Jeremy Charoux: “A huge amount of emphasis placed on work-integrated learning”

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Jeremy Charoux says that unemployment is a major concern not only in Mauritius but around the world, and that Charles Telfair Institute (CTI) takes full responsibility in ensuring that their graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of work. This means that the curriculum, teaching approach and internship programmes are all designed to ensure graduates are work-ready by the time they leave.

Charles Telfair Institute is an Institute, not a university?

We adopt a ‘hybrid’ model which we believe allows us to best serve the needs of all Mauritian students.We offer internationallyrecognised certificates, diplomas and degrees from Curtin University and the Australian TAFE institute. On the other hand, we also offer our own local certificates, diplomas and degrees. All our programmes have been accredited either by the MQA or TEC.

But you are closely associated with Curtin University in Australia?

We are very proud of our 12-year partnership with Curtin University which is an outstanding global university. A Curtin degree from CTI is identical to that obtained from Curtin Australia.

How many students are on roll in 2016 and how many people in the academic & non-academic staff?

We have 1,850 students currently enrolled across a wide range of courses. Our faculties include:Accounting & Finance, Management, IT, Humanities and Education.

How does CTI proceed in its academic activities: choice of the curriculum, recruitment and assessment of Lecturers, organisation of exams?

CTI is run by a Main Board which comprises of our shareholders. In addition, it has an Academic Council which is chaired by the Executive Director and which focuses on matters academic.

Is it possible to know about your annual budget and your shareholders?

We have shareholders who do a brilliant job at helping us strategically, financially, managerially and operationally. Of these, the Food and Allied Group is by far the biggest followed by ENL Group and Rogers Group.

As you know, unemployment among the young is rising in Mauritius. What are your views on the problem of “mismatch” and employability of young graduates?

This is a major concern not only in Mauritius but around the world. At CTI, we take full responsibility in ensuring that our graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of work. Together with our international partners, we place a huge amount of emphasis on ‘Work-integrated learning’. This means that our curriculum, teaching approach and internship programmes are all designed to ensure graduates are work-ready by the time they leave CTI. Our 8,000-strong alumni have no difficulties in finding employment in leading organisations or in running their own businesses both in Mauritius and abroad.

“We need to ensure that there is a sustainable, long-term plan for the tertiary education sector.”

No university in Mauritius is among the 800 Universities (from 70 different countries) of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016. How do you react to this “absence”? I must add that Curtin University is in the THE list!

We live in a globalised world where geographical boundaries have all but disappeared. Whilst the merits of rankings can be debated, they increasingly do provide students with a framework for which to make their university selection. As mentioned, I believe one of the major benefits of a Curtin degree obtained at CTI is that it is among the best universities world-wide. This should give students studying at CTI reassurance that their degree is world-class.

How do you view the fact that universities are mushrooming in Mauritius?

We need to ensure that there is a sustainable, long-term plan for the tertiary education sector. Quality should never be compromised and the regulators play a critical role in ensuring that the sector is well regulated.

According to you, what is the role of education in the 21st century?

Simply put, education should prepare young people for life, work and citizenship.

But the environment in which we live and work is changing drastically every day! As Michel Serres said, shouldn’t the teachers realize that the young minds they are attempting to mould are not the same as those of countless generations of human beings before?

Technology has created many disruptions in industry and the impact of globalisation has meant that we operate in a faster and more integrated world. Through its partnership with International institutions CTI is able to ensure that its students remain current and at the forefront of change.

Concerning the preparation of students to citizenship, shouldn’t the school, in particular the university, become first “a space of critical thinking”, as Edward Said wrote, “to fight stereotypes, clichés, dogmas, prejudice…” that threaten citizenship?

Absolutely, ‘critical thinking’ amongst others is a core graduate attribute which is embedded throughout our qualifications.

You said earlier that CTI has a Faculty of Humanities & Education. Is it restricted to Media & Communication?

We have a diploma in Early Child-care Training and we also offer diplomas and degrees in Interior Design, Graphic and Digital Design, as well as Film Production and Journalism. We are looking to expand this faculty further and are consulting with industry on areas of need.

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