Universities in Trinidad and Tobago

Universities in Trinidad and Tobago by City:

BaratariaSt. Augustine

About universities in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is a small twin-island nation in the Southern Caribbean.  Of these two islands, Trinidad is by far the largest, consisting of an area of approximately 1,980 square miles, and is home to over 95 percent of the country’s 1.26 million permanent residents.  Most of the people living in Trinidad and Tobago are either of East Indian descent (41 percent) or African descent (40 percent), and while the principal language on the islands is English, other languages, such as Spanish, Hindi English Creole and French can also be heard. 
Unlike many other Caribbean nations, whose economies rely almost exclusively on foreign tourism, Trinidad and Tobago is primarily an industrialized country whose economy centers on petroleum and petro-chemicals—and business has been good.  For the past thirteen years the economy of the country has been experiencing prosperity, and since 2001 the average increase in GDP is nearly 9 percent.  These are encouraging numbers, especially when you consider the lofty goal to which the government has recently committed the country:  to achieve Developed Nation status by the year 2020.  In light of this national objective, the government has recognized that higher education for its citizens is the key to human resource development and to the social and economic transformation on which the country has embarked.
Higher Education in Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, higher education is commonly referred to as “tertiary education,” and is defined as the teaching and learning processes that occur following successful completion of secondary schooling or its equivalent, processes that ultimately provide academic credits or competency statements that lead to the awarding of certificates, diplomas and degrees at all levels.
The system of tertiary education in Trinidad and Tobago (T & T) is under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education (MSTTE).  According to legislative Act no. 16 of 2004, in order to carry on the business of post-secondary or tertiary education in T & T, or to claim a name such as “university,” “college,” “technical institute,” etc., an institution must first register its name with the MSTTE.  Also established through this act was the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago, whose responsibility, among other functions, is to inspect, approve and recognize accredited institutions within the country, along with the various educational programs offered at each institution.
In terms of public education in Trinidad and Tobago, the tertiary education system consists of three publicly-funded universities/colleges; training and technical vocational institutions and an array of administrative arrangements with educational entities outside of the country.  There also exist several private providers of higher education, doing business as universities, colleges, vocational centers and technical institutes.  Students attending these institutions, whether public or private, have a wide range of program choices from which to choose, including those leading to technical certificates, vocational diplomas and academic degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level.
The requirements for admission into one of Trinidad and Tobago’s tertiary institutions vary depending on the type of school.  Some institutions, such as those offering two-year vocationally-based diploma tracks, require only the successful completion of primary and secondary education, while others, including some of the advanced technical institutes, have prerequisite entrance exams to measure a student’s proficiency.  Universities are generally open to all secondary school graduates; however, certain programs within the university may first require successful completion of a proficiency examination.

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