Speech - Graduation Ceremony of the AEA Training Centre at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium, Reduit
Ladies and Gentleman
First and foremost, I wish to present my heartiest congratulations to all graduates. Today, we are together to recognise and celebrate the successful completion of your studies at AEA Training Centre.
I shall also seize this opportunity to remind you graduates that learning doesn’t stop here. Success is a journey and not a destination. Receiving certificates, diplomas, or degrees today does not signal an end to learning, but a step in a continuous process. I often state that what you do and how you do it after graduation will determine your success in life.
As well stated by the famous American educationist, John Dewey,
‘’ Education is a social process. Education is not a preparation for life, education is life itself.’’
It is with this spirit that my Ministry has undertaken so many initiatives. Our Prime Minister introduced free transport for students, which is a huge contribution to the education sector. Under his leadership, we have set up two new universities – Open University and Universite des Mascareignes and are now constructing three campus buildings which would allow us to decentralise and widen access to higher education. From 16,735 students in higher education in the year 2000 we have reached 49,625 in 2012, which means that more young people have the opportunity to study at tertiary level.
For the first time, an IIT like institution will be set up in Mauritius with the support of IIT Delhi and the Government of India. We have established collaboration with well-known and high standard universities such as University of Geneva, Imperial College, University of Aberdeen, George Washington University, Delaware university and several European institutions such as ESSEC, ESCP, Science Po are operating here.
While we are expanding the higher education sector, it is important for us to keep improving quality. We have faced some problems with some institutions and Government is having a team from the UK Quality Assurance Agency to professionally review our tertiary education sector. I shall soon come up with the Tertiary Education Bill to provide benchmarks for quality, and to strengthen the regulatory framework.
Earlier this year, regulations were introduced to prohibit misleading advertisements by tertiary education institutions and the Tertiary Education Commission Act has been amended to bring the penalties for any offenceup toRs 1 million.
Private education institutions should make additional efforts to improve their infrastructure and facilities and teaching and learning facilities. I understand that AEA is working with UNISA and the University of Southern Queensland of Australia. I would like to emphasise on the need for private institutions to ensure compliance with the set rules and regulations and develop their own quality assurance mechanisms.
Dear graduates, while pursuing higher studies, you should also develop an innovative spirit , bring new ideas and projects. It is also important for you to read, to document yourself about other issues than your textbooks. A broader knowledge base will help you in your career later and your day to day life. It is also important to develop other skills such as communication, presentation and personal development which are all critical when you apply for jobs and enter the world of work.
With these words, I wish good luck to all our graduates., My hope is to see you grow into accomplished young citizens adults with a heart and vision for a prosperous Mauritius and the world.
As quoted by the Legendary Nelson Mandela,
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’
I wish you all the best for a bright future.
Thank you and congratulations once again.