Academic education holds much importance in the Mauritian society. Choosing between a private and public higher education institutions is a critical decision that many prospective students make every year.
The formal educational system in Mauritius is largely based on the British Education System. The academic stream of the Mauritian education allowing succession from primary school to secondary school and ultimately higher education used to be exclusive to the public sector. Thus, it is obvious that parents and school leavers tend to be resistant to shift from this particular system to another one when it comes to higher education.
Difference between Public and Private Higher Education Institutions
There is an ongoing dichotomy between public and private higher education providers. In order to draw a distinction, one needs to understand the contrast between the two. A public higher education institution operates under state-ownership and is primarily funded by the state; while a private higher education institution is self-funded. The main source of revenue comes from tuition fees.
In trying to understand the relationship between public and private as tertiary education providers, first and foremost, one needs to understand the market of both types of institutions. Private learning centres can be viewed as competitive or as complementary to public institutions.
While public universities focus mainly on the local sectors and economy of the country; private universities or business schools focus explicitly on management, business administration, or accounting with specialisation in particular fields. Some of these institutions also provide executive education program including company-specific short courses to meet the needs of industries.
What do both Higher Education Institutions offer?
Employability might be one of the main goals of getting a recognised degree in the global labour market. The reason why there is increasing competitiveness in both sectors of higher education institutions is that people are seeking to develop skills that will make them more competitive in a global labour market not just in their own country. Thus, an internationally recognised degree can be deemed as the doorway to the global labour market.
Furthermore, it becomes a tougher decision when one considers the importance of a low student-to-teacher ratio in the tertiary education context. Private HE institutions advocate that a low student-to-teacher ratio contributes to an improved learning setting as students receive more personalized teaching. Therefore, students need to recognise whether they need a solid educational foundation in order to master the basics towards their future professional career path.
To make education more accessible, private institutions are now consolidating their teachings to online workshops and masterclasses. The choice of pursuing a degree at a public or private higher education institution is determined on the industry orientation, career goals, and affordability of the individual.