms for the UOM and only praises for those institutions. I dislike the idea of comparing UOM with the latter as I think they are not at all in the same league.
So much unfounded criticisms!!!
My view as part-time student at UOM
For me those 3yrs have been fabulous..I had some great lecturers n some not that great though.who said there r no good lecturers at UOM..? There are some who dnt have the art of teaching even if they r good in their field, but they have been very few!!
Maybe some modules should have been more practical-based but i thk there r sme modules that hav been revised afterwards.
But one thing is sure I dnt regret staying in Mtius and doing my studies here coz I got some quality teaching here too.
And the decision to do this degree have been the best one I took.. n am loving it
Pfouff!! was longer than intended 🙂
Philippe Wing says
As an academic, I stongly believe that the market place will determine, whether there is a demand for privately owned universities in Mauritius. There must be proper planning to assess demand for tertiary education. These private Universities are driven by profits. If Mauritus wants to become a major hub for education in the world, a number of resevations must be raised. Firstly, who is going to scrutinise the quality of those private institutions. Secondly, does Mauritus have sufficiently high calibre lecturers.
From my dealing with the University of Technology Mauritus, where emails are never answered, there must be something tragically wrong with that institution. As long as the private sector can maintain an international standard, I don’t see any reason why there ought not be a diversity of supply.
Another option which could be examined is to privatise the Technology University in Mauritius.
You have raised an important point here: quality assurance
Whatever be the context you operate in (private or public), the standards used for evaluating the quality of education offered should be the same.
As far as UOM is concerned, I think there is a quite good quality assurance system (modelled on the UK system). It is not perfect; some depts fare better than others, but overall, it’s a safety valve that probably does not even exist in private institutions for the time being in Mauritius.
An example: those who assess private trainers/lecturers for accreditation often do not even have a clue about the academic field they are assessing!
hi every one so UoM students are somewhat saying that they are ” l’elite” mais l’elite c’est de la graine, prenez-en,so our nation face evolution and revolution, the thing that u don’t know is that the sc student not obtaining 5 credits or so, or 2 A level will he/she be admitted to UoM, to have better quality education means that we should rely on our national university,as for me the Charles Telfair is giving a chance to those not admitted at UoM to succeed, if university like mc curtin exports itself does it means that its not gud. Hey guys education received it is us that mould our future not the lecturers, UoM will, will be, shall be but Charles Telfair is an adolescent not yet an adult, by changing its name to institution makes it rather putting ” la barre haute” former dcdm Gives Mass Communication as per wish of TEC published the demand of courses on the market, the BA french is a BA general but licence en lettres moderne from Alliance française de l’ile maurice en partenariat avec L’university Cergy, it is the real French degree with an international standard and literacy + competency+productivity skills, u’ll be teaching at french graduate in france.
So don’t ever criticise as the mud thrown on dcdm, conceals the shiny future. plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz be not communal, divisionist. florian
Gosh, it’s a bit difficult to decrypt what you have written…
In any case, I never said that DCDM/Charles Telfair is crap. On the contrary, I think it has a contribution to bring to tertiary education in Mauritius and to meet a market demand.
My take was that the local media tend to compare our institutions when they are not comparable. They also tend to give unfair treatment to UOM and absolutely positive coverage to private institutions (for a host of reasons such as advertising, priviledged linkages and also natural bias)…
And BTW, where do you find communal or divisionist remarks on this page?
ex BSc student says
the CTI(formerly DCDM)proposed a disaster course in 2005, namely the BSc computer science(which was never proposed again) from Curtin University(Australia) in which for the first semester all the 34 students failed a unit/module due to a lame lecturer has his education in france and was teaching Java programming in French.
Later when there was assembly programming in the course and the students has to learn it by themselves.
the marks were very poor and the lecturers cheers the student when their marks reach above 60(when normally 70 is the normal marks and 90 is for the ellite).
