Study in Mauritius

Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometers off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez, 560 kilometers east of the principal island, the islands of Agaléga and Saint Brandon. The islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez and the French department of Réunion, 170 km, form part of the Mascarene Islands. The area of the country is 2040 km2; its capital is Port Louis.

The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and abandoned it in 1710. Five years later, the island became a French colony and was renamed the Isle de France. The French developed extensive sugar plantations on the island, and the Mauritian Creole language came into existence during their rule.

The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country remained under British rule until it became an independent Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

The country’s populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, French, and Chinese descent. Most Mauritians are multilingual; English, French, Creole and Chinese languages are used.

The Mauritian Constitution is based on the Westminster model. The head of state is the President but constitutional power is vested in the Prime Minister who is the head of government. Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy, economic and political freedom.

The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery.

A melting point of the world’s oldest civilizations, Mauritius is a rare example of social peace and unity in a multi-cultural society. The population boasts origins from the European and African continents, as well as India and China. Such a cosmopolitan legacy makes for legendary hospitality. Mauritius is also a safe place to live, Mauritians being naturally well inclined and have a peaceful nature. All Mauritians enjoy freedom of expression and of religion.

There is freedom of the press with the presence of dozens of dailies and weeklies. Mauritius has enjoyed enduring political stability ever since independence in 1968. The Government is democratically elected every 5 years. The Constitution is based on the Westminster Parliamentary model.

Our successive Governments have all shown strong and sustained commitment to a market-driven economy where free enterprise can flourish and foreign investment prosper. The present Government is set to take the country into yet another leap into its future that of a global island and an emerging economic powerhouse in the region.

 

Republic of Mauritius
République de Maurice  (French)

            

Flag                                                              Coat of arms

 

Motto: “Stella Clavisque Maris Indici” (Latin)
“Star and Key of the Indian Ocean”

 

Geography

Location: Mauritius is situated just above the Tropic of Capricorn, in the South West of the Indian Ocean, some 2000 kilometers off the east coast of Africa, between latitudes 19° 60 and 20°32 South and longitudes 57°18 and 57°46 East.

Surface Area: 1,860 sq km
Central plateau rises 600 meters above sea level.
Highest mountain peak: Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire (827 meters)

The total land area of the country is 2040 km2. The Republic of Mauritius also incorporates the island of Rodriguez, situated some 560 kilometers to the east and is 104 km2 in area, the Agaléga situated some 1,000 km to the north of Mauritius and Saint Brandon situated some 430 km to the north-east of Mauritius, both with total land area of 71.2 km2. Mauritius claim sovereignty over Tromelin islands, small islands that lie 430 km to the northeast of Mauritius. The nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) covers about 1.2 million square kilometers of the Indian Ocean. Four fishing banks fall within EEZ limits, the Soudan Banks (including East Soudan Bank), Nazareth Bank, Saya de Malha Bank, Hawkins Bank. In 2011 the United Nations endorsed the joint submission of Mauritius and Seychelles to extend their continental shelf of 396,000 km2 in the Mascarene region which gives the two countries sovereign right to jointly manage and exploit the seabed and subsoil of the joint area. 

The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Réunion and Rodriguez, the island is part of the Mascarene Islands. These islands have emerged from the abysses as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometers to the east of the continental block made up by Africa and Madagascar. They are no longer volcanically active and the hotspot now rests under Réunion Island. There has been no active volcano on Mauritius Island for more than 100,000 years. A broken ring of mountain ranges encircles Mauritius, varying in height from 300 meters to 800 meters above sea level. The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 meters; the highest peak is in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 meters (2,717 ft). Streams and rivers speckle the island; a lot of them are formed in the cracks created by lava flows. 


Panoramic view showing houses, mountain ranges and sugar cane plantation

The island of Mauritius is situated some 2,000 kilometers (1242 miles) off the south east coast of the African continent, between Latitudes 19°58.8′ and 20°31.7′ South and Longitudes 57°18.0’and 57°46.5′ East, it is 65 km long and 45 km wide, its land area is 1,864.8 km2. Mauritius is surrounded by more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) of white sandy beaches and the lagoons are protected from the open sea by the world’s third largest coral reef, which surrounds the island. Just off the Mauritian coast lie some 49 uninhabited islands and islets; some of them are used as natural reserves for the protection of endangered species.

 

Environment

The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Mauritius ranked second in an air quality index released by the World Health Organization in 2011.

Situated near the tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius has a tropical climate. There are 2 seasons: a warm humid summer from November to April, with a mean temperature of 24.7° and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September with a mean temperature of 20.4°. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3°. The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2° and the coolest months are July and August when average night minimum temperatures drops down to 16.4°. Annual rainfall ranges from 900 mm on the coast to 1,500 mm on the central plateau. Although there is no marked rainy season, most of the rainfall occurs in summer months. Sea temperature in the lagoon varies from 22° to 27°. The central plateau is much cooler than the surrounding coastal areas and can experience as much as double the rainfall. The prevailing trade winds keep the East side of the island cooler and also tend to bring more rain. There can also be a marked difference in temperature and rainfall from one side of the island to the other.

 

Districts

Mauritius is divided into nine districts, which consist of different cities, towns and villages. The island of Rodriguez used to be the country’s tenth district before it gained autonomous status in 2002.

