universities in Jamaica

Top Universities in Jamaica

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Jamaica is the third-largest island in the range of Great Antilles. The area of this country is 10,990 sq km and is about 145 km away from Cuba. The economy of Jamaica is mixed and we can find both state and private sectors working here in the form of businesses and enterprises. Mining and tourism are main sources of foreign exchange in the country other than agriculture, manufacturing, insurance & finance, to support the economy.

Comparing with the population of Jamaica, the island is still small because the area of this country is not enough to sustain the population of 3 million Jamaicans. Jamaica is near Hispaniola and is in the southeast of the United States. This place was originally named “Xaymaca” which means land of wood and water, true to its name this country offers over 625 miles of coastline. The infrastructure equipped for tourism and the tropical climate make it a perfect tourist destination. Because of its geography, Jamaica is a rare beauty as it has white sand beaches, large waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna. If you want to explore the natural beauty of this island then your possibilities are limitless.

Because of its huge popularity as a tourist destination, the main economy of Jamaica relies on the service industry. Half of the GDP of this country comes from tourism. All the major tourist destinations of Jamaica are centered around the north coast like Montego Bay, Kingston, and Port Royal. Around 1.3 million tourists visit these towns annually.

Settled by the Spanish this island was under British rule. Many rebellions take place in this country by the American – African slaves who were forced to work on sugar plantations. Part of the British commonwealth this country is now a parliamentary democracy. Jamaican culture is influenced by African and Caribbean demography. Known as the birthplace of reggae music, Jamaica has made a museum in the honor of the great musician Bob Marley, who is also the national icon of Jamaica. Other than this national art gallery, Castellon gardens and mineral bath are all great attractions, and other numerous cultural hotspots are available in this country.

Christianity is the most practiced religion in Jamaica with many denominations like Baptist, roman catholic, Pentecostal, and church of God of prophecy. Due to African influence, Rastafarian is also Jamaican’s practiced faith.

Now, as you have a pretty good idea about the country’s topography, culture, religion, and GDP. So, let’s move towards the list of Top 10 Universities and colleges in Jamaica.

The University of West Indies

The campus of the University of West Indies is located on a plateau, outside the city of Kingston. This place was not chosen just because of its beautiful location but because of accommodation already available at this place, built in the past during world war – II. This wartime camp was known as Gibraltar camp. Buildings constructed here are like barracks, which change into offices, lecture halls, laboratories, residences, and other facilities.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

At present, the UWI is one of the major educational institutes of Jamaica with facilities providing undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs in the field of education, science & technology, agriculture, engineering, law, medical sciences, and social sciences. This modern site still shows the signs of the past because of the remains of old history like the remains of a Roman-style old chapel.     

The University of Technology

The university of technology, Jamaica starts its journey in 1958, and in 1959 its name changes to the college of arts, science, and technology. This college of Jamaica was validated by parliament in 1964. In 1986, the college become a degree-granting institute and become an institute with an academic board and governing council. In 1995, the college of Jamaica was formally given the status of a university and got the name the university of technology, Jamaica. In 1999 a draft stating permanent provisions for the university of technology was passed and signed by the governor-general. The history of this university has seen the social and economic development of the country. This university was started with only 50 students and 4 programs in 1958 and now holds more than 11000 students doing courses in 50 programs and getting certificates, diplomas, degrees.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

The syllabus in the university of Jamaica is based on the English polytechnic system and provides flexibility, work-based learning, and professional links. The courses here are both full-time and part-time. Credit and non-credit courses are also available in this university. Some of the courses are links with community colleges and most of the courses are attached to national and international institutes.   

Northern Caribbean University

The northern Caribbean university is the oldest institute in Jamaica, a private institute started as the West Indian Training School. In 1907 only with 8 students, this institute was started and it offers courses only till 12th grade. This institute was closed in 1913 but reopened in 1919. It was renamed West indies Training College in 1936 and starts offering courses in theology, education, science, business, and natural science and transforms into a junior college. In 1950 the college received the status of senior college, and in 1959 it received the name of West Indies College 1959. After that, more than 20 other disciplines were added. Jamaican government gives this college university status in 1999 and was renamed Northern Caribbean University. At present, the north Caribbean university offers bachelor’s and master’s programs in science, business, religion, and education.   

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

North Caribbean University is a private university in Jamaica operational under (ACUM) Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission in Jamaica, and (JAMU) Jamaica Union Conference. The main campus of the university is in Manchester, and the other 3 campuses are in Kingston, Montego Bay, and Salem Runaway Bay. Every year around 5000 students enroll in this university from almost 35 countries.

The university of Commonwealth Caribbean

UCC University of the commonwealth, Caribbean is Jamaica’s largest privately operated university providing world-class facilities to its students. Its teachers are qualified with national and international educational degrees and experience. The main campus of this university is in Kingston. It started as the IMP institute of management and production in 1976 than in 1992, it gets converted into the institute of management sciences. In between 2002 to 2004 this was merged again and UCC was formed. In 2016,  this university of Jamaica was accredited with the international institution label, by UK accreditation services which work for universities and colleges (ASIC). The university of commonwealth Caribbean is also recognized by the university council of Jamaica (UCJ).

