Approximately 31% of the population of the Maldives is between 18-34 years and 18% is between 15-24 years. The Higher Education sector has seen an increase in the number of private higher education providers entering the sector to meet this demand. The increasing number of institutions coupled with high student aspirations for higher education has resulted in a steady increase in student enrolment over the years. Developing tertiary education, including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and higher education avenues in the Maldives is a priority for the government.

Policy priorities of the sector include expanding higher education opportunities, increasing access to student finance, fostering a culture of academic research, delivering quality vocational education, and aligning such opportunities to industry needs.

Opportunities for investment

Higher education as an exportable commodity

While there is great opportunity for investors to benefit from the increasing demand for higher education and skills development from the young Maldivian population, the government’s aim is to develop higher education and skills training as an exportable commodity that can cater to international and regional markets.

Unique opportunities for higher education and skills training exist in the Maldives due to the country’s geography as well as its well-established hospitality sector.

Technical and vocational education

Technical and vocational training that aligns with the diversification objectives of the government is an area that holds great opportunity for private investors. The government is seeking to establish links with leading countries in the area of TVET and invite investors to establish state-of-the-art TVET training institutes with links to international organizations to realise the latest innovations in TVET provision.

Higher education institutions

The government welcomes local and foreign investors to establish institutions of higher education. This includes the establishment of Junior Colleges, establishment of local campuses and affiliates of well-established foreign universities that can cater to the demand for higher education in the Maldives.

Research centres in academic institutions

Opportunities are open for foreign universities to setup research outposts in local academic institutions in the country. The unique geography and natural environment of the Maldives offer opportunities for research, especially in the areas of marine and reef ecosystems and mariculture.

Other areas of education and skills development

The education sector of Maldives also holds promising prospects for investments at all levels of education from early childhood to university education. There are opportunities for investment in nurseries and day care centres as well as in specialized sectors such as medical and hospitality schools, world class fishing and mariculture training institutes, flying schools and training institutes for clean and renewable energy.