As the University of Seychelles is new, are its standards internationally recognised?
Yes. Many of our degree programmes are provided by the University of London, and the awards are made by that body, in their name. The University of London is one of the highest-regarded universities in the world. Students who undertake a University of London programme follow exactly the same syllabus and assessment as their counterparts in London.
Other providers include L’Université de La Réunion; L’Université de Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne;Amity University (India) and the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute.
Additionally, we are developing our own programmes, alongside the above, all of which have to be validated by the Seychelles Qualifications Authority. The standards of that body are benchmarked against those of other quality assurance bodies to ensure international comparability.
Who are the academics who teach there?
The academics are selected on the basis of their qualifications and proven track record as effective teachers. They are all expected to have at least a Master’s qualification and, ideally, a PhD as well.
In addition to Seychellois academics, there are colleagues from Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK and Australia. The present Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dennis Hardy, is from the UK and he has also worked in Dubai and Australia. This international diversity is a strength in bringing to the various programmes valuable cross-cultural experience.
What is the language used by the university?
English is the language used in all classes (except the French degree programme) and all documents are in that language. Creole is the mother tongue in Seychelles and French, as well as English, is widely spoken.
What are the learning facilities like?
Of the three campuses operated by the university, the degree programmes are based at the main one, Anse Royale. It is a purpose-built campus (previously a polytechnic) and all of the classrooms have been refurbished to bring them up to modern standards. They each contain air conditioning, projection and display facilities.
There is a library and bookshop on campus, and students have access to a wide range of electronic data bases and e-books.
And what about the social life?
Student activities are organised by the Student Union, which is run through an elected committee. Also on campus is a canteen, a theatre with scope for student productions, a fitness centre and a playing field.
A sandy beach is just across the road from the campus, and diving opportunities locally are second to none.
Where do the students live?
Most Seychellois students live at home. International students will be found accommodation locally, either in apartments shared with other students or in their own room in a family house.
How will costs compare with studying in my own country?
Course fees are generally lower than for a comparable course in other countries, especially when compared with Europe. For example, it is cheaper to study for a University of London degree in Seychelles than it would be to pursue exactly the same programme in London.
Rents are quite competitively priced depending on how far it is from the campus. Other costs vary but if a student from overseas eats local food (the quality of fish is exceptional) it is possible to live quite cheaply. Bus fares are subsidised, and transport to Victoria costs only a few rupees.
Is it a safe place in which to study?
Seychelles is a well-governed country that puts high store on law and order. A look at the newspapers will show that violent incidents are few.
The country invariably fares very well in relation to the rest of Africa (with which Seychelles is grouped) in league tables showing standards of living, literacy and education opportunities, as well as health standards. There is a free health service that students can access. Being surrounded by sea, the nation enjoys a healthy climate with sunshine and welcome breezes from the ocean.
Will there be a problem with visas?
All international students wishing to pursue their studies with UniSey have to apply for a Student Permit by completing the Application for Student Permit and submitting it to the Student Support Services Office, together with the following supporting documents and fees:
1. Proof of admission on programmes offered by UniSey
2. Completed Unisey Certificate of Finance Forms to prove that applicants can fully support themselves financially
3. Proof of security bond, that is enough money for applicants to return home if they cannot complete their studies or if there is a need for repatriation
4. Proof of accommodation in Seychelles
5. Proof of health/medical insurance
6. Processing and student permit fee of SCR2500, which is valid for the full duration of the study programmes
Is there foreign embassy support?
Many countries are represented in Seychelles but you will need to check if yours is amongst them.