Middlesex University is to expand its operations in Mauritius through a new purpose-built campus on the island.
The institution has had a branch campus on the island since 2010 in a building it shares with an engineering college known as the JSS Academy of Technical Education. There are now around 1,000 students.
To extend the range of courses it offers and radically increase student numbers, the university has now joined forces with the local Medine Group to create a state-of-the-art campus at the heart of Medine Smart City in Flic-en-Flac, one of a series of such cities being promoted by the Mauritian government.
Building work will begin in July and is due for completion by the end of 2017, with facilities including a sports complex, student restaurant and accommodation, cutting-edge IT laboratories and a learning resource centre.
It is described by Thierry Sauzier, deputy chief executive officer of the Medine Group, as “the first integrated and international campus on the west coast of Mauritius, which will be within a city in the making”. It would also serve as “a high-calibre tertiary education hub for Mauritian as well as African and Indian students”.
“The site is currently a sugar-cane field,” says Middlesex’s branch campus director Karen Pettit, “and early this month, very excitingly, they cut the sugar cane where we are going to be.”
When completed, the new campus would enable them to “develop a wider portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes”, so as to strengthen their offering in law, business, psychology and computer sciences.
All would aim to replicate the standard of student experience enjoyed at Middlesex University London – “with the added bonus”, as Dr Pettit points out, “of studying in a sun-soaked island paradise”.
She envisaged continued expansion of student numbers by about 10 per cent a year, perhaps eventually to as many as 10,000. She also hoped the campus would provide the focus for “an education village which will attract other providers”.