A report that examines the progress of tertiary education and its challenges in Seychelles shows that more funding goes into salaries rather than training in such educational institutions.
The chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, Jean-Michel Domingue, presented the tertiary education indicator report for 2020 at a press conference last week
“Institutions are getting more money for salaries but unfortunately not enough for learning, so we have to re-look at our funding of tertiary education,” he said.
Although there is not enough funding going into training programmes, Domingue said that “progress has been made when it comes to quality of training programmes on offer. All our institutions are getting their programmes validated, which gives credit to their work, and this is extremely important for us to improve as a system.”
Since 2014, the Tertiary Education Commission, which is part of the Seychelles Qualifications Authority, has published an indicator report annually. The findings of the report were presented to the cabinet to sensitise decision makers on the trends in tertiary education.
“The indicator report shows, in a nutshell, the health of the sector; what is good, what is not so good and what needs to be done. This is the only way you can do policy development,” said Domingue.
The Seychelles archipelago in the western Indian Ocean currently has 10 institutions that qualify as tertiary education providers. These include professional centres such as the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) where individuals are trained to become mechanics, and construction workers among others. It also includes the University of Seychelles – an institution providing a choice of degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Last year’s study shows that access to tertiary education has remained within 60 to 70 percent. Although fewer students entered last year, it is still within that amount.
During the period of 2019 to 2020, there has been a slight decrease in the number of students who do not complete their studies.
“We are still worried that that sometimes one in five or in some institutions one in four do not complete their courses and this is a cause for concern because it means money that is invested is wasted,” said Domingue.
Another worry is that students who enter for one particular field do not end up in the industry and this is a further loss of investment.
A concern that has also been highlighted in the report is the gender divide in tertiary education – whereby some schools attract more females such as the Seychelles Tourism Academy and others mainly male candidates.
“We have to sensitise all of our students that occupations are gender-neutral,” concluded Domingue.