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 enquiry.” It began its operations on October 1 of the same year at Queens College compound, 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 (now Faculty of Engineering and Technology), the Faculty of Agriculture (1977) and Health Sciences (1981), the latter as an outgrowth of Natural Sciences. The Institute for Adult and Continuing Education began as an extra-mural arm, in 1976. In 1996 the Institute was renamed the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE).
A Forestry Unit was established in 1987 and it subsequently became part of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, and in 2003 the Faculties of Arts and Education merged to become the School of Education and Humanities (now Faculty 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 Berbice Campus at Tain, Corentyne. In October 2016, as part of a broader reorganisation, SEES was transformed into the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences (FEES). And in 2017 the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation was created.
The University offers certificate, diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree, graduate (post-graduate) degree, and professional degree programmes. These programmes are delivered through seven Faculties and one School, each of which is headed by a Dean: Agriculture and Forestry; Earth and Environmental Studies; Education and Humanities; Engineering and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences; and Social Sciences.
More than 116 under-graduate and post-graduate programmes are available, including Computer Science, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Supply Chain Management and Nursing.
Extra-mural classes are available at four locations through the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) - in the city of Georgetown Region #4, and the towns of Anna Regina, Essequibo, Region #2; Linden, Upper Demerara, Region #10; and New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region # 6. Several online programmes are also available.
The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.
The institution had a 2017 enrolment 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 endeavour. The University is a major contributor to the public and private sectors and to the national economy.