Two universities to offer youth development degrees

Two Mauritian universities have been selected to offer youth development degrees as part of the Commonwealth Higher Education Consortium for Youth Work programme.

The University of Mauritius and the Open University of Mauritius will start offering the degree from August 2019. The degree is equivalent to a bachelor degree qualification in Mauritius and will be made available as an open education resource through the Commonwealth of Learning. It constitutes an upgrade of the Commonwealth Diploma in Youth Development Work.

“The programme will help motivate and guide the young people in their personal and professional development as well as turn them into responsible citizens,” according to Mauritian Minister of Youth and Sports Stephan Toussaint.

“One of the government’s priorities is to contribute to a supportive enabling environment for young people so as to create a pool of youth talent.”

He also spoke of the need for greater investment in the education sector by promoting the professional recognition, education and training of youth.

“Professionalisation of the youth work sector is one of the key recommendations made by member governments, which is being implemented by the Commonwealth through its consortium,” said Amina Osman, the Commonwealth’s education advisor.

At the Ninth Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in 2017 held in Kampala, Uganda, ministers agreed to promote youth work as a profession through education and training for sectors where youth engagement is important.

The Commonwealth Higher Education Consortium for Youth Work was formally launched at the meeting to support 16 universities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe to offer a low-cost, internationally recognised Commonwealth bachelor degree in youth development work.

“The capacity of young people for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship is widely recognised as invaluable in stimulating a sustainable return to social and economic well-being in countries. Young people bring about a more inclusive society – provided they have the right support at the right time,” said Osman.

R Duva Pentiah, chairperson of Open University of Mauritius, said the degree aimed to support the education and training of youth workers, and contribute to strengthening youth work policy and practice, given that youth empowerment is critical in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.