University of Belize

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University of Belize
Logo of the University of Belize.png
Motto Education Empowers A Nation
Established August 1, 2000
Type National University
Chairman Mrs. Imani Fairweather-Morrison, MS
President Dr. Cary Fraser
Provost Dr. Wilma Wright
Academic staff
Undergraduates about 4,000
Location Belmopan, Belize
  • Central Campus: Urban
  • West Landivar Campuses: Urban
  • Freetown Campus: Urban
  • Punta Gorda Town Campus: Rural
Colors Purple & Gold
Athletics UB Black Jaguars (Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize(ATLIB))
Nickname UB
Mascot The Black Jaguar
University of Belize Logo with name.png

The University of Belize (UB) is an English-speaking multi-locational institute for higher education, and the national university of the Central American country of Belize. The institution offers certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor begrees, and a graduate degree. The university's goals are to meet national needs, encourage sustainable development, increase self sustainability, prepare Belize to meet global challenges and to encourage an international student population.[1] UB's Central Campus is found in Belmopan City where student enrollment is constantly increasing. Currently the Central Campus is the site of a clean solar energy project which will help make the university self sustainable and off the grid.

The university's colors are purple and gold; its mascot is the "Black Jaguar" and its motto is "Education Empowers a Nation".[citation needed]


The evolution of the Belizean university can be traced over a twenty-three year period beginning in 1977 with the establishment of the Committee for Sixth Form Studies in response to emerging concerns regarding the relevance of existing tertiary education, and ending in the year 2000 with a second attempt to coordinate and rationalize Belizean higher or tertiary education. During this time, the evolution of the Belizean university went through three distinct stages that resulted in the establishment of three distinct institutions: the Belize College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (BELCAST), the University College of Belize (UCB), and the University of Belize (UB).[2]

Previous attempts at national universities[edit]

Belizean nationalists long wished to decolonize the educational system and rely less on foreign academic institutions. In 1979 the ruling People's United Party (PUP) established the Belize College of Arts, Science, and Technology (BELCAST) as a state institution free of church involvement. The government secured funds from the European Economic community for construction, but the campus was never built.On February 24, 1986, it was announced at a meeting of the National Council on Education that BELCAST would be closed.[3] The rival United Democratic Party (UDP) assumed power in December 1984 and later established an alternative college - the University College of Belize on July 1986 - created and maintained by Ferris State College of Big Rapids, Michigan.[4] Nationalists were dismayed that the new University College of Belize would be administered by non-Belizeans. Intense political controversy arose in 1991 when it was discovered that the university had not been properly accredited, calling into question the value of its degrees. A new PUP government severed its agreement with Ferris State College, and the state of Belize assumed full control over the university.[5]


The University of Belize was established in August 2000 as an amalgamation of five venerable tertiary-level institutions:

Except for the last one, all institutions forming UB were located in Belize City; UCB had established a college affiliate in Belmopan.


Many of the campuses functional today were once their own individual schools until their merger into today's University of Belize.

Central Campus, Belmopan[edit]

Address: Corner Stann Creek Street and University Drive, Belmopan

Former site of the UCB outpost, it is where most programs and the university's administrative offices are located. Home of the Regional Language Center where students from various Latin American countries learn English, the Information Technology Department, and all the science labs.

Central Farm (Agriculture Campus)[edit]

Located in Central Farm, Cayo on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District, former site of the Belize School of Agriculture. It offered two year programs in Applied Sciences/Agriculture and Natural Resources. After the amalgamation, it remained almost wholly intact as the Department of Agriculture.

Belize City Campuses[edit]

Management and Social Sciences Campus[edit]

Location: Corner Graduate Crescent and College Street, West Landivar, Belize City

Former site of University College of Belize (UCB), now the exclusive home of business programs as well as Belize City administrative offices for UB.

Education and Arts Campus[edit]

Location: University Drive, West Landivar, Belize City

Former site of Belize Teachers' College, the Faculties of Education and Arts and Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work share space on campus.