 

Foreign relations

Mauritius has strong and friendly relations with various African, American, Asian, European and Oceania countries. It is a member of the World Trade Organization, the Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie, the African Union, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Indian Ocean Commission, COMESA and formed the Indian Ocean Rim Association. Considered part of Africa geographically, Mauritius has friendly relations with African states in the region, particularly South Africa, by far its largest continental-trading partner. Mauritian investors are gradually entering African markets, notably Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country’s political heritage and dependence on Western markets have led to close ties with the European Union and its member states, particularly the United Kingdom and France. Relations with China and India are strong for both historical and commercial reasons.


Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Navin Ramgoolam and his wife Veena Ramgoolam with the President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

 

Language

The Constitution of Mauritius mentions no official language. It only contains a statement in Article 49 that “The official language of the Assembly shall be English but any member may address the chair in French”, implying that English and French are official languages of the National Assembly (parliament). French is also a common language in education and the dominant language of media. According to the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie, 72.7% of the Mauritians were French speakers in 2005.  Being both an English-speaking and French-speaking nation, Mauritius is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and the Francophonie.

Mauritian Créole, which is spoken by 90% of the population, is considered to be the native language of the country and is used most often in informal settings. It was developed in the 18th century by slaves who used a pidgin language to communicate with each other as well as with their French masters, who did not understand the various African languages. The pidgin evolved with later generations to become a casual language. Mauritian Creole is a French-based Creole due to its close ties with French pronunciation and vocabulary.

Mauritius has the highest adult literacy rate for the whole of Africa as a result of free education at primary and secondary school level. This highly disciplined and educated workforce is also equally fluent in English and French, while many also speak a third international language: Hindi, Mandarin, Urdu and a host of European languages. The workforce is young, 29.2% being aged less than 30 and business spirited, innovative thinking and open to the world.

It is only in the Parliament that the official language is English but any member of the National Assembly can still address the chair in French. However, English is generally accepted as the official language of Mauritius and as the language of government administration and the court business. In Mauritius, people switch languages according to the situation. Creole is used in informal settings while French and English, which have long enjoyed greater social status, are favored in educational and professional settings.

 

Economy


Artist’s impression of the Neo town development in Port Louis

Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a middle-income diversified economy. The economy is based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services. In recent years, information and communication technology, seafood, hospitality and property development, healthcare, renewable energy, and education and training have emerged as important sectors, attracting substantial investment from both local and foreign investors. Mauritius has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world; in 2012 the government announced its intention to develop the Ocean Economy.

Mauritius is ranked high in terms of competitiveness, investment climate, governance and freest economy, the Gross Domestic Product (PPP) estimate was at $20.200 billion and GDP (PPP) per capita income over $15,591 in 2012, one of the highest in Africa. Mauritius has an upper middle-income economy, according to the World Bank in 2011. For the fifth consecutive year, the World Bank’s 2013 Ease of Doing Business report ranks Mauritius first among African economies and 19th worldwide out of 183 economies in terms of ease of doing business. Mauritius has built its success on a free market economy; according to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom Mauritius is ranked as having the 8th most free economy in the world, and the highest score in investment freedom. The report’s ranking of 183 countries is based on measures of economic openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and competitiveness. The rupee (sign: ₨; ISO 4217 code: MUR) is the currency of Mauritius. It is theoretically divided into 100 cents.

Mauritius has a smart brand of fine professionals, most of who qualified from internationally recognized institutions and/or world class professional bodies: chartered accountants, financial analysts, corporate lawyers, tax specialists, business consultants, IT engineers, architects. Recently, the Government of Mauritius enacted legislation encouraging foreign professionals to set up in the country.

Benefitting from a convenient time zone that makes same-day transactions possible from the US, through Europe, the Middle East and Australasia, Mauritius is emerging as a major international business platform in this region of the world. The Mauritian economy is one of the fastest growing in sub-Saharan Africa. In just three decades, the country has moved from a mono-crop sugar-dominated economy to being services oriented. The tertiary sector currently accounts for 70% of GDP, a fair indication of our impressive track record.

While traditional growth sectors like tourism and manufacturing continue to be strong, many other opportunities have arisen in emerging sectors with the potential to become tomorrow’s economic pillars of a regional powerhouse. This rapid transition to a mature economy, one of just two in Africa to have graduated to middle-income status, comes as a promising result of sound economic management coupled with a vision to succeed shared between the Government, the business community and civil society at large.

While endowed with a small, but increasingly affluent local population, Mauritius has secured preferential access to markets worth several hundreds of millions of consumers. With the EU, through the Cotonou agreement; with the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act; with Eastern and Southern Africa, through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mauritian traditional investors are also very receptive to partnering with their international counterparts. An increasing number of joint ventures are being witnessed today, in the traditionally strong sectors as well as in a growing number of innovation-driven emerging sectors.

Mauritius has been endowed with a natural gift for business ever since she was a major trading post for the renowned French “Compagnie des Indes” two centuries ago. In the years 1600′, she was referred to as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean. The entrepreneurial spirit lives on. The business community is active and the Government is instrumental in making things happen. Today, any foreign investor can settle hassle-free in Mauritius and be operational in just 3 days.

