The FDI operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research, and Technology and its aim is to promote excellence in the field of design education. It was set up by Government to bring together the activities of two departments namely the School of Design of the Industrial and Vocational Training Board and the Textile and Apparel Development Centre of Enterprise Mauritius, with a view to rationalizing resources in this sector and fostering a uniform and a focused development of the fashion industry.
Officially launched in September 2009, FDI is divided into three distinct operational departments: Learning and Training, Corporate Affairs, Business/Industry Development, Research and Consultancy.
This year is another milestone for the institute. The Government has amended the Fashion and Design Institute Act to empower the FDI to award certificates, diplomas, degrees, honorary degrees and other academic or professional qualifications, aligning the functions and powers of the Institute with those of the other tertiary education institutions in Mauritius.
Presently, FDI has some 200 students and 11 permanent teaching staff on its campus situated in Ebène. Since its foundation, it has been providing the sector with around 40 fashion designers and graphic designers on the labour market on a yearly basis. “FDI is one of the best institutes for higher education in the country. We have trained around 250 people in Graphic Design, Multimedia, and Fashion & Textiles. Our goal is that our students are trained for employability. They are easily assimilated in world of work and some have even launched their own enterprises. Employability of our students is our main asset,” says Sadhna Juwaheer, the director of the FDI.
For Sunil Beerbaul, Chairman of the Board of FDI, the institute does not only offer tailor-made courses according to the demand of the labour market but, it also encourages the creativity and entrepreneurship spirit in its students.
Intakes and Qualifications
The main intake is generally in August. However there is an intake in April/May and another one in September.
For all the courses, candidates must have Art or any design-related subject for entry. They also have to produce a creative portfolio on which they will be assessed. However, FDI does take into consideration students without any art or design background on a case-to-case basis.
The minimum qualifications required for entry to FDI depends on the courses. For Extended Diploma in Art and Design, prospective candidates require a minimum qualification of SC/GCE ‘O’ Level. Othe Foundation Courses require at least one GCE ‘A’ Level while Degree Courses demands two GCE ‘A’ Level. FDI also provide Foundation Diploma in Art & design for ‘A’ Level holders).
The FDI has already started a new foundation course, namely the Extended Diploma in Art and Design for SC holders or any equivalent qualification. For the next intake, the following new courses are on the list:
- Diploma Interior Decoration
- BA (Hons) in Multimedia Design(including HND)
- BA (Hons) Product design(including HND)
Collaborations with other institutions
FDI counts different collaborators:
- Edexcel, Uk: one of UK’s largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications for colleges and universities in the UK and internationally. Edexcel is recognized in all commonwealth countries.
- University of Technology, Mauritius (UTM)
- Institute of Apparel Management of India (IAM) under the aegis of the aegis of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)
- Fashion, Art Design(FAD) International – India
The Institute is also in the process of establishing linkages with the Marangoni Institute of Italy and the Central Saint Martins’ College of UK and is now opening new partnerships, namely with:
- Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, UK
- National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), India
- The National Institute of Design, India
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Esmod, France
Annual Exhibition in June
The FDI will be holding its annual exhibition in June where more than 100 students will showcase their collections. In the coming months, it will also start Part-time award and short courses in: Photoshop, Illustrator, Web Design, Pattern Drafting, Garment making, Interior Decoration.