Globalisation, the rapid expansion of the knowledge economy and the demand for new skills have intensified the necessity for cross-border education and training and the mutual recognition of qualifications. This is leading to the crucial need for Mauritius to harmonise its qualifications framework with the frameworks of other countries and regions around the globe.
In Mauritius two main dimensions of mutual recognition of qualifications are considered: recognition of domestic qualifications in other countries or regions; and the recognition of qualifications from another country or region.
Procedures and processes
The Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) has extended its collaboration to the Small States of the Commonwealth countries through the Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), which is an initiative of ministers of education of small states. The main objective of the VUSSC is to build human resource capacity in small Commonwealth countries through the exchange of qualified people.
The MQA has also consolidated its relationship with the the Southern African Development Community Regional Qualifications Framework (SADC RQF). SADC RQF is seen as a means for classifying and valuing the many existing qualifications and awards from all areas of education and training within SADC Member States and across the sub-region. The SADC RQF will be useful in facilitating the mobility of learners and skilled workers in the region. However, much has to be done to make the RQF operational.
To promote mutual recognition of qualifications, the MQA has signed Memoranda of Technical Co-operation and Partnership (MTCP) with the following countries: Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles, Ghana, Gambia, Zambia and Barbados. A MTCP is currently under process with the United Republic of Tanzania.
Various foreign institutions have visited the MQA with the aim to learn about the Mauritius Qualifications Framework, amongst them the Namibian Training Authority, the Barbados Accreditation Council, the Ministry of Education and Training in Swaziland and the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Outcomes and ways forward
With regards to the recognition of domestic qualifications in other countries and regions, most of Mauritius qualifications are recognised in the Small States of the Commonwealth.
As for the recognition of qualifications from other countries and regions Mauritius has focused on mechanisms through which foreign qualifications are recognised within Mauritius. These mechanisms include the National Equivalence Council, Mauritius Qualifications Authority, and the Tertiary Education Commission in Mauritius.
Activities with regard to the mutual recognition of qualifications have provided a momentum to transfer courses, qualifications and learners between Mauritius and other countries. There is an increase in the courses offered in these countries, as well as an increase in efforts to create mechanisms to transfer credits and qualified people across borders. Foreign learning visits are on the increase, paving the way for a strengthened relationship between countries. Mutual recognition is also a way to make up for deficits in skills.
In Mauritius, the process of designing qualifications for the MQF has led to the development of an enhanced synergy between academia, the TVET sector and the economic sector.
Allgoo, K. 2007. The National Qualifications Framework in Context: The Mauritian experience. (Paper delivered at the IVETA Conference Mauritius). Port Luis, MQA.
Allgoo, K. 2010. The Introduction of Recognition of Prior Learning in TVET Mauritius – The Mauritian RPL model. Mauritius Qualifications Authority Report. Port Luis, MQA.
Keevy, J., Charraud, M. and Allgoo, K. 2011. National Qualifications Frameworks developed in Anglo-Saxon and French Traditions: Considerations for sustainable development in Africa. (Triennale on Education and Training Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, November 27-December 2, 2011). Tunis, ADEA.
Allgoo, K. 2013. Mauritius: The Mauritian model of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). M. Singh and R. Duvekot (eds), Linking Recognition Practices and National Qualifications Framework. International benchmarking of experiences and strategies for the recognition, validation and accreditation of non-formal and informal learning. Hamburg, UIL.
Mauritius Qualifications Authority
 The Small States of the Commonwealth countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Bahamas, The Comoros (non-Commonwealth), Gambia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
 The SADC Member States include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.