Universities in Bahamas

About universities in Bahamas

The Bahamas, which in official circles is referred to as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a picturesque island nation with just under 400,000 permanent residents.  Located north of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the Atlantic Ocean, the country consists of 29 islands and more than 600 cays, all totaling just over 5000 square feet of land.  Its capital and government seat is Nassau, the most vibrant and populous city in the Bahamas that is also the major hub of this tiny nation’s higher education system.

Due to its perpetual tropical climate, sprawling hotel resorts, gorgeous landscapes of white sandy beaches and friendly people, the nation of the Bahamas is more closely associated with vacations and weekend getaways than it is with higher education—and perhaps rightfully so.  Its proximity to the United States makes the country one of the hottest destinations for thousands of Americans vacationers each year, individuals and families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their workaday lives and relax in the pleasing Caribbean sun.  In light of all this, it’s no wonder the number one industry in the Bahamas—by far—is tourism, but to maintain this status the government of this country now understands it must properly educate its citizens in certain academic and career fields.

Higher Education in the Bahamas

Prior to 1974, higher education in the Bahamas, at least in its current form, was virtually non-existent.  It was in this year, however, that the winds of educational change began to sweep over the country with the formation of the College of the Bahamas.  Originally founded to provide training in various hospitality services, the College of the Bahamas has evolved over the years, increasing the number of campuses and enhancing the number of academic opportunities available for students.  Since its formation the College of Bahamas has expanded to include:

•    The Bahamas School of Nursing
•    A research unit aimed at contributing to national development
•    The Center of Entrepreneurship
•    Bahamas Environmental Research Center
•    The Bahamas Hotel Training College

In total, there are six institutes of higher education either in or outside the Bahamas offering bachelor-level degree programs or higher for students:  Atlantic College, Nova Southeastern University, Omega, Sojourner-Douglass College, College of the Bahamas and UWI.  Unlike universities in more populous countries—universities that offer a wide spectrum of academic degrees—only a handful of bachelor-level degrees are available through these Bahamian and international institutions, some of which include Language, Business, Computing, Creative Arts, Social Sciences, Religion, Nursing and Law.

Only four higher education facilities within the Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, Sojourner-Douglass College, University of Miami and UWI, offer any type of Master’s Degree-level studies.  And again, the number of academic fields available for Bahamian students to pursue is very limited, with some schools offering only one or two programs—programs that may include Master of Business Administration (MBA), Public Administration, Education or Counseling.  PhD-level programs, are offered in the Bahamas, but only though distance learning in partnership with American universities.

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