The Government has ensured doing business in and from Mauritius is both easy and smooth and complies with best practices in terms of transparency, good governance and ethics. Mauritius has enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing legislation while the business framework itself has been made simpler. Commercial law in Mauritius is a combination of the English Common Law and the French Napoléon Code.

 


Port Louis City View

Overview of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius; It is the country’s economic, cultural, political center as well as the most populous city.

 

Tourism


Seven Colored Earths at Chamarel

Mauritius is one of the world’s top luxury tourism destinations. It possesses a wide range of natural and man-made attractions, enjoys a tropical climate with clear warm seawaters, attractive beaches, tropical fauna and flora complemented by a multi-ethnic and cultural population that is friendly and welcoming. These tourism assets are its main strength, especially since well-designed and run hotels, and reliable and operational services and infrastructures back them up. Mauritius received the World Leading Island Destination award for the third time and World’s Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012. Mauritius has also one of the highest rates of returning tourism visitors in the world.

 


Le Morne Landscape

Le Morne Cultural Landscape: Monument of Nature and UNESCO world heritage site. Located on the South Western tip of Mauritius, Le Morne Mountain symbolizes slaves’ struggle for freedom.

Mauritius will enchant you; will uplift your soul, making you feel that you belong to the chosen few. Every visitor enjoys personal attention. Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique holiday. The contrast of a multitude of colours and tastes, the island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Mauritius, a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together, offers an essential beauty that will compel to return to its shores time and time again. May your stay with us remain engraved in your memory forever?

Cities and tourist hubs

 

  • Blue-Bay
  • Port Louis — capital of Mauritius
  • Grand Bay
  • Flic en Flac
  • Chamarel
  • Mahebourg
  • Beau Bassin
  • Curepipe
  • Rose Hill
  • Quatre Bornes
  • Vacoas
  • Phoenix

 

 

Beaches

Lagoons of a typically tropical sweetness and endless white beaches : Mauritius is a real paradise for those who want to enjoy the sea or just to soak up the sun. Here is a list of the island’s finest public beaches.

 

Grand Bay – One of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing and water skiing. La Cuvette beach has been recently upgraded.

Pereybere – This remarkable small cove half-way between Grand Bay and Cap Malheureux is one of the finest bathing spots on the island.

Belle Mare – Miles and miles of white and spotless beaches from Belle Mare to Trou-d’Eau Douce

Blue Bay – Blue Bay beach is one of the most popular bathing spots in the Southeast of the island. An ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing

Le Morne & Tamarin – Offer kilometers of beaches for bathing and are very popular for surfing.

Flic en Flac – White beaches fringed with filaos or Casuarina trees.

 

Cuisine

Mauritius is a paradise for the senses, not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape, but also for the palate. Gastronomes will find a variety of flavors and aromas inherited from the different migrations through its history. Culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa, the best-known and appreciated cuisines in the world, have been passed on through generations.

Depending on the region, rice or a variety of flat bread called chapattis or roti, called farata (paratha) by the local people, is eaten with curries. The extensive use of spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and herbs like thyme, basil, and curry leaves are the common ingredients that provide some powerful, yet subtle, savor. Dal, a variety of lentil soup, is many and varied according to which type of lentil is used; vegetables, beans, and pickles accompany the dishes. Dholl puri and roti, originally an Indian delicacy have become the fish and chips of Mauritians.

Biryani from Mughal origins is a dish expertly prepared by the Muslim community, with meat mixed with spiced rice and potatoes.

You can buy many snacks on the streets of Mauritius including the famous gateaux piments (a variant of the Indian vadai; literally, chilli cakes), and vegetable or meat samosas (puffs), along with octopus curry in bread. The tomato and onion based dish called Rougaille (pronounced rooh-guy) is a variation of the French ragoût. The dish usually consists of meat or seafood (corned beef and salted snoek fish rougaille are very popular with the locals) and all Mauritians eat this dish often if not daily.

Mauritians have a sweet tooth and make many types of ‘gateaux’, as they are called. The cakes vary and you can find cakes very much like those in France and others similar to Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla among many others.


Surreal rural landscape, Mauritius

 

Transportation

Transport in Mauritius has been free for students, the disabled and seniors since July 2005. There are currently no railways in Mauritius, there were previously industrial railways, but these have been abandoned. To cope with increasing road traffic congestion, a Light Rail Transit system has been proposed between Cure pipe and Port Louis. The main harbour, where international trade is handled, and Cruise Terminal is found at Port Louis. The main airport is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the home of the national airline Air Mauritius, a new passenger terminal was opened in March 2013 becoming fully operational in May 2013.

Mauritius has a well-developed network of internal and external communications. An extensive and well maintained road infrastructure; a modern and efficient port capable of berthing vessels up to 100 meters; a web of sea links and direct air connections with several cities around the world; high band fiber cable connectivity; a reliable fixed and mobile telephone network; express courier service providers and freight forwarders; fully serviced business and industrial parks; a free port; well equipped and comfortable offices.

It is easy to travel around the island by bus, taxi or rented cars from several local and international car-renting companies.

 

Culture


Hanuman, Ganga and Shiva statue under construction in the background at Ganga Talao

 

Holidays and festivals

Mauritius public holidays involve the blending of several cultures from Mauritius’s history, as well as individual culture arising indigenously. There are Hindu festivals, Chinese festivals, Muslim festivals, as well as Christian festivals.