Science and Technology Campus[edit]

Location: Freetown Road, Belize City

Former site of Belize Technical College, shares spaces with Belize District Institute of Vocational and Technical Education and Training (ITVET).

University of Belize, Punta Gorda Campus[6][edit]

Marine field stations: Hunting Caye and Calabash Caye field station.

The University of Belize in collaboration with San Pedro Junior College offers B.Sc. in Tourism Management.

Admissions policy[edit]

Associate's: High School Diploma (minimum GPA 2.5 and 2.5 or above in English and Math). Four passes in CXC subjects, which must include English and Mathematics. ATLIB English and Math general test pass, or combined score of 890 on the SAT or 18 on the ACT.

Bachelor's: Associate Degree from recognized institutions, scores same as above. Transfer credits allowed for courses graded C+ or higher. Credit transferability is subject to the university's criteria.

Diploma: Bachelor's Degree from a recognized institution.[7]

Divisions of study[edit]

The university has four main faculties with various departments. Each department offers various degrees from associate degrees (1st undergraduate degree) to bachelor degrees (undergraduate degree). The master degree (graduate) program in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development is being offered in partnership with the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, the University of Guyana and Anton de Kom University of Suriname.[8]

Education and Arts[9]

  1. The Regional Language Center
  2. Department of Arts
  3. Department of Education
  4. History & Anthropology Center

Management and Social Sciences[10]

  1. Department of Business and Accounting
  2. Department of Social Sciences

Science and Technology[11]

  1. Department of Agriculture
  2. Department of Engineering
  3. Department of Information Technology
  4. Department of Science

Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work[12]

  1. Department of Allied Health
  2. Department of Nursing
  3. Department of Social Work

Students are able to get hands-on experience in the field of Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology, Anthropology and Archeology (among others) at the university's field stations.

Environmental Research Institute[edit]

The logo of Environmental Research Institute, 2010

The Environmental Research Institute (ERI), the newest department of the University of Belize (UB), was inaugurated in January 2010. The Institute was created primarily to address the large gap in local capacity for research and monitoring that exists within Belize. Belize has a wealth of natural resources, including the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, which supports the country's most important industries, including tourism and agriculture. Recognizing this, the work of the ERI is focused on producing results that are directly relevant and applicable to the sustainable management of Belize's natural resources and building local capacity for this At a finer but equally important scale for Belize's development, the ERI was created as a semi–autonomous department of UB, with transparent and efficient management of projects at its core, in order to provide a much needed mechanism for research within the University.[13]



The University is affiliated with the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) and participates in that organization's sporting tournaments.

The University of Belize's male basketball team is known as the "Black Jaguars". They have participated in local and international tournaments for several years and are former national semi-professional champions in the local tournament.

The University of Belize also participates annually in the prestigious Ruta Maya River Challenge which is a four day race. The participants of the Ruta Maya are local and foreign individuals.

The University has a wide range of opportunities for recreation and sport on each campus. Students can contact the Coordinator of Recreation and Sport on the Central Campus or the Coordinators of Student Affairs on the other campuses for details on learning, participating, and competing in university sports. The university organizes intramural activities in:

  • Volleyball
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing
  • Karate
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics[17]


The goal of the Department of Recreation and Sports is to improve the personal growth of the student body, by promoting good health practices. This is accomplished via the development and administration of sports programs that focus on encouraging and maintaining a physically active lifestyle, through both individual and group activities.

The mission of the University of Belize Recreation and Sports Department is to promote mental and physical health via quality facilities, equipment, and programs that offer a broad range of coordinated activities and instructional classes which compliment the academic environment and fulfill basic human needs such as relaxation, socialization, and having fun.

The Sports and Recreational program is geared to provide wide participation in intramural activities (within the students), extramural activities (among various faculties of the university) and inter-tertiary or varsity sports activities (representing UB as an elite athlete in national and international sporting events).

In the academics area, all student athletes graduate and make something of themselves; as far as is possible, the recreation and sports Department tries to funnel student athletes to the USA and other areas abroad to further excel in both their academics and sports. The vision is also to be the top university in the Caribbean and Central American region in sports and academics.


