Universities in Barbados

Universities in Barbados by City:

St. Michael

About universities in Barbados

Barbados, a beautiful island country in the Lesser Antilles, has a surprisingly impressive system of higher education in light of its small size.  Measuring a mere 21 miles in length and only 14 miles across at its widest, Barbados is home to four institutions of higher learning.  Moreover, within its population of just over 250,000 citizens, the country boasts over a 95 percent rate of literacy, one of the highest in the Caribbean.  Barbados is a Commonwealth realm of the United Kingdom, with a parliamentary system of government.  As such, its schools follow the same 3-cycle educational system used by Britain and many other countries throughout Europe.

The capital and most populous city in Barbados is Bridgetown, which is also where you’ll find the majority of commerce, government institutions and schools of higher learning.  There are 4 institutions of higher learning in Barbados, one a full-fledged university and another one a teaching college.  The other two schools focus primarily on vocational education and training, providing students with the knowledge and expertise they’ll need to fill a variety of career positions on the island, many of which revolve around hospitality services.

Like many Caribbean nations, the number one industry in Barbados is tourism, and each year, thousands upon thousands of visitors flock to this tiny island country in search of some fun in the sun, along with rest and relaxation.  To ensure its hotels and resorts are able to meet that demand by delivering a quality experience, the country of Barbados recognizes that it must maintain schools that can effectively train its workforce in a wide range of hospitality services, including extensive training programs for chefs, hotel management and staff, maintenance workers and even lifeguards.

The university and colleges in Barbados offer students a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a number of academic fields, ranging from marine biology to engineering. As mentioned earlier, the educational format used in Barbados is modeled after and structured identically to the one in the United Kingdom.  This 3-cycle-degree system was borne from the Bologna process—a process designed to harmonize the higher education systems in universities throughout Europe and North America.  The structure of this educational format is illustrated below:

First Cycle

Bachelor Program
This is generally a 3-year program in a particular area of study designed to prepare students for entrance into the second-cycle, or Master’s Degree program.  There is no diploma awarded upon graduation.

First Cycle Degree
This degree track, which usually spans 4-6 years, is for those students with no intention of pursuing a Master’s degree once their studies have concluded. Upon graduation, a first-cycle degree—equivalent to the Bachelor of Arts degree in the U.S.—is awarded.

Second Cycle

Master’s Degree Program
This 2-year program is designed for students who have completed the first cycle and are seeking an advanced degree, typically a Master of Arts or Master of Science.

Third Cycle

Doctorate-Level Studies and Degrees
Doctorate-studies involve advanced academic coursework and research in a specific field of study, culminating with a dissertation.

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