Review Article

Education hubs and private higher education expansion in small island developing states contexts: The case of Mauritius

Hyleen Mariaye, Michael Samuel
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 3 | a46 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v3i0.46 | © 2018 Hyleen MARIAYE, Michael Samuel, Michael Samuel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 May 2018 | Published: 16 October 2018

About the author(s)

Hyleen Mariaye, Higher Studies Cell, Mauritius Institute of Education, Mauritius
Michael Samuel, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: This article is located in the context of governments of small island developing states supporting education hubs in collaboration with local and global partners. Whilst current literature on the development of education hubs focuses on the macro policy perspectives looking at how education hub policies are designed and enacted upon at national level, there are relatively few studies on the micro perspective of the institutions.

Aim: By comparing the agendas, experiences, potential and drawbacks of these institutions, the article explores the sustainability prospects of these variants of education hubs.

Methods: We selected three case studies: a public distance education university, a local private university and an international branch university within the same broader environmental context to examine how a ‘vision of possibilities’ is played out within three different institutional agendas.

Results: The case studies reveal that marketisation and privatisation marginalise the pursuit of quality which recedes in preference for securing international economic resources to activate the local developmental agendas and how the exercise privileges skewed power relations which maintain centre–periphery hegemonic hierarchies in the cross-border collaborations.

Conclusion: The uptake of an education hub as a national target exemplifies how the uncritical and indiscriminate borrowing of policies normalises and is reframed to appear as ‘moments of equity’. But in reality it promotes individual competitiveness at the expense of the common good.


Keywords

Education hubs; private higher education; small island developing states

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