Hello Prospective UoM students! One of the best thing with UoM is that the Vice Chancellor is very open with students and does not hesitate to listen to their queries as well as in taking bold actions to get things done for the welfare and progress of the prestigious academic institution.
I have contacted Professor Konrad Morgan BSc (Hons), PhD (Edin), MBCS CITP, MBPsS via email and here are some answers to my questions:
Ashesh: After 1 year as You being the CEO/ Vice Chancellor of UoM, what are the achievements of which you are really proud of?
Prof Konrad: After 18 months as VC I am proud of a number of things -
reducing some student fees,
- establishing the first regular meetings between a UoM VC with the Students Union,
- removing the two permanent guards that were assigned to the VC so students and staff get easier access to the VC,
- implementing the first fire drills in 40 years,
- training of security staff not only in how to better serve the campus community but also in first aid,
- provision of night lighting to minimise dark areas on campus,
- introducing traffic calming road ripples,
- safety barriers on the public road through the campus,
- doubling the internet speed for UoM,
- providing science direct and other digital literature resources for students and staff,
- creation of a new 100 space car park,
- fitting air conditioning into lecture rooms,
- additional washroom facilities,
- clean drinking water dispensers around campus,
- CCTV installation at high risk areas,
- introducing a paperless Senate meeting (to reduce on waste paper),
- introducing a medical insurance scheme for staff where UoM pays 50% of the fees,
- delegating financial budgets to each faculty and providing budget information to Deans for the first time,
- delegating holiday and leave authority to the faculty,
- introducing staff development budgets and schemes to encourage staff to improve their skills by attending conferences and courses,
- introducing “knowledge sharing week” where staff exchange their skills with each other and staff get training in areas of their personal interest,
- providing each faculty with 1M Rs in research funds,
- making sure that all staff publications are presented on the UoM web site,
- redesigning the UoM Web Site, increasing staff levels at the Finance section to improve speed and efficiency of financial processing,
- purchase of new lab and office equipment and conducting the first ever health and safety audit of UoM in 40 years.
There are many other administrative and organisational changes but I will stop here, for a more complete list one can consult the annual report. http://www.uom.ac.mu/ABOUTUS/AnnualReport/index.html
Ashesh: What are the new changes , improvements to the tertiary education sector in Mauritius which you would like to highlight?
Prof Konrad: As for improvements to the Tertiary Sector the New Ministry and TEC have been instrumental in providing UoM with the financing needed for all the improvements that I have mentioned above and these changes would not have been possible without their generous support. In addition the Ministry has created a National Research Fund of 100M Rs and has appointed 3 National Research Chairs. The Government has announced a plan to make Tertiary Education a pillar of the Mauritian Economy and has announced the target of having a graduate in each family. Areas of land have been earmarked for new campuses around the island and considerable investment is being made in the future of the Tertiary Sector.
Ashesh: Finally, how do you find Mauritius? Have you been used to the Mauritian Culture – do you like the M’tian Cuisine, the people, the diversity present here?
Prof Konrad: With respect to my experiences with Mauritius I think you are blessed to have one of the most beautiful locations in the world, with a wonderfully dynamic and hard working people (and great food from a variety of cultures). Having visited some of the neighbouring regions I can say that Mauritius is clearly one of the most advanced countries in the region and looks set for a great future in terms of its economic growth. I am honoured to have had the chance to work here and I hope that I have made things a little bit better for staff and students by my presence.