Feb 7, 2012

Mauritius International Knowledge Investment Forum 2012

Mr K.Boodhoo, attended a one-day 'Mauritius International Knowledge Investment Forum 2012' (MIKIF) with focus on the latest trends, developments and investment opportunities in higher education in Mauritius, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Balaclava on the 30th January 2012. It was organised by the Board of Investment in collaboration with the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology.

The MIKIF aims at showcasing the various investment opportunities that Mauritius offers to the global education community by creating the most appropriate environment and encouraging investment in the education sector. In addition the forum is serving as a platform for the participants to discuss on opportunities and challenges in the sphere of higher education.

In his opening speech, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr Rajeshwar Jeetah, said that Mauritius has crafted its reputation as a reliable and trusted provider of quality education and has transformed itself into a leading knowledge hub. He added, the country has also attracted prestigious academic institutions and universities in Mauritius. He also explained his vision of having one graduate in every family, increasing access to education, the construction of three additional campuses in Mauritius and attract foreign students. The main objective of his Ministry is to improve the tertiary gross intake ratio (locally) from 46% to 72% by 2012 and attract 100,000 foreign students in Mauritius 2020. He reaffirmed its determination to make education a new pillar of the economy. He also pointed that Mauritius is heading towards an innovation-driven economy with a focus on quality education and is laying the foundations of the knowledge hub of Mauritius. He highlighted that student visa and part-time work for foreign students is being facilitated to attract more foreign students.

The key themes that were addressed during the forum are; internationalisation of higher education, case studies on mobility of international students, the growing needs for specialised infrastructure for higher education and meeting the rising industry needs for higher education in Mauritius and regionally and the need for specialized infrastructure for higher education.

The guest speaker, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Manag­ing Director of Dubai International Academic City, detailed how diversification of the economy and investment in the education sector, enabled Dubai to develop an education cluster. He also added that government support is of ut­most importance to enable Mauritius emerge as a knowl­edge hub. The example he provided could be a model of development for higher education hub in Mauritius.

The Chairman of the BOI, Mr. Maurice Lam emphasized that in today`s global world, there should be no barriers to access higher education. He also added that Mauritius should seize the opportunities in the education sector so that it becomes an engine for development and to export knowledge services. Further details on the various speakers’ presentations can be accessed at www.mikif.com

The event saw the participation of speakers from the world`s leading universities, business professionals, policy-makers and potential investors from different parts of the world namely France, UK, Australia, India, Singapore, South Africa, and Dubai. More than 300 delegates from various countries across the world attended the event. They were mainly from university academia, decision makers and investors from the education sectors, innovator CEOs interested in strategic alliances, executives from leading corporates, decision makers from the financial services, business professionals and government representatives.

Mauritius has now set the pace to add another pillar to its economy. A knowledge hub.

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