UoM’s new vice-chancellor Sanjeev Sobhee: “Enhance the rating of universities”

After being heavily involved in the governance of the University of Mauritius (UoM), Sanjeev Sobhee was brought in as the head of the university campus last Friday. He says he is determined to restore the Mauritian institution’s credentials.

The international ranking of the University of Mauritius (UoM) and its internationalization are two priorities of the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius (UoM), Sanjeev Sobhee. This is what Défi told Quotidien, who reached him by phone on September 19 to collect his first comments on the site that awaits him.

UoM has been fighting for a place in the international ranking of world universities for several years. Indeed, according to the 2020 Nature Index, it was ranked 2,877 out of 4,537 institutions evaluated. In turn, the URAP World Ranking, which ranks universities according to their academic performance, awarded the Mauritanian institution the 2015 place among the 3000 evaluated universities. The new vice-chancellor has his work cut out for him to elevate UoM in various rankings.

Another project awaiting Sanjeev Sobhee is the internationalization of the University of Mauritius. Started under former Vice Chancellor Dhanjay Jhurry, it did not succeed. Moreover, according to several academics, the crores of rupees invested in the past for the admission of foreign students have not yielded the expected results. However, Sanjeev Sobhee says he is up for the challenge. “For example, the University of Mauritius has already received BSC accreditation in chemistry from the Royal Society of Chemists. This will allow us to attract foreign students and generate more income for the campus.”

Clearly optimistic about his ability to restore the country’s premier university to its former glory, Sanjeev Sobhee intends to build on his past experiences. He adds: “I have already worked as a vice-chancellor for six months. I also spent five years as Pro-Chancellor (Academy), which is an ideal platform for me to become a Vice-Chancellor. Moreover, I have been involved in the administration of the university for more than ten years.”

On their part, some lecturers are wary of Sanjeev Sobhee’s appointment. Although the latter has so far not been involved in various controversies related to the management of UoM, they want to point out that in some cases he has been “too lenient in deciding to remain silent about some cases of injustice and mismanagement. Dhanjay Jhurry, of course, has harmed the university , but we must not forget that Sanjeev Sobhee was also one of his collaborators,” points out a teacher.

Thus, the fact that Sanjeev Sobhee is the sixth vice-chancellor in 15 years is seen by some stakeholders as a sign of instability for a campus that should be a reference model in Mauritius.

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