The University of Guyana is Guyana’s sole national higher education institution. It was established in April 1963 with the following Mission: “To discover, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge of the highest standard for the service of the community, the nation, and of all mankind within an atmosphere of academic freedom that allows for free and critical inquiry.” It began its operations in October of the same year at Queens College, the nation’s premier secondary school, before moving to the Turkeyen Campus in 1970. At first, programmes were confined to the Arts, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. A Faculty of Education was created in 1967, and this was followed by the Faculty of Technology in 1969, the Institute for Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE), began as an extra-mural unit, in 1975, the Faculties of Agriculture (1977) and Health Sciences (1981), the latter as an outgrowth of Natural Sciences.
A Forestry Unit was established in 1987 and it subsequently became part of the Faculty of Agriculture, and in 2003 the Faculties of Arts and Education merged to become the School of Education and Humanities. Additionally, the turn of the Millennium saw the formation of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), born of the merger of the Geography Department and the Environmental Studies Unit. Also created were the Biodiversity Centre, which is pertinent to the activities pursued by SEES and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, and a Centre for Information Technology (CIT), which serves the entire university. The University of Guyana expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus in Berbice. (In October 2016, as part of a broader reorganization, SEES was transformed into the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Studies, with a Dean as academic and administrative head of the unit.)
The University of Guyana now offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate (postgraduate) programmes, including in Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry, and Nursing. Several online programmes are available, as are extra-mural classes through the IDCE at four locations--in the city of Georgetown and the towns of Anna Regina, Essequibo, Region 2; Linden, Upper Demerara, Region 4; and New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region 6. The institution has a 2016 enrollment of some 8,000 students, and it has graduated more than 20,000 students, who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally in all professional fields of endeavor. The University also is a major contributor to the public and private sectors and to the national economy.
The University offers certificate, diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree, graduate (post-graduate) degree, and professional degree programs. These programmes are delivered through the following seven organizational units, called Faculties, each of which is headed by a Dean: Agriculture and Forestry; Earth and Environmental Studies; Education and Humanities; Health Sciences, with a School of Medicine; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; and Technology. The largest unit is the Faculty of Social Sciences, with the following seven departments: Business and Management Studies; Centre for Communication Studies; Economics; Government and International Affairs; Graduate Studies; Law; and Sociology. The Department of Business and Management Studies, the largest unit in the Faculty of Social Sciences, offers three programmes; Accounting, Banking and Finance, and Marketing. As well, it has about 1,500 students, the single largest group in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and 15 faculties (10 full-time and 5 part-time). Moreover, it jointly manages the licensed Commonwealth of Learning Masters in Business Administration, and Public Affairs (CMBA/PA).