After being heavily involved in the administration of the University of Mauritius (UoM), Sanjeev Sobhee was installed at the helm of the university campus last Friday. He says he is determined to renew the Mauritian institution’s credentials.
The international ranking of the University of Mauritius (UoM) as well as its internationalization are the two priorities of Sanjeev Sobhee, the new Vice-Chancellor (UoM). He told the newspaper Défi Quotidien, who reached him by phone on Monday, September 19, to collect his first comments on the page that awaits him.
UoM has been fighting for a place in the international ranking of world universities for several years. According to the 2020 Nature Index, it was in 2877th place out of 4,537 evaluated institutions. The URAP world rankings, which rank universities according to their academic performance, in turn awarded the Mauritian institution 2015th place out of 3,000 universities evaluated. The new Vice-Chancellor obviously has a lot of work to do to raise UoM in various rankings.
Another project that awaits Sanjeev Sobhee is the internationalization project of the University of Mauritius. He started under former Vice Chancellor Dhanjay Jhurry and was not crowned with success. Moreover, according to several academics, the millions of rupees that were invested in the past to enroll foreign students did not bring the expected results. But Sanjeev Sobhee says he is up for the challenge. “For example, the University of Mauritius has already received BSC accreditation for chemistry from the Royal Society of Chemists. It will allow us to attract international students and thus generate more income for the campus,” he says.
Visibly optimistic about his ability to restore the country’s premier university to its former glory, Sanjeev Sobhee intends to build on his past experience. He adds: “I have already worked as vice chancellor for six months. I also spent five years as Vice-Chancellor (Academia), which is an ideal platform for me to become a Vice-Chancellor. In addition, I took care of the administration of the university for more than ten years”.
Some lecturers are wary of appointing Sanjeev Sobhee. Although the latter has so far not been involved in the various controversies of the UoM management, they want to point out that in some cases he was “too tolerant in the decision to remain silent about some cases of injustice and mismanagement. Of course, Dhanjay Jhurry damaged the university, but we must not forget that Sanjeev Sobhee was also one of his collaborators,” the lecturer emphasizes.
The fact that Sanjeev Sobhee thus becomes the sixth vice-chancellor in 15 years is considered by some stakeholders as a sign of the instability of the campus, which is supposed to be a reference model for Mauritius.