Population: 1.253 million (2006)
GDP per capita: US$5,273 (2006)
Human Development Index (HDI): 0.804 (2007/2008)
Unemployment levels: 8.8% (2001 est.)
Key economic sectors: Agriculture, tourism. manufacturing and financial services
Principal Exports: Clothing and textiles, sugar, molasses and cut flowers
HIV and Aids prevalence: 1.7% (2007)
Gross Primary Enrolment Ratio: 102 (2006)
Gross Secondary Enrolment Ratio: 81 (2002)
Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio: 17 (2006)

Source: Country context data was obtained from a variety of sources: (CIA, 2008; SADC, 2008; UNAIDS, 2008; UNDP, 2008; UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2006)

Historical Background

MAURITIUS POPPED up in the middle of the Indian Ocean about nine million years ago. Together with Reunion, Rodrigues and a number of smaller islands, it’s part of an archipelago formed as a result of undersea volcanic eruptions. Its highest point is not much over 800 metres, and its hardly 2000 square kilometres in extent – yet these days it’s one of SADC’s most successful countries...Read more.

National Education System Overview

Primary education in Mauritius runs over six years from Standard I to VI. Children exit this level when they successfully complete the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) in their final year. Secondary education is effectively divided into two. Lower Secondary runs from Form I to Form V over five years and pupils exit this level when they complete the Cambridge School Certificate (SC). This effectively equates with ‘O Levels’. In the Upper Secondary level, students spend two years completing Form VI. They exit this level by completing the Cambridge Higher School Certificate (HSC) which is effectively an ‘A Level’ accreditation (ILO, 2005).

There are two publicly funded universities: University of Mauritius and University of Technology

Type of Higher Education Institutions     

Number of Institutions

Publicly funded universities 2
Publicly funded polytechnics & specialized colleges    7
Publicly funded, accredited unviersities or colleges 30

Source: Mauritius MoE questionnaire response

Policy Context

The Government of Mauritius aims to develop the country into a centre for higher education. Education reform is currently underway at the pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels, and the Government has now turned its attention to the higher education sector. A national priority is to increase enrolment in higher education from the current gross tertiary enrolment rate of 17% to about 30%. As a result, the tertiary education sector is to be transformed and expanded. This priority dovetails with the government’s national strategy to develop the country into a regional knowledge hub.


The National Strategic Plan for Education and Training (NSPET) 2008-2020 overall goal is to make Mauritius a Knowledge Hub to serve the Region. The strategy is to create an enabling environment for Mauritius to emerge as a Regional Knowledge Hub and a Centre for Higher Learning and Excellence (SARUA 2008 – MRCI Report).

Higher Education Legislation

Brief Description

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Act 1988 Has been amended to implement the MoE’s overarching regulatory framework that makes provision for the setting up of private universities and branches/centres/campuses of overseas institutions, and for the development of a robust framework for assuring quality in all tertiary education.

List of Statutory Bodies in the Higher Education Sector

Statutory Bodies   

 Brief description        

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) The TEC is the Ministry’s executive arm to promote, plan, and coordinate post-secondary education in Mauritius. It has the responsibility of allocating government funds to public tertiary institutions and implementing a regulatory framework in the sector.
Industrial and Vocational Training Board (IVTB) The IVTB was launched in 1989 initially to regulate, facilitate and provide training. However, in 2001 the government changed the organization’s focus to become an enhanced provider of training. The IVTB now operates twelve Training Centres, offering courses in over 50 different fields at different levels, including at tertiary level, under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources.
Mauritius College of the Air (MCA) The MCA promotes distance education. The College promotes education, arts, science and culture through mass media and distance education methods.
Mauritius Examinations Syndicate (MES) The Mauritius Examinations Syndicate is committed to organize and conduct examinations at all levels consistent with national policies and goals and in line with emerging international trends.
Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) The aim of the MQA is to enhance good practice and expertise, thereby safeguarding public interest in quality education and training. It grants approval for training institutions, training institution managers, programme officers, training institution trainers, and courses.

Source: Mauritius MoE questionnaire response

Funding Data

Public Expenditure on Education as a % of Gross National Income (GNI) 3.3%
% Education budget allocated to higher education 13%
Loan/Grant scheme in place No

Source: SARUA (2008) – Pillay report

Science and Technology

Key Indicators


R&D Intensity [The ratio of Gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)]   0.29% (1997)        
ISI Output (Number of papers published in the 7500+ journals of the ISI Web of Science)           1990-1995: 96
1996-2001: 212
2002-2007: 313

Source: SARUA (2008) – CREST Report