There are 15 annual public holidays in Mauritius. Seven of these are fixed holidays: 1 and 2 January; 1 February; 12 March; 1 May; 2 November; and 25 December. The remaining public holidays are religious festivals with dates that vary from year to year. However these are public holidays, many other festivals like Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Père Laval Pilgrimageal also exist in Mauritius.

 

Religious Beliefs

The religions of Mauritius are Hinduism (52%), Roman Catholicism (31%), Islam (16%) and Buddhism (1%).

Most Mauritian Muslims are Sunnis; a few are Shias and Ahmadis.

Within Hinduism there are many variants, corresponding with variants found in India itself. Low-caste practices of animal sacrifice are common in rural areas. Maratha and Tamil variants of the religion also have their distinctive points, contrasting greatly to the dominant Bihari form of Hinduism.

Syncretistic beliefs are common in Mauritius, and traces of heterodox European and Indian dogma and traditional African beliefs can be found within Hindus and Creoles alike – particularly in rural areas. Belief in witchcraft is common, but rarely has an impact on social or cultural life on the island.

 

Religious Practitioners

The archbishop of the Mascareignes and the Seychelles – the most powerful religious person in Mauritius, leads the Catholic Church. Catholic priests are highly respected and powerful in their local communities. Many are involved in social work.

Hindu pundits and Muslim imams are also powerful, although their religions do not require formal leadership. That said, pundits and imams wield a lot of power in rituals and in the context of Hindu and Muslim youth clubs (baitkas and madrassahs, respectively). Buddhism is of negligible importance in Mauritius; most of the Buddhists are also Catholics.

 

Ceremonies

 

There are three spectacular annual religious ceremonies. The Tamil festival Cavadi is a rite of passage involving fire walking, although many of the participants nowadays are non-Tamils. In contrast, the Catholic Père Laval pilgrimage is exclusively Christian and the Maha Shivaratri is exclusively Hindu. All major rituals and festivals of the largest religious traditions, including the Chinese New Year, are celebrated by their followers.

 

 

Sports

“To The Line”, winner of the Maiden Cup in 2006.

The most popular sport in Mauritius is football and the national team is the Club M. Water sports are popular, including swimming, sailing, scuba diving and water skiing. Other popular sports in Mauritius include cycling, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, basketball, handball, boxing, pétanque, judo, karate, taekwondo, weightlifting, bodybuilding and athletics.

However Mauritius is quite competitive at regional level in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius collected some gold, silver and bronze medals in the Indian Ocean Island Games. The second (1985) and fifth editions (2003) were hosted by Mauritius. Mauritius won its first Olympic medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing when boxer Bruno Julie won the bronze medal.

The national sport, however, remains horseracing, which is part and parcel of the island’s cultural heritage. Horseracing in Mauritius dates to 1812, when the Champ de Mars Racecourse was inaugurated, the oldest racecourse in the Southern Hemisphere. Eight races are held every Saturday afternoon from March to December at the Champ de Mars Racecourse in Port Louis.

 

 

Accommodation

There is a wealth of accommodation to choose from in Mauritius – ranging from small to medium-sized hotels and charming villas right through to luxury resorts. Each is as welcoming as the next, and offers the same exemplary levels of service.

There are twelve major hotel groups in Mauritius: Accor, Apavou Hotels, Attitude Resorts, Beachcomber, Club Med, Constance Hotels, Indigo Hotels and Resorts, Lux Island Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Sun Resorts, Veranda Resorts and Heritage Resorts, and One & Only Resorts

The natural charm of the country and the tax incentives offered by Government have also attracted other reputable international hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Hilton, Intercontinental, Maritim, Le Meridien, Oberoi and Sofitel.

 

Night Life

Warm, starlit evenings provide an idyllic setting for al fresco dining, dancing and romantic strolls on the beach. There is a lively atmosphere – especially on the north and west coast, where many nightclubs, pubs and restaurants can be found.

DJs are often invited for special occasions. French and English pop music, as well as techno and jazz, are all popular ‘night-time sounds’ in Mauritius.

 

Education

The government of Mauritius provides free education to its citizens from pre-primary to tertiary level. Since July 2005, the government introduced free transport for all students. For the year 2011, government expenditure on education was estimated at about Rs 11.7 billion, representing 12.5% of total expenditure. The education system in Mauritius consists of pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. The education structure consists of three years of pre-primary school, six years of primary schooling leading to the Certificate of Primary Education, followed by five years of secondary education leading to the School Certificate and a further two years of higher secondary ending with the Higher School Certificate. The O-Level and A-Level examinations are carried out by the University of Cambridge through University of Cambridge International Examinations. The Tertiary Education sector includes colleges, universities and other technical institutions in Mauritius. The country’s two main public universities are the University of Mauritius and University of Technology. The Tertiary Education Commission’s Strategic Plan envisages Mauritius as a regional knowledge hub and a centre for higher learning and excellence. It promotes open and distance learning to increase access to post-secondary education and lifelong learning locally and regionally.

Education in Mauritius is managed by the Ministry of Education & Human Resources, which controls the development and administration of state schools funded by government, but also has an advisory and supervisory role in respect of private schools. The Tertiary education is maintained by the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology. Schooling is compulsory up to the age of 16. Mauritian students consistently rank top in the world each year for the Cambridge International O Level, International A and AS level examinations.