At the beginning of year 2007, only 14 students remained(they were course terminated from Curtin, meaning they could not continue with the BSc but has to changed course). in semester 1,2007; only 3 students out of 14 passed a module and you know why? the lecturer COULD NOT guide the students how to tackle the questions. the ‘ellites’ of the class passed this module with 50 something where below 50 is a failure by curtin. there were questions in the tests where the student simply skip it as the lecturer has always skip it.by skipping it you lose 50% of marks in rhe two tests before the exams. that’s how it is at CTI.
by semester 2, 2007 only 12 students remain for the course BSc computer science and no student will get their BSc after studying for 3 years due to the fact that many fail multiple modules/units.
At the end of the day, BSc computer science course at Charles Telfair institute is like
lecturers do not understand the course material, they just leave the responsibility to the student. the lecturers only have BSc as degree teaching BSc students. students=lecturers same level,if you don’t understand a thing, most likely the lecturers will not understand it either.
3 years of BSc comp science = 0 % student ob tain their BSc.
ex BSc student says
just to add, the students of BSc comp science received a crash course of 2 hours from your husband Avinash Meetoo(UOM) for the assembly language(IJVM). without him, all students would have fail this module. the difference between the lecturers of UOM and CTI is huge.
for the Java module/unit, Kavi Khedo(UOM) came to rescue us. we all scored well above 65 and me personally 75 after the second attempt as the first attempt was taught by the lame lecturer(i talked from the previous post).
CTI = wannabe lecturers
UoM – true and real lecturers
i was following that course also(repl. to ex-BSc student) and i would like to point out that the guy that did a crash course of IJVM assembly language was not avinash meetoo(look for his pictures in his blog). He was someone else but was absolutely outstanding.
As for IT courses, teaching programming courses is a real problem everywhere in the world. In UoM, most lecturers teach programming to fail students. But thank god I am a Software Engineer thanks to Mrs Sierra from Sun Microsystems
i wud like 2 knw which courses r avaailable @ telfair institute……….n also @ uom
plzzzzzzzzzzz reply soon ………….actually am waiting 4 hsc results this year 2008……….i hv no1 2 guide me……….plzzzzzzz do me this favour……………email me
The syllabus of Curtin University of Technology is of international standard and cannot be compared to that of University of Mauritius, that`s without a single doubt and this also applies to the certificates issued by Curtin.
However, the lecturers at Charles Telfair Institute (university) are really bad at least for the Design department. They don`t have an in-depth knowledge of the subjects they are teaching. They just rely on materials provided by Curtin (lecture notes, … ). Consequently, in tutorials there are definitely less interactions between students and tutor. Taking a course at Charles Telfair Institute is like taking a distance learning course, you won`t benefit much from the lecturers. The equipments provided are also unsuitable for Design, Windows computers instead of MAC, bad amateur printers, slow internet connection, very few range of books on the topic studied is available at the library, ….
So let`s hope Charles Telfair Institute improve on its lecturers and professional industry standard equipments rather than focusing on building impressive campus to welcome more students.
I am a fist year student of CTI and I am VERY satisfied with the lecturers. I have got good results at the HSC levels.
But how you ( supposed be intellectual) can compare UOM with CTI?
Onlythose who were or are students at CTI can say their appraisal or heir disappointment.
But I think that CTI has given a lot to the tertiary sector in Mauritius, At least, I know that it will not be so difficult for meto be employed after..
I just have to say 2 things-Does the degree provided by the university of mauritius have the same value as the curtin university abroad? No the degree from UOM is just recognised in Mauritius whereas curtin university is recognised internationally!
However Charles Telfair must assure quality education especially in the field of designs!!
CTI Student Union 2009 says
Dear All, the Student Union Members will be very keen in having all the people discussing about CTI and UOM at any university whether it is at CTI or UOM to clarify any prolem that you may encounter. The CTI SU is here to listen to you and we believe that this is the job of all SU. Arguing of this post will not help that much as not everyone is aware of it. So please do come forward and let US know how we can help.
President of CTI SU
CTI Student Union 2009 says
Dear All, the Student Union Members will be very keen in having all the people discussing about CTI and UOM at any university whether it is at CTI or UOM to clarify any problem that you may encounter. The CTI SU is here to listen to you and we believe that this is the job of all SU. Arguing through these post will not help that much as not everyone is aware of it. So please do come forward and let US know how we can help.
President of CTI SU