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

There are more than 80 universities in Jamaica but only 4 of them are accredited by the university council of Jamaica. The university of commonwealth Caribbean to get the reorganization from the University of London to provide the certificate of higher education in law, bachelors and masters degree in law in Jamaica. This university offers professional certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, postgraduate, and a doctorate in the fields like human resource management, information technology, hospitality, management, business, and finance. The university of commonwealth Caribbean is a partner with Florida international university, the University of London, University of Sunderland. It is also in partnership with the University of Arizona to provide many specialized certificates, undergraduate, graduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

The college of Agriculture Science and Education

The college of agriculture science and education, also known as CASE, has a rich history and plays an important role in the national development of Jamaica. The university is a part of the history of all the predecessor institutes, GFS Government Farm School, COA college of agriculture, JSA Jamaican school of agriculture, and PGTC Passley Gardens Teachers college. The case was first started at the government farm school in Kingston which is currently the university of technology (UTECH).

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

The government farm school in 1942 was renamed as Jamaican school of agriculture. In 1957 this school get relocated to a Spanish town and almost 50 years later school started taking female students and in present, there are many females in the college of agriculture science and education. In 1981, the Jamaican parliament brings a bill to close the Jamaican school of agriculture and started a new institute. The college of agriculture was started in 1981 for providing teaching, research programs in agriculture for teachers to increase their knowledge and get post-graduation degrees for the people who want to develop their diplomas. In 1995 CASE was born by merging COA and PGTC.

International University of Caribbean

United Church in Jamaica founded the international university of the Caribbean in 2005. It was made up of 2 different educational institutes, Mel Nathan college, and college for leadership and theological development. These institutes in Jamaica help in ensuring high education innovation, academic and research standards. The university’s main aim is to provide territory education to the people who want to empower themselves with advanced knowledge to compete with the demands of global employment.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

The Mico University

The historical significance of this university of Jamaica is very important especially in the 21st century. Mico university has a tradition of endurance and resilience because, in more than 300 schools that were established in the Caribbean, Mico is the one providing excellent service in the field of education for the last 170 years. In the whole western hemisphere, Mico is the oldest teacher training institute. This university provides degrees in primary and secondary education, counseling, science, and administration. The vision of this university is to provide thinkers and problem solvers to society, who can contribute to improving the quality of personnel life at national and international levels. 

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

The Mico is dedicated to integrity, service, leadership, and excellence in performance. Their aim is to provide the highest quality education through an adaptive learning environment. Their focus is on research and scholarship, to prepare the students with knowledge, skills, morals, and values to become leaders in the future. Involvement of faculty with students is intentional, nurturing, and thorough. Teaching and learning methodology is creative, flexible, and adaptable.

Church Teacher’s College

 In 1965, the Mandeville teacher’s college started with the efforts of the bishop of Mandeville. This college started with 6 lecturers and 75 students. In 1967, the name of the college get changed to Church Teacher’s College. In 1970, a loan from the world bank was sanctioned to build the science block. Lindsay hall was also built in 1970. Between the tenure of 1970 to 1978 many other buildings were also built. In 1981, diploma programs were started and the proper uniform was introduced for this college. In 1986 the college started providing degrees in mathematics, management, science by distance learning by collaborating with the university of west indies. In 2000, they made a partnership with temple university and started the B.Sc program. In 2005, the e-learning phase of this college started and computers were placed in the labs, library, and smart classrooms. In 2011, B.Ed classes were started and in 2012 research and project units were started. In 2014, the 50th anniversary of the college was celebrated and also music room was constructed in the same year.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

Shortwood Teacher’s College

In 1885 this college in Jamaica was started as a part of social, economical reforms, by the then governor of Jamaica. It was started as the Jamaica female training college with 18 students. The college was first started in Barbican but later shifted to Camperdown because of yellow fever rising in the Barbican area. From that date, college is located in Camperdown and this area is now known as Shortfall. This college is fully financed by the Jamaican government. One of the interesting facts of this college is that initially, the classrooms of this college were stables of Archbold’s estate but later college was given an area on Oliver road.

In 1889, the government decided to expand the college to maintain the expenditure, so the number of students was increased to 60, and the grant from the government is increased to 1200 pounds. The administration of college comes under the interdenominational board.  The curriculum was also expanded and subjects like agriculture, science, gardening, cookery, and laundering were added. From this point to the present this college has faced many hardships like the earthquake in 1907, and two fires between 1937 and 1939. By 1960 the number of students in this college was increased to 193 and by 1973 there were around 470 students in this college. This was a great time for colleges and universities as educational reforms were placed in Jamaica and suddenly demand for teachers increase in schools.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

In 1996 with the collaboration of the university of west indies the first batch of 20 students was taken in the bachelor of education. The bachelor of science was started in 2004.

Edna Manley College

The Edna Manley College in Jamaica is located in the music city of Jamaica, Kingston. EMCVPA is known for its high value and rich tradition in the field of arts management. The college plays a great role in promoting cultural diversity through quality education to its students in visual and performing arts. For the last 60 years, this college is doing its duty in preserving the culture and arts of this country. The arts and cultural schools are started at different locations throughout Kingston but in 1976 they were brought together at a common place by the cultural training center.  In 1979 this school was acknowledged by UNESCO but the institute was renamed Edna Manley College.

University in Jamaica | College in Jamaica
University in Jamaica

We had placed some of the top-rated universities and colleges of Jamaica in our list of top 10 universities in Jamaica. Our aim is to make it easy for students to find the university which can best suit their interests. For more information, you can directly connect to the website of universities and colleges. Our list is based on the reviews and ratings given to institutes by various education sites and on the information provided on the official websites of Jamaican universities.          

Seema Jain

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