 

Formal Education structure

Education type

Age

Class

Exams

Pre-Primary

3 – 5 Yrs
(Compulsory)

Yr 1
Yr 2
Yr 3

Primary

5 – 11 Yrs
(Compulsory)

Standard 1
Standard 2
Standard 3
Standard 4
Standard 5
Standard 6

Certificate of Primary Education

Secondary

12 – 16 (Compulsory)
17 – 20 Yrs

Form 1
Form 2
Form 3
Form 4
Form 5
Lower 6
Upper 6

Form 3 National ExamSchool Certificate (O Level)

Higher School Certificate (A Level)

Tertiary

18+ Yrs

Leads to bachelors, masters
and other
 academic degrees

 

 

Pre-Primary

Pre-primary education embraces children between 3 and 5 years old. The number of children in Pre-Primary schools was 33,901 out of which 51% were boys and 49% girls. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (number of students enrolled per 100 population aged 4–5) works out to 97% with an average of 13 pupils per teacher. The number of Pre-Primary schools in March 2011 was 1,018, which are 985 in the Island of Mauritius and 33 in Rodriguez. 75% of these schools were privately run institutions, 18% operating on government primary school premises administered by the Early Childhood Care and Education Authority and the remaining 7% were administered by either Roman Catholic or Hindu Education Authorities or Municipal/Village Councils.

The following measures are part of policy developments to consolidate the sector:

• Strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework for the provision of Early Childhood Care and Education.

• Reduction of disparity among pre-schools.

• Addressing the problem of out-of-schools pre-primary children due to absolute poverty.

• Developing a National Curriculum Framework for the pre-primary subsector.

• Ensuring readiness of all pre-primary school children for primary school.

• Construction of pre-primary units in disadvantaged areas

• Strengthening partnerships with parents through a Parent Empowerment Program.

Primary

As at March 2011, there were 305 primary schools with 116,068 pupils (51% boys, 49% girls). Total staff comprised 8,266 persons with 4,227 General Purpose Teachers and 1,350 Oriental Language teachers. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (number of students enrolled per 100 population aged 6–11) is 100% and the pupil/teacher ratio 27. Children are enrolled in primary school from the age of five and enter Standard I and move automatically up to Standard VI. The system is highly competitive and a two-year preparation starts since Standard V up to Standard VI for the end of primary school examinations, the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). The CPE is a national examination carried out by the Mauritius Examination Syndicate which devises the syllabus; prepares and prints the examination papers and does the correction. Five subjects are compulsory and taken into account for the ranking:

English, French, Mathematics, Science,History and Geography, Oriental languages are optional. Children who fail the CPE may have one re-sit. Those who do not pass the CPE at either attempt are not eligible to join the secondary system and may enter the Technical and vocational education. After the CPE exams children are admitted to regional secondary colleges according to their zones, those with the best result are admitted in National Colleges. Pass rate for CPE examination increased from 68.1% in 2009 to 68.5% in 2010.

Since 2002 the government has implemented educational programmes in some of the primary schools of the country in order to improve CPE exams results in the low achieving schools. The initiative is now known as Zones d’Education Prioritaires (Z.E.P) and in order to reach its objective, it seeks to involve the whole school community: school staff, parents, NGOs, business and community-based associations in improving the school climate and results. Other recent initiatives have included the development of an Enhancement Programme to cater for students of Std III and IV providing several co curricular activities to support the holistic development of the child, and the introduction of ICT in the classroom through the ‘ Sankoré ‘ programme where classes of Std IV are progressively being equipped with computers and interactive projectors.

 

Secondary

The CPE determines admission to a secondary college. The child enters college in Form I and progresses through to Form VI, requiring seven years of schooling. From Form I to II internal examination is carried out by the schools. The domains of learning for students from Form I to Form III include

Languages (English, French, Hindi and Other Languages), Mathematics, Sciences(Biology, Chemistry, Physics), Technology (ICT, Design and Technology, Home Economics, Design, Clothing and Textiles), Health (Home Economics – Food and Nutrition and Human Development and Physical Education), Social sciences (History, Geography, Sociology) and Arts (Visual Arts, Music and Drama & Dance) and Cross curricular Domains of Learning.  In the past there were no major nationally devised curriculums since each school has to plan its work according to the level of the students. In 2012, the National Assessment at Form III was introduced for students in Form III; this examination is carried out by the Mauritius Examination Syndicate.

When students reach Form IV, they have to choose at least six major subjects for their Cambridge School Certificate (SC) which is the GCE ‘O’ Level examinations. This examination is carried out in Form V.

This is followed by a two-year upper secondary education (Lower VI and Upper VI) ending with the Cambridge Higher School Certificate (HSC) that is the GCE ‘A’ Level. Students have to specialize in 3 main subjects and 2 subsidiary ones for the A Level examination. HSC Students have the option to compete and those with the best results win scholarship for their tertiary education. The O-Level and A-Level examinations are carried out by the University of Cambridge through University of Cambridge International Examinations, which devises the syllabus; prepares and prints the examinations papers and does the correction.