Year Graduation Statistics
2014 Graduates: 930

January Graduates: 481 — 307 were females and 174 males.[18] June Graduates: 449 — 314 were females and 135 males.[19]

2013 Graduates: 951

January Graduates: 480 — 330 were females and 150 males.[20] June Graduates: 471 — 298 were females and 173 males.[21]

2012 Graduates: 802

January Graduates: 405 — 272 females and 133 males.[22] June Graduates: 397 — 264 were females and 133 males.

2011 Graduates: 954.

January Graduates: 465 — 323 females and 142 males.[23] June Graduates: 489 — 312 females and 177 males.[24]

2010 Graduates: 736.

January Graduates: 295. June Graduates: UB 348; RLC 40.[25]

2007 Students: 2,471 (Associate: 1,354; Bachelor: 987; Certificate: 97; Diploma: 1; None: 32);

Programs offered: 48 (Associate: 26; Bachelor: 16; Certificate: 5; Diploma: 1);

Faculty and Staff: 300

2006 Students: about 4,000 (all undergraduate)

Programs offered: 34

Faculty and Staff: 300


The university has international programs with 45 other institutions.

Housing: Students can live both on and off campus.

The University of Belize, rather than being just an Educated Institution for Tertiary and Bachelors level, has been many students' second home, as many students spend most of their time in School. The University of Belize has many things to offer; first of all it offers wireless internet access to its student body. The University of Belize has been updating its service to the commodity of the students since they now provide online registration and online transactions. It is very beneficial for students since not all are from Belmopan.

The University has taken into consideration that many expenses are incurred when travelling just to register.

The University of Belize also has several buildings that are helpful for students, such as the Jaguar building that has a computer lab and auditorium.

In year 2013, University of Belize Writing Center started its operation in the central campus. It aims to assist UB students in developing their skills of writing in order for them to become a better writer. This free tutoring service is available to students from 8:00-5:30 on Monday to Thursday and 8:00-10:45 on Friday. [26]

As in many Universities there are pros and cons, and UB is no exception. In comparison to other Universities UB is very cheap and the degree obtained is highly acceptable.


  1. ^ "University's Goals". University of Belize. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  2. ^ Aird, Eve (2003). "The Evolution of the Belizean University". University of the West Indies. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Belize Times, March 5, 1986
  4. ^ Aird, Eve (2003). "The Evolution of the Belizean University". University of the West Indies. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Belize". Global Education Reference, February 2001. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  6. ^ "Campus Locations". University of Belize. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  7. ^ "Admissions Criteria". 
  8. ^ "UB launch First Masters Program in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development". Office of Public Information, University of Belize. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Faculty of Education and Arts". University of Belize. 
  10. ^ "Faculty of Management and Social Science". University of Belize. 
  11. ^ "Faculty of Science and Technology". University of Belize. 
  12. ^ "Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work". University of Belize. 
  13. ^ "About the Environmental Research Institute". University of Belize Environmental Research Institute. 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Channel 5. "Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB". channel5belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  15. ^ channel 5. "Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB". channel 5 belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  16. ^ channel 5. "UB appoints Alan Slusher as president". channel 5 belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Recreation and Sports
  18. ^ Office of Public Information. "Close to 500 students to graduate at UB’s Eighteenth Commencement". University of Belize Website. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  19. ^ University of Belize. "June 2014 Graduation Special". Issuu. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  20. ^ Office of Public Information. "Graduation-Building national capacity & human capital January 2013". University of Belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  21. ^ University of Belize (June 2013). "UB Bulletin" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Fourteenth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  23. ^ "Twelfth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  24. ^ "Thirteenth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  25. ^ "Eleventh Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  26. ^ University of Belize Writing Center. (2013). Writing Center Q&A [Pamphlet]. Belmopan, Belize

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°14′37.10″N 88°45′36.55″W / 17.2436389°N 88.7601528°W / 17.2436389; -88.7601528