SPEECH - SIGNING OF Memorandum of Understanding between the Seychelles Qualifications AUTHORITY AND the Mauritius Qualifications Authority
Thursday 17 July 2014
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade
The Chairman and Members of the Board of the Mauritius Qualifications Authority
The Chairperson of the Tertiary Education Commission,
Ms Fiona Ernesta, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Qualifications Authority
The Honorary Consul of the Republic of Seychelles
Mrs Hilda Julie, Principal Officer for Unit Standards Development at the Seychelles Qualifications Authority
Heads of Tertiary Institutions
Today, we are here for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA). I extend a very warm welcome to the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Qualifications Authority and her colleague.
This Memorandum of Understanding is yet another collaborative initiative between Seychelles and Mauritius. We have long standing collaboration in many fields with Seychelles. Recently the first Mauritius-Seychelles Business Forum was held in Seychelles in April 2014, wherein four Memoranda of Understanding to promote trade and investment were signed between the Small Enterprise Promotion Agency and Enterprise Mauritius; the Seychelles Trading Company and the State Trading Corporation; the Seychelles Petroleum Company and the State Trading Corporation and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry. During the recent visit of the President of Seychelles, His ExcellencyMr. James Alix Michel to Mauritius, two Memoranda of Understanding were also signed on health cooperation and in the fields of research and education, as well as the mutual recognition of qualifications.
The signing of this new Memorandum is an outcome of the 10th Joint Commission session of the Seychelles – Mauritius on Bilateral Cooperation in September 2013 during which it was decided that there should be collaboration between the respective Qualifications authorities.
It is in this context, that Ms Fiona Ernesta, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Qualifications Authority and Mrs Hilda Julie, Principal Officer at the SQA are here for sharing knowledge, experience and expertise with regard to National Qualifications Framework (NQF) development and systems in place including quality assurance, standards setting, recognition and evaluation of qualifications with the Mauritius Qualifications Authority.
I understand that they will also meet the public tertiary education institutions to consider collaboration in other areas.
I would like to mention that the issue of qualifications framework is very complex and wide ranging, especially in the present context of increasing student mobility and internationalization of higher education. The Qualification authorities are bound to work with their counterparts in other countries and strengthen international as well as regional linkages with other Qualifications Authorities. The MQA has established such collaboration with l’Académie de la Réunion, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Ministry of Education of Ghana, the National Training Authority of Gambia, TEVETA-Zambia, the Barbados Accreditation Council and the Vocational Education & Training Authority of Tanzania. I understand that it is also contributing to the elaboration of a Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF) for the SADC region.
I would like to mention that 21 students from Seychelles are currently attending universities in Mauritius and two of them are beneficiaries of the Mauritius-Africa scholarships.
We now have four public universities, a Fashion and Design Institute and other public institutions offering tertiary level courses and there will soon be a Faculty of Ocean Studies, a Centre for Nanotechnology, a Centre for space studies which will offer specialized programmes. We look forward to more students from Seychelles joining institutions in Mauritius at undergraduate and post graduate levels.
Before concluding, I would like to thank the delegation from Seychelles for being here. Please convey our greetings to your Minister of Education, the Honourable Mrs Mondon.