45% increase in students at UoM next year!


This is the astounding news that the L’Express Newspaper reports today to us, starting with those lines as the article header.

L’UoM se propose d’accueillir 4 467 nouveaux étudiants, soit 1388 de plus que l’année dernière. Elle offrira par la même occasion davantage de formations : 23 licences supplémentaires et sept maîtrises de plus.

I’ve been at UoM for a year now, and my year 1 class had around 110 students. The labs were nearly packed full. The cafetaria could barely contain the crowd during peak hours. Common room was often so full that there were no chairs or tables, so students had to find somewhere else to hang out. Same goes for Raised Plaza.

Now, I see this article about a 45% increase in the number of students at UoM and I tell this to myself: “Are our decision-makers insane?”

I remember doing my lectures in filled lecture theatres. We had to share computers in labs. Yes, this was University, and yes we were sharing Windows 2000 machines.

I really want to see where the administration plans to fit in all the new students. At the start of last year, I can remember students having to sit on the floor in ELT2 to follow lectures. Until Student Union noticed. As I was saying to some friends earlier, I believe classes will be held in the Crater now, and at random locations on the Campus. Maybe they will consider turning Raised Plaza into an open lecture-room again? The gymnasium could be used too! I bet at least 1000 students can fit in there for classes! And the Auditorium! Remember the “bring cardboards and write on your knees” story? No further comments.

Cela correspond au désir exprimé par le vice-Premier ministre et ministre des Finances, Rama Sithanen, lors de son discours du budget le 6 juin. Il avait souhaité que l’université de Maurice, ainsi que l’université de Technologie (Maurice), augmente immédiatement le nombre de places disponibles «pour que tous les étudiants qui se qualifient pour des études universitaires puissent être admis».

Our minister is really smart, is he? If a car can pack 5 people, he will cram 200 people in “so that everybody gets a place”. Why not build a second campus? Why must all the students be crammed like sardines in one campus? Oh yes, I forgot! Our Government is stringy. Ooops! I forgot: no politics! 😳

L’Université prévoit d’augmenter le nombre d’étudiants en première année (+1 112) et en quatrième année (+266). Ceci représente une hausse de 41,3 % et de 67,5 % respectivement.

Great! A thousand more freshers added, as compared to last year. Just great. I pity those poor souls, and really wonder if they will be able to get the attention and guidance they need from their lecturers. In my batch of 110 students, I can say there were absolutely minimal student-teacher interaction, if at all. Save for some particular lecturers who really favoured interaction, while others totally evaded it. Can’t blame the lecturers! How do you give attention to 100+ students in a short 3-4 hours? I think it’s time to forget words like “World-Class Education” or whatever BS we heard before. Now at UoM, it’s “If you don’t understand, go help yourself.” because now, lecturer’s attention will be divided among even more students.

Reste qu’il faudra trouver de la place pour permettre à tout ce monde de suivre des cours dans des conditions optimales. Au niveau de la direction de l’université l’on assure avoir pris toutes les dispositions nécessaires. Comme l’année dernière, il semble que l’université examine l’éventualité d’avoir recours à des collèges des environs pour y tenir des classes dans l’après-midi.

Oooooh nice! Now we are going to see adults, probably at Masters level going back and using the tiny desks at College! That’s the University for you, and that’s all you get for paying your fees and taxes! Go back to college now! And go read the poetry scribbled on the desks while you are at it! Talk about “world-class education” again.

Au niveau de la direction de l’université l’on assure avoir pris toutes les dispositions nécessaires.“. Let’s hope so. At least we get our time-tables earlier, unlike last year’s one-and-a-half-week lateness.

En parallèle, le conseil d’administration de l’université de Maurice avait décidé en début d’année d’augmenter les frais d’inscription (general fee) qui devaient passer de Rs 10 200 à environ Rs 14 000 pour ceux qui seront admis à la grande rentrée d’août et ceux qui passent en seconde année. A titre de comparaison, en 2005, un degré à l’université de Maurice coûtait Rs 8 500.

I see! More students = more $$$! That’s a devious plan! Go on, go on! Cram more, and totally press out the money out of your… crushed students!

Parmi les nouveaux frais introduits, l’on retrouve le «dissertation fee», qui concerne les élèves de dernière année. Initialement, la direction de l’institution de Réduit voulait le fixer à Rs 6 000 pour ceux qui préparent leur licence universitaire et à Rs 12 000 pour ceux qui sont en maîtrise.

A la suite du plaidoyer de certains membres du conseil d’administration, le montant aurait été coupé en deux, soit Rs 3 000 et Rs 6 000. La somme recueillie servira entre autres à payer les «dissertation supervisors», embauchés l’année dernière dans le cadre de certaines réformes apportées sur le campus.

Bla bla bla. I’m still waiting for those fabled “Assistant Lecturers”. My first year there is now over, and I still didn’t see any “Assistant Lecturers” around. Let’s hope those “dissertation supervisors” actually exist!

At last, it’s the end! I’m sorry for the heavy dose of sarcasm in this post, but it’s late, and I can’t really imagine more students being at UoM for the coming year. I wonder what the performance will be for this batch, specially for relatively tougher modules like Programming. Those “decision-makers” can’t just go on packing in students without providing the necessary facilities and hoping to make maximum bucks, and still dream about “world-class education”!

Oh well. Let’s see your comments now.

P.s. Just picture the Student Union-organized dance parties organized in Cafetaria with 45% more students added! Oh the sweat and compression! 😯

P.p.s. Imagine the tiny bus-stop in front of Auditorium on a particularly rainy day with 45% more students.

  • This is TOTAL BS!

    & this morning I’ve read that they aim for a tertiary student population of 78,000 in 2015!!!
    Imagine fitting a football stadium at the campus of Réduit… 😛

    I wonder whether the students will learn under trees… The uni’s getting over-crowded!!!
    When will those admin ostriches remove their heads from the ground & face reality??? 🙁

  • heeya..I have applied at UOM this year for IS…
    and…the day i went for registration…
    i was shocked to see so many students..! ! ! !only for engineering! ! ! !
    OMG..I think we will be having lectures on parking now! ! !

  • InF

    Tushal my friend, be ready to study in:

    1. Auditorium
    2. The Crater in front of UoM
    3. The Cafetaria or probably Gymnasium! 😛
    4. Raised Plaza or at random places outdoors!
    5. Some random college nearby!

  • Yeah but according to the director of the SNIT, UOM will be transferring students (unsure but probably IS) to SNIT for the courses. The students will benefit from courses adapted to their courses but involving new technologies such as mobile computing and a broader amount of projects.
    And students will not be able to work in groups – that’s how they do things there.
    The Minister of Education has hinted about transferring students to “an institution in port-louis” but never mentioned the specifics. Once the deal is sealed, expect to hear more of this.
    I dunno what you think of it though – the programme will match the needs specified by UOM and not the Greenwich University (SNIT is affiliated with GW) – @ least, students will benefit from the tech and new areas to expand.

  • InF

    Lol! If it’s for the better, then it’s good. But this is Mauritius, and we know how things usually get done here. Let’s wait and see.