At March 2011, there were 180 schools providing secondary education in the academic stream. The secondary school enrolment was 115,289 (48% boys, 52% girls) and the number of teachers was 7,873. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (number of students enrolled per 100 population aged 12–19) works out to 70% and the pupil/teacher ratio 15. For the Cambridge School Certificate (SC), the pass rate improved slightly from 77.6% in 2009 to 77.8% in 2010. For the Cambridge Higher School Certificate (HSC), it decreased from 78.8% in 2009 to 78.3% in 2010.

 

Technical and vocational education

The Government has undertaken to ensure provision of educational facilities to students till they reach the maturity age of 16 to enter the world of work. In this context the pre-vocational sector caters for around 4,000 students ejected at the end of the primary cycle, in view of their inability to meet the established benchmark for promotion to the mainstream in the secondary sector. Since its conception in the late 90s, the Prevocational Education has been providing a second chance to pupils who have failed the CPE or who are above 13. The children complete a 3 year program in secondary schools and follow the NTC Foundation Course run by the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development.  Pre-vocational education was dispensed in 126 schools in March 2011 with an enrolment of 7,270 students (64% boys, 36% girls) and 634 teaching staff. The pupil/teacher ratio was 11. The main provider of the TVET program is the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD). The purpose of the MITD is to offer numerous technical programs to provide human resource training to meet the needs of the world of work at the middle professional level. The MITD also currently also provides courses at the level of National Diploma. The TVET sector is regulated by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority which also develops and maintains the national Qualifications Framework (NQF).

 

Tertiary

Tertiary education which started in 1924 with the College of Agriculture has since developed into a diversified system, composed of public, private, regional and overseas institutions catering for a wide range of courses and programmes. The provision of tertiary education extends beyond the local tertiary education institutions given that a significant number of Mauritian students either go overseas or resort exclusively to the open learning mode for pursuing their studies. Tertiary level enrolment went up by 6.9%, from 41,484 in 2009 to 44,334 in 2010.

Tertiary institutions in Mauritius include colleges, universities, Institutes of Technology/Polytechnic and other technical institutions. The country’s two main public universities are the University of Mauritius and University of Technology. Universities, as in most countries worldwide, have three stages: Bachelor’s (undergraduate), Master’s (graduate), and Doctoral degrees. Undergraduate stage lasts for at least four years and graduate stage lasts for five years after completion of secondary education or one year after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree. The third stage of higher education results in obtaining a Ph.D. Degree. Private institutions and overseas institutions/bodies deliver tertiary-level programmes mostly in niche areas like Information Technology, Law, Management, Accountancy and Finance. A number of the institutions are overseas with their provisions made available through the distance education mode.

Some provide all levels of tertiary education in a range of disciplines while others focus their activities on only one or two areas at certain level. Within the public sector, tertiary education revolves around the University of Mauritius (UoM), the University of Technology (UTM), the Mauritius Institute of Education(MIE), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) and the Open University of Mauritius (OUM). Overseeing the four tertiary education institutions (TEIs) is the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) which, inter alia, has responsibility for allocating public funds, and fostering, planning and coordinating the development of post-secondary education and training. Many Mauritian students also either go overseas or resort exclusively to the open learning mode in pursuing their higher education studies.

 

Why Study in Mauritius?

Mauritius will enchant you; will uplift your soul, making you feel that you belong to the chosen few.  Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face in Mauritius. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique place to study. As we all know Mauritius is famous for its blue colored waters and white sanded beaches, which means, students can explore Mauritius while studying. For higher education many students come every year to complete their studies. About 4000 students across the world come in every year for post graduate studies. Hence study in Mauritius is truly a heartfelt experience.

Overall the contrast of a multitude of colors and tastes, the island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Mauritius, a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together, offers an essential beauty that will compel individuals to return to its shores again and again.

 

Vision

To create “safe and inspiring learning environments” in schools

The aspiration is to have state school environments that:

Support the needs of a modern education system

Are inspiring places for teachers to teach in

Provide parents with confidence as being safe environments for students

And give students a sense of pride and a desire to learn.

 

Mission

‘To be seen as a high quality property management team that is responsive to changes in demand’

To develop a culture of achievement and excellence by promoting an efficient and effective education and training system that is inclusive and integrated, comprehensive and holistic.

To foster innovation and to generate new knowledge for the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation

To ensure learning opportunities accessible to all, provide learners with values and skills for their personal growth enhance their critical and exploratory thinking and encourage them to innovate and to adapt to changes in an increasingly globalised environment.

The IMU aims at having an excellent reputation in regard to:

 

  • Implementation and monitoring of infrastructural projects
  • Effective and efficient management of assets
  • Building confidence and trust of stakeholders in the sector

 

 

Objectives

 

  • Ensure that schools are safe and in good physical condition
  • Ensuring timely implementation of infrastructural projects
  • Ensure proper communication with all stakeholders

 

 

Education Sector Objectives

 

