Branch campus engineering students gain recognition

The professional body representing engineers has conceded to demands by protesting students of the JSS Academy, an Indian offshoot located in Mauritius whose qualifications were deemed invalid after the Indian government withdrew its recognition of diplomas awarded by Indian institutions abroad.

In December 2013 the Council of Registered Professional Engineers of Mauritius, or CRPE, refused to recognise the degrees issued by the Mauritian JSS Academy of Technical Education after the Indian regulatory authority, the University Grants Commission, decreed that it did not recognise diplomas from Indian schools located outside India.

The academy, situated in Bonne Terre, 18 kilometres south of the capital Port Louis, is an offshoot of the JSS Academy of Technical Education in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

During a meeting at the end of June with angry students and their parents, who discovered their qualifications were now invalid, Shanta Kumar – the Indian director of the academy in Mauritius – said the University Grants Commission could give its accreditation only to universities and not to their affiliated colleges, reported L’Express of Port Louis.

He explained that both the Mauritian Tertiary Education Commission and the CRPE had approved the establishment of the academy in Mauritius. “They went to India to visit our campus. And during its four years operating in Mauritius the JSS Academy has had no problems,” he said.

It was possible that students could transfer to other institutions; Kumar said graduates and final year students could continue their studies by taking a masters course at the Bangalore College of Engineering and Technology.

Previously there had been talk of the Mauritian academy affiliating with Greenwich University in London – although students who made enquiries were told this would not be the case before September 2015, reported L’Express last June.

Meanwhile, students and their parents were angry that they had to pay fees for the remaining years of study as well as any fees resulting from a transfer to another institution.

After the meeting with Kumar, the dissatisfied students planned to organise peaceful demonstrations when their exams were over.

In response to their protests a ministerial meeting was called in early July to try to help the students, chaired by Anil Bachoo, deputy prime minister and minister of public infrastructure, reported L’Express.

Finally, on 11 July the CRPE changed its position, and announced that students who had completed their studies could, after all, sign up for registration as engineers – but only those who had put their names down before that date, reported L’Express.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.