The University of Guyana (UG), established in 1963, is the country's premier academic institution committed to providing quality tertiary-level education to Guyanese and those resolved to expanding their intellectual and social experiences. With an enrolment of 164 students, the University of Guyana commenced formal classes on October 1, 1963. Six years subsequent to its establishment, the university moved from its temporary location at Queen's College to its present location at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown.
Initially, the University of Guyana offered programmes limited to the Faculties of Art, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. However, the inevitable growth in the number of students attending the university and the increasing demand for qualified personnel in various sectors necessitated the addition of several faculties – Education in 1967, Technology in 1969, Agriculture in 1977, Health Sciences in 1981 and Forestry in 1987. Another important addition to the creation of faculties was the introduction of the Certificate, Diploma and Associate Degree level programmes, which complemented the existing general Degree programmes. Other improvements soon followed including the option of enrolling for full time classes started in 1969, the introduction of the Graduate Programme in 1973, and the initiation of the semester system in 1993-1994.
Despite the many challenges and setbacks over the years, the University of Guyana has remained committed to implementing changes that would meet the needs of the nation and its people. This commitment has been demonstrated largely through the undertaking of expansionary projects. One of the university's most significant undertaking was the formation of the Berbice campus. This relatively new campus, which became operational in 2000, was established with the intention of making university education more accessible to Berbicans, who previously endured the inconvenience of travelling to the Turkeyen Campus to pursue university studies.
In its early stages, the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) offered two-year undergraduate Certificate programmes in Education (various options) and Diploma programmes in Accountancy, English, History, Marketing, Public Management and Social Work. Degree programmes were subsequently offered: the Degree in Agriculture and the Associate Degree in General Science (various options) were offered in the 2001-2002 academic year, and Degrees in Public management and Education as well as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education in Education were offered in the 2002-2003 academic year. Recently, in the academic year 2012-2013 the Bachelor's Degree in Social Work was offered and in 2013-2014 the Bachelor's Degree in Biology. The first graduation ceremony was held in November 2002 with a batch of ninety-three students.
In terms of faculties and educational resources, the Berbice campus has shown significant developments. The Computer Laboratory and the UGBC library, constructed in 2000, have both undergone structural expansion to accommodate more resources (computers and books) for the growing number of students. The teaching block, erected in April 2002 and comprising of fourteen classrooms was also designed to facilitate the increasing student population. Another noteworthy addition to the Berbice campus was the Johns Science Centre, opened in 2006 and located at the Johnsville Site.
In keeping with the spirit of development, lecturers have been instrumental in forming clubs that would promote students’ participation in extra-curricular activities.
These clubs include the Sports Club, the Environmental Club and the UGBC Cultural Club. A hard court was completed in October 2008 to facilitate students’ involvement in sports.
The University of Guyana – Berbice Campus has played an elemental role in qualifying both Guyanese and foreign students, and with the assistance from the Turkeyen Campus, government and private organizations, alumni groups, and the Guyanese community, UGBC will continue to fulfill its obligation to produce intellectually competent men and women who will be of service to “the community, the nation and all mankind.”
- The University of Guyana