  • To ensure that ALL children aged 3 to 5 years in Mauritius have the opportunity to develop their individual intellectual, socio-emotional and psycho-motor skills to the best of their capacity in order to build the confidence and self-esteem in learning that will not only prepare them for the next level (primary school) but, more importantly, lay the foundations for learning that will support them throughout their lifetime.
  • To sustain equitable access to quality education, ensuring that all learners attain high levels of achievement in Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communications Technology and such essential Life Skills as sound human values, healthy lifestyle and so forth as the basis for lifelong learning and good citizenship.
  • To ensure that all students are given the opportunity to embark on and complete higher secondary education for employability and higher and further education and training with the required maturity and confidence.
  • To build a system that ensures a supply of quality personnel that work collegially with a strong management and quality assurance system to improve and support learning achievement and overall development of all learners.
  • To provide an efficient and effective TVET system of greater public esteem responsive to the present and future needs by having a skilled and flexible workforce.
  • To make Mauritius an intelligent island, a Knowledge Hub to serve the Region and a Centre for Higher Learning and Excellence.
  • To build a creative and competent Human Resource base for Mauritius for sustainable national development.
  • To develop the Ministry into an efficient, effective, and accountable functioning public institution that exemplifies ‘best practices’ at all levels of the organization.

 

Student Visa Requirements for Study in Mauritius

Mauritius is the gateway for the students to enter the great continent of North America. Mauritius Visas are issued on producing the following official documents, which include:

  • Passport
  • Application form
  • Letter of acceptance form from respective Mauritius Institute
  • Passport size photos
  • Work Experience documents (if applicable)
  • Medical Examination Report
  • Police Clearance Certificate

 

The Mauritius’ Advantages:

Social and political stability

 

  • Mauritius is internationally recognized for its continuity of government, rule of law, political and social stability.
  • A melting point of the world’s oldest civilizations, Mauritius is a rare example of social peace and unity in a multi-cultural society. The population boasts origins from the European and African continents, as well as from India and China.
  • With such a cosmopolitan legacy, no wonder our hospitality is legendary. Mauritius is also a safe place to live, Mauritians being naturally well-inclined and of a peaceful nature.
  • All Mauritians enjoy freedom of expression and of religion. There is freedom of the press with the presence of dozens of dailies and weeklies.
  • Mauritius has also enjoyed enduring political stability ever since its early days as an independent nation born in 1968. The Government is democratically elected every 5 years. The Constitution is based on the Westminster Parliamentary model.
  • Our successive governments have all shown strong and sustained commitment to a market-driven economy where free enterprise can flourish and foreign investment prosper.

 

Open Economy

 

  • The Mauritian economy is one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. In just three decades, the country has moved from a mono-crop sugar-dominated economy to a services-oriented one and is now heading towards an innovation-driven economy. The tertiary sector currently accounts for 70% of GDP, a fair indication of our impressive track record.
  • While traditional growth sectors like tourism and manufacturing continue to be strong and resilient despite the recent world financial turmoil, many other opportunities have arisen in emerging sectors such as the ICT / BPO, Healthcare and Knowledge sectors with the potential to become tomorrow’s economic pillars of a regional powerhouse. This rapid transition to a mature economy, one of just two in Africa to have graduated to middle-income status, comes as a promising result of sound economic management coupled with a vision to succeed, shared between the government, the business community and civil society at large.
  • Nowadays, Mauritius is opening itself to the world by offering business friendly platforms. A foreign investor can settle hassle-free in Mauritius and be operational in just 3 days. Add to this, Mauritius has one of the world’s most generous tax regimes, where personal and corporate tax are harmonized at a low 15% and where dividends are tax free. A country with no exchange control, a country where export-oriented operators enjoy duty-free privilege for their inputs and equipment, In the same vein, Mauritius has signed non-double taxation agreements with 39 countries so far and is signatory to a number of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, namely with 36 countries.
  • Mauritian traditional investors are also very receptive to partnering with their international counterparts. An increasing number of joint ventures are being witnessed today, in the traditionally strong sectors as well as in a growing number of innovation-driven emerging sectors. The Government has ensured doing business in and from Mauritius is both easy and smooth and complies with best practices in terms of transparency, good governance and ethics. Our ranking as 1st country in Africa in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report is a testimony of the efforts put to position Mauritius as a jurisdiction of choice for conducting business.
  • Mauritius has enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation while the business framework itself has been made simpler. Commercial law in Mauritius is a combination of the English Common Law and the French Code Napoléon. Companies setting up in Mauritius fall under the provisions of the Companies Act 2001 while The Business Facilitation Act 2006 has further simplified the operational framework for doing business in Mauritius.
  • The Government plays a facilitator role in several sectors and a regulator role in a number of specialized sectors. The port area has been endowed with a One-stop-Shop to speed up required clearances. The Bank of Mauritius is the country’s Central Bank and the regulator of the banking sector. The non-bank financial sector, which includes the growing global business platform of Mauritius, is regulated by the Financial Services Commission.

