In this issue

July 29, 2008

July 2008

Message from Prof I. Fagoonee, Vice-Chancellor
Faculty of Science, nearly 2 decades old by Prof H. Li Kam Wah
Fundraising for your university – a worthy cause by Prof I. Fagoonee
Innovation Week 2008 – Activities of the Pro-VC’s Office for Research, Consultancy and Innovation by Pro-VC’s office RCI
New Dean for FSSH
A Multimedia Studio for Communication by C. Chan-Meetoo
Diasporas indiennes by Assoc Prof S. Boolell
University Farm on Innovation Week 2008 by K. Boodhoo
Sketch by Medical Science Students by Dr M.F. Lan Cheong Wah
La Semaine Logistique by R.D. Rampersad
Creative Showcase by A. Soocheta
MIBS Open Days by VC’s Office
Projects under the UOM Trust by VC’s Office
Conference on Human Values by A. Nivault
Une Licence en Pharmacie by Dr S.P. Seetulsingh-Goorah


Message from Prof I Fagoonee, Vice-Chancellor

July 24, 2008


Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends of the University,

The development of our country rests upon a knowledgeable and qualified workforce. The three pillars of Higher Education consist of skills development, research and innovation. With any one of these missing, the economic productivity of the nation suffers, so does the GDP.

We are living through a period of great development in the field of Higher Education in the country. In this context, opening up the access to Higher Education must be seen as providing the opportunity to all to learn. Needless to say, democratic access must, in its essence, mean access to high quality Higher Education.

At our University, increasing the yearly student intake is but one avenue to explore; so is the widening of our range of programmes of studies according to national priority fields.

A new structure and way of delivery will also be put in place alongside the conventional Full-Time programmes. Where this is practical, a number of Part-time modules will run in common with some of the Full-time ones, and at such times as are equally convenient to working and/or mature students.

It is believed that the interaction of our conventional target student population with this new target group will encourage university-business links, and inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit on the one hand, and the rigour of academe on the other hand.

The application of tuition-fees to these Part-time/Flexi-students remains an inevitable reality, and will contribute towards relieving to a small extent the University’s financial dependence on Government funding. However, such fees remain at a very moderate level, in line with the spirit of the UoM as a public charitable educational institution. Furthermore, the Needy Students Fund will be significantly increased for the benefit of those students who require financial assistance. The good news is that more and more private companies are, as part of their corporate social responsibility, now coming forward with scholarships to ease the needy students. The UoM wishes to thank them most heartily.

Friends, exciting times lie ahead of us. We must rise to the occasion and grasp the opportunity to make the change for the betterment of our nation.

I hope that you will find this issue of the UoM Newsletter challenging to the mind!
Cheers, until the next issue!

Prof I Fagoonee, Vice-Chancellor


Faculty of Science

July 24, 2008

Nearly 2 decades old

The Faculty was established in 1989 and with nearly 20 years existence, it has forged a solid reputation as a key provider of quality scientific education, training, research and consultancy in Mauritius. Currently, the Faculty encompasses six academic Departments, namely Biosciences, Chemistry, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Medicine and Physics, and has a staff population of about 140, with nearly 50 academic staff. In 2007/2008, it had an overall student population of 933, of which 51 % were female.

Since its creation and as at June 2008, the Faculty has conferred more than 2500 awards, including 17 MPhil and 47 PhD. For the academic year 2007/08, a record number of 7 PhDs and 1 MPhil have been awarded. This year the Faculty had its first crop of students graduating in Physiotherapy.

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Fund-raising for your university

July 24, 2008

A worthy cause

The costs of higher education worldwide have been rising and will continue on upward trends that are substantially beyond the funding capacity of governments and taxpayers. Public universities throughout the world are facing the dilemma of steeply rising costs, pressures for increasing access to higher education, faculty brain drain, lack of resources and inadequate infrastructure. A major part of the solution to enhancing universities revenues, and thus enhancing their financial viability and contributions to sustainable national development of the nation, is to exploit the untapped potential of fund-raising. Raising levels of voluntary giving and building up endowments is one means of giving universities an independent source of funds. Such income could support projects and activities for advancing the level of excellence of the institution.

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Innovation Week 2008

July 24, 2008

Activities of the Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Office for Research Consultancy & Innovation

The University of Mauritius Innovation Week 2008 was organised by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Consultancy & Innovation) from 05 to 07 June 2008 with the Theme “Empowering the Mauritian Minds”. The objective of the Innovation Week 2008 was to promote science, technology and innovation nationally through its outreach activities. A number of progammes related to Innovation targeted students of primary, secondary and tertiary levels and the public at large.

This event followed the Research Week and Intellectual Property (IP) Week organised by the University in 2007 and complements and reinforces existing national activities. The Orange Kaleidoscope e-Quiz Competition organised on 05 June 2008, in collaboration with OrangeTM, was a hallmark of the Innovation Week which involved the participation of over 220 students from secondary schools (Form V and VI), both public and private. The Innovation Week included such activities as exhibitions, demonstrations, hand-on clinics, video projections, talks, InnovUMN (creativity, critical thinking and enrichment programmes), guided tours, Intellectual Property, workshops, and an innovative sketch by University medical students.

View video on Innovation Week on the following link: http://www.mediacomstudio.com/


New Dean for FSSH

July 24, 2008

Professor Sanjeev Kumar Sobhee has been appointed new Dean of FSSH in July 2008. After joining UOM in 1996, he submitted his PhD (supported by TEC) on Macroeconomic Policy in 1998 and was a visiting scholar of the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999, to Associate Professor in 2003 and Professor in 2008. He has taught on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and has been the Programme Coordinator of the MSc Applied Economics for over 5 years. He recently introduced and taught the Harvard Business School module ‘Microeconomics of Competitiveness’ taught by renowned Prof. Michael Porter, now incepted on several postgraduate courses.

His recent research has been on applied macroeconomics with a particular focus on development studies and environmental issues. He has published essentially on these topics using data pertaining to the Mauritian Economy and also sub-Saharan economies.Prof. Sobhee has been involved with networks such as the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEPA) at the University of Pretoria. He has also worked on consultancies with the World Bank, UNDP and FAO all dealing with projects related to Mauritius or the Africa Region.


A Multimedia Studio for Communication

July 23, 2008


The Communication Studies Unit at FSSH is now equipped with a multimedia facility for training of Communication and Journalism students. The studio, baptised Mediacom Studio, has been set up thanks to a $27,000 funding obtained from a UNESCO agency, the IPDC (International Programme for the Development of Communication). It comprises 4 workstations (with Apple computers, digital camcorders and audio recorders) as well as a high capacity local network and large screen TV display.

This set-up enhances internal capacity for training in electronic journalism and allows for wider dissemination of student output on a dedicated weblog at http://www.mediacomstudio.com/

A first video can already be viewed on the blog. It concerns the events of the Innovation Week 2008 which took place in June 2008.

Christina Chan-Meetoo, Communication Studies Unit – FSSH (chanssc@uom.ac.mu)