University of Belize

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University of Belize
Logo of the University of Belize.png
Motto Education Empowers A Nation
Type National University
Established August 1, 2000
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 and 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 Belize. The institution offers certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor begrees, and a graduate degree.[1] The UB Central Campus is found in Belmopan City, the 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".[2]


The evolution of the Belizean university can be traced over a 23-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 university resulted in the establishment of three institutions: the Belize College of Arts, Sciences and Technology, the University College of Belize, and the University of Belize.[3]

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.[4] The government secured funds from the European Economic community for construction of a campus in Belmopan, but the campus was never built.[4] On February 24, 1986, it was announced at a meeting of the National Council on Education that BELCAST would be closed.[5] The rival United Democratic Party 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.[3] 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.[4] A new PUP government severed its agreement with Ferris State College, and the state of Belize assumed full control over the university.[4][6]


The University of Belize was established in August 2000 as an amalgamation of five 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 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 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[7][edit]

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

The University of Belize in collaboration with San Pedro Junior College offers a 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.[8]

Divisions of study[edit]

The university has four main faculties, each with departments. Each department offers degrees from associate degrees (1st undergraduate degree) to bachelor degrees (undergraduate degree). The master degree (graduate) program in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development is 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.[9]

Education and Arts[10]

  • The Regional Language Center
  • Department of Arts
  • Department of Education
  • History & Anthropology Center

Management and Social Sciences[11]

Science and Technology[12]

Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work[13]

  • Department of Allied Health
  • Department of Nursing
  • 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 the Environmental Research Institute

The Environmental Research Institute (ERI), the newest department of the university, was inaugurated in January 2010. 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 relevant to the sustainable management of Belize's natural resources.[14]



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

The university 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 participates annually in the Ruta Maya River Challenge which is a four-day race. The participants of the Ruta Maya are local and foreign individuals.

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 participating in university sports. The university organizes intramural activities in:

  • Volleyball
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing
  • Karate
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics[18]


Year Graduation Statistics
2014 Graduates: 930

January Graduates: 481 — 307 were females and 174 males.[19] June Graduates: 449 — 314 were females and 135 males.[20]

2013 Graduates: 951

January Graduates: 480 — 330 were females and 150 males.[21] June Graduates: 471 — 298 were females and 173 males.[22]

2012 Graduates: 802

January Graduates: 405 — 272 females and 133 males.[23] June Graduates: 397 — 264 were females and 133 males.

2011 Graduates: 954.

January Graduates: 465 — 323 females and 142 males.[24] June Graduates: 489 — 312 females and 177 males.[25]

2010 Graduates: 736.

January Graduates: 295. June Graduates: UB 348; RLC 40.[26]

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.
  • Students can live both on and off campus.
  • There is Writing Center on the central campus. It assists students in developing their writing skills.[27]


  1. ^ "University's Goals". University of Belize. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  2. ^ "Reflections – Uniquely Belizian". Insights. University of Belize. 1 (1): 27. January–February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Aird, Eve (2003). "The Evolution of the Belizean University". University of the West Indies. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Merrill, Tim, ed. (1993). Guyana and Belize: Country Studies (2nd ed.). Federal Research Division: Library of Congress. pp. 212–213. ISBN 084440778X. 
  5. ^ Belize Times, March 5, 1986
  6. ^ "Belize". Global Education Reference, February 2001. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  7. ^ "Campus Locations". University of Belize. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Admissions Criteria". 
  9. ^ "UB launch First Masters Program in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development". Office of Public Information, University of Belize. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Faculty of Education and Arts". University of Belize. 
  11. ^ "Faculty of Management and Social Science". University of Belize. 
  12. ^ "Faculty of Science and Technology". University of Belize. 
  13. ^ "Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work". University of Belize. 
  14. ^ "About the Environmental Research Institute". University of Belize Environmental Research Institute. 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Channel 5. "Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB". channel5belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  16. ^ channel 5. "Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB". channel 5 belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  17. ^ channel 5. "UB appoints Alan Slusher as president". channel 5 belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Recreation and Sports
  19. ^ Office of Public Information. "Close to 500 students to graduate at UB's Eighteenth Commencement". University of Belize Website. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  20. ^ University of Belize. "June 2014 Graduation Special". Issuu. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Office of Public Information. "Graduation-Building national capacity & human capital January 2013". University of Belize. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  22. ^ University of Belize (June 2013). "UB Bulletin" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Fourteenth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  24. ^ "Twelfth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  25. ^ "Thirteenth Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  26. ^ "Eleventh Commencement Exercise". University of Belize. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  27. ^ 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