 

 

Infrastructure

 

  • The Government is committed to endow Mauritius with a reliable, efficient and supportive infrastructure, at par with the best available in developed countries. To this effect, government has already invested massively and has committed large sums of funds for the continuous upgrading of the overall infrastructure.
  • The island has an extensive network of roads including a multiple lane highway linking the airport, in the southeast, to the north. A number of new road infrastructure project are underway with a view to alleviate traffic jam at peak hours.
  • The entire island is connected with electricity (stable power) and water supply for agricultural, industrial and household consumption. Industries can thus be located anywhere on the island.
  • Mauritius has a well-developed digital network infrastructure and offers excellent telecommunication facilities namely ADSL, ISDN, high bandwidth international leased lines and high-speed Internet access. The SAT3/WASC/SAFE (South Africa Far East) submarine fiber-optic cable links Mauritius to Europe via South Africa and to Asia via India and Malaysia – thus placing the island on the information superhighway.
  • The airport and the harbor are equipped to meet the full needs of both passenger and cargo traffic. Mauritius has regular air and sea connections with the rest of the world with the major airlines and shipping companies servicing the island. A new airport terminal is currently being built and will be fully operational by the end of 2011.
  • Fully serviced industrial buildings, industrial parks and IT habitats are available for plug and play type activities. All required utilities in terms of water, electricity and telecommunications are delivered to the doorstep.
  • Moreover, industrialists interested to build their own factory space can lease industrial land on a long term basis, from the State Land Development Company (SLDC), at very concessionary rates.
  • The Ebene Cyber city, the cornerstone of “Mauritius the Cyber Island”, is a new generation business park with state-of-the-art telecommunication facilities and modern office space, spread over 64 hectares.

 

Bilingual Workforce

 

  • Mauritius also has a smart brand of fine professionals, most of who qualified from internationally recognized institutions and/or world class professional bodies: chartered accountants, financial analysts, corporate lawyers, tax specialists, business consultants, IT engineers, architects. Recently too, the Government of Mauritius enacted legislation encouraging young foreign professionals to set up in the country.
  • Benefitting also from a convenient time zone that makes same-day transactions possible from US, through Europe and Middle-East up to Australasia, Mauritius is strongly emerging as a major international business platform in this region of the world.
  • Mauritius has the highest adult literacy rate of the whole of Africa. Mauritius is now reaping the benefits of a strong commitment to free education for all initiated in the late 70’s. This highly disciplined and educated workforce is also equally fluent in English and French, while many also speak a third international language: Hindi, Mandarin, Urdu and a host of European languages. The workforce is young, 29.2% being aged less than 30 and business spirited, innovative thinking and open to the world.

 

 

Business & Financial Hub

 

  • Mauritius is a strategic business centre situated in the Indian Ocean at the cross road between Asia, Africa and Australia. It is one of the most open and financially sound economies in sub-Saharan Africa. The success of the Mauritian economy is largely a result of its political and socio-economic stability, coupled with good governance and a pro-investment climate.
  • Mauritius is recognized as being an excellent place for doing business. The country’s adoption of international best business practices and sustainable development policies has been acknowledged by international agencies such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED), the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) and the World Bank (WB).
  • The island is fully open to foreign capital, talents and ideas. Ranked 1st in the 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance and 1st in Sub-Saharan Africa and 17th globally in the World Bank Doing Business Report 2010, Mauritius is the springboard for investment and doing business in Africa, Middle East and Asia.

 

As a business and financial hub, Mauritius offers the following advantages:

 

  • Favorable time zone (GMT +4)
  • Attractive fiscal policies
  • 34 active Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties (DTAs)
  • No exchange controls
  • An efficient banking system
  • A stock exchange opened to foreign investors
  • Reliable and modern infrastructure
  • New open Air Access policies
  • Efficient telecommunications system ( connected to SAFE fiber optic network)
  • Availability of qualified labour force
  • Occupation /residence permits granted in three days
  • Scheme available for foreigners to acquire property in Mauritius

 

 

Access to Markets

While endowed with a small, but increasingly affluent local population, Mauritius has secured preferential access to markets worth several hundreds of millions of consumers. With the EU, through the Cotonou agreement; with the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act; with Eastern and Southern Africa, through the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and SADC (Southern African Development Community).

Mauritian traditional investors are also very receptive to partnering with their international counterparts. An increasing number of joint ventures are being witnessed today, in the traditionally strong sectors as well as in a growing number of innovation-driven emerging sectors.

 

Exquisite Lifestyle

Last but not least…While a few other emerging economic forces of the world can rightly claim attributes as strong as Mauritius in the business arena, Mauritians are UNIQUE in one single most powerful point: nowhere on earth will you find such an attractive and buoyant place to do business blended so exquisitely with an incomparable “art de vivre” set against a stunningly beautiful tropical environment.

Enjoyable and beautiful though, Mauritius is also a safe place to live either as a national or an expatriate single professional, family or retiree. Crime prevalence is very low making Mauritius one of the safest law-abiding countries of the world. On the health front, the country is free from many of the diseases affecting the sub-tropical countries of the world.

Several public and private hospitals and clinics and specialized health centers can be found locally, offering world-class service. While health services are free-of-charge in government hospitals, dispensaries and specialized clinics around the country, health insurance policies are currently available from a number of local and international service providers.

The education sector boasts of several schools of international standards, both public and private, delivering the Cambridge University ‘A’ levels, the French Baccalaureate and the International Baccalaureate. Several tertiary education providers can also be found; offering internally recognized degrees and post-degree qualifications.

Over the island, several competitively priced luxury apartments, fully furnished villas and beachfront residences are available for rent. A few international property agents have appointed representative agencies locally.

Foreign nationals, investors and non-investors alike, may also buy freehold property in Mauritius under the provisions of 2 specially studied schemes, the “Integrated Resort Scheme” and the “Real Estate Scheme”. Non-nationals holding a Permanent Residence status enjoy the rights to acquire property as native Mauritians.