5 possible and cheap improvements at UoM


Undeniably, there are lots of things that UoM needs to do to improve, and it’s almost impossible to list them all. Students often ask for unreasonable things which will cost a lot of money to implement, like “buy new computers for the labs”, or “get LCD screens” or even “a faster Internet connection”. The problem in all of these is that they require quite a lot of money to implement, and money is something that UoM is always in short supply of.

Therefore, this list of 5 improvements I’ve compiled here have one thing in common: they do not cost a lot to implement, or they do cost, but are one-time investments. Some may even be implemented at almost no cost. Of course, if you got suggestions or disagreements, you know where the flame comment box is located: below! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here goes:

#5: A campus forum

With the increase in the number of students at UoM, communication difficulty between students and lecturers is proportional to the number of students in the class. It’s understandable – if 50 students asked a single question each, and each took 2 minutes to answer, we get 100 mins of question time over 120 mins of lecture. Not really feasible. What can be done?

Implement a campus forum or a bulletin board, if you wish. Most other Universities (excluding Mauritius) have some sort of communication system, be it a forum, or their very own kind of system. The Student’s Union had the idea in their election manifesto, but I think it vanished afterwards, for an unknown reason.

There is no excuse. Forum scripts are freely available online. They are very easy to implement. UoM already has servers to host its websites. So where’s the problem? Download the thing, implement it and get some help to secure the script a bit.

It would be of great help to students. If students don’t understand how to use a forum, it’s easy to teach them how to do it. I believe there is already a database system for students at UoM (the one for university emails. Remember, you got an email when you joined). That same database could be used to auto-register all students.

I doubt it can get any easier than that. Now, if only people decided to get it implemented, instead of the idea just being a line in a pamphlet…

#4: A decent cafeteria

People already at UoM, have you noticed that the main cafeteria has been closed for the larger part of the academic year that just went by? I used to say that, as a veg, there was almost nothing for me to eat at the cafet. Well, now there’s absolutely nothing. I do know that there is a mini-cafet at Old Common now, but it’s not the same as the old one. At least it was bigger there.

Addressing complaints about the cafeteria is one thing the administration did right, but they should have considered looking for substitutes before kicking the actual caterer out!

For now, MIE and Mini-cafet will do the job. For how long? Don’t know. Let’s hope not for a second academic year. I wonder how tough it can be to put a notice in the newspapers for the interested folks that wish to take over cafet. According to the latest sayings, it seems that the MIE caterer has taken over the actual UoM cafeteria, which would be a good thing. Anybody can confirm that?

#3: Change that homepage!

I doubt I need to say more. The title should be quite explicit. But for others, I’ll give a brief rundown of why the UoM homepage needs changing. Consider it a list within a list. Firstly, for some reason, typing “uom.ac.mu” directly in Firefox yields a “Firefox can’t find the server at uom.ac.mu.” Go figure. You need to type the “www’ in front: “www.uom.ac.mu”. Wonder how many of you still type whole addresses.

UoM site improvements

Well, if you don’t want to read those 5 points, basically they are talking about grouping stuff.

  1. Isn’t that menu incredibly long and unhelpful? Most of the links are not fit to be given space on the main page. The most interesting ones are Bulletin Board, that leads me to a 404 error. Module Directory, Regulations and maybe, Students Email. All of which could have been grouped under a “Students’ Resources” dropdown menu. The rest could have been stuffed in other dropdowns too. Mission and Vision? Come’on! Put that in “University” menu. Same goes for 3D tours, Benefactors, Campus Facilities, Photo Gallery, Newsletter, Vacancies!
  2. Who, in his sane mind, would put a Calendar of Activities as a link! As if that was not all, who would put it in the footer? The final straw, the font is so tiny! Every other font on the site is tiny! It’s the Internet folks! People who use it usually have bad eyesight! Why not put it as an actual calendar? With dates. Like WordPress’ calendar! That would have been much more useful. Something that bolds the dates with events on them and give you an in-place popup when you hover on that date! Aren’t we in Web 2.0 yet?
  3. If you open this dropdown, you get all of what you want. It’s actually one of the most useful things on this website! Do check it out. Don’t be scared by how long and crammed it is though.

    UoM site and Whitespace

  4. Why is everything so crammed! Ahhhhrgh! Information overload! Why aren’t those grouped too? And LLC? MCE? You want people to guess what those mean? And I thought that “no acronyms in menus” was a given. Even with the cramming, there’s so much whitespace. The layout is a fluid one, so check out how it appears on my screen. Lots of whitespace is never a good thing. It indicates wrong usage of screen estate.
  5. Remember 2? Now we got a Search link? Why not simply put the search box directly there, on the top right side where people expect it?

#2: Coffee is a must

Do I even need to mention that coffee and university students go in pairs? In short, we need coffee machines, distributors or whatever. We need coffee. A hot cup of coffee or chocolate would keep the majority of students awake during lectures. We’d also appreciate if we can get soft-drink distributors: you know, the machines where you stuff in coins, kick them a few times and they give you what you want? We need those. We are tired of crossing the whole campus from Engineering tower just to get something to drink.

Ask the major distributors in Mauritius if they aren’t interested in putting their machines there. I bet they will be. 3000+ possible customers is not negligible. Specially the small minority that’s addicted to coffee and cola. Hopefully, one or two per faculty isn’t too much. Vandalism? Place them in some corridor, or in front of some lab where lots of people go by. It should be enough security.

In the mean time, we still got coffee from the cafeteria. Problem is, the coffee is not portable! Portable coffee! However, the mess that plastic cups are going to cause is of concern. Got to find a viable solution for that. Garbage bins are not in short supply though, so it may not be a real problem after all. Paper cups are bio-degradable as far as I know.

#1: Realistic timetables please

I had to mention this one. Last academic year, my lectures started at 8h30 a.m. Leaving aside the fact that most of the time, nights are spent doing labsheets and assignments instead of sleeping and that it’s a real pain to get up at 5 a.m afterwards, getting to UoM at 8h30 is almost impossible considering the traffic jam. I leave home at 7 a.m and hopefully I’ll be at UoM by 8h30. I don’t live that far from campus. Now when I think of other people staying really far away, with two or more hours of travel just to get there (excluding return journey duration), I can only sigh.

What difference would it make to start courses at 9h? I guess not much, since when I was in Year 1, courses started at 9h. And it was all for the better. Last year, we had Summer Time on, and courses starting at 8h30. It was almost impossible to get there before courses started. Most of the time, people came around 9. It’s easier for us all. And 30 mins of added sleep… who can refuse that?? ๐Ÿ˜›

#0: Wikipedia knows no UoM

Zero? Yep, this one is a bonus for you. Go to Wikipedia and search for “University of Technology, Mauritius”. See the results. Next, type “University of Mauritius”. You see what I mean?

UTM got its Wikipedia entry, and UoM does not. No fair! And I thought UoM was supposed to be the main tertiary institution in Mauritius.

Categories: Mauritius, UoM
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  • Very realistic ideas indeed!

    I am sure that the SU would be happy to steal some of them but do they care? They only want to be elected and then, they don’t know you. This can be the 6th point!!!

    Good luck!
    btw, hope that you can come to Flic en Flac tomorrow. Cheers!

  • I’m totally for the coffee/chocolate “distro.”


  • Typical Mauritian amateurism … the cafeteria solution is not realistic by UoM’s standards

  • No one will see these for now…and believe me just two week before the election all of them will come here and say “hey great ideas we willd o these vote for us” lol

  • Sun

    Hail the bulltin board!


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  • InF

    Everything is feasible if there’s enough willpower behind it.

  • Coffee machine will be awesome..