7: Insularity and Internationalization: The Case of Mauritius

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In this chapter, the focus is on internationalization of higher education in Mauritius, a small island state in the Indian Ocean, which aspires to make higher education a pillar of its economy and transform itself into a knowledge hub in the region. It is shown how despite inherent constraints associated with small island states such as smallness, insularity and geographic location, national strategic plans and an enabling regulatory environment have supported the growth of the higher education sector. One strategic priority, and a goal, for Mauritius is internationalization of higher education. This chapter demonstrates how the chosen measures have been effective in internationalizing the sector. Beyond the usual benefits associated with internationalization, such as increased international students, provider and programme mobility, the chapter further discusses the influence and the impact of the distinctive colonial history and legacy in Mauritius on the higher education growth trajectory and strategy. It concludes that the future of internationalization, and indeed that of higher education, could be considered from a decolonial perspective and that implementation of evidence-based policies would be beneficial for the socioeconomic development of Mauritius.

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