Located in the Caribbean, the islands of Antigua and Barbuda are currently home to 3 universities (University of Health Sciences, University of the West Indies at Five Islands & American University of Antigua), 1 institute (Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Information Technology) and 1 college (Antigua State College). The country is part of the Commonwealth; therefore, the higher education system is very similar to the one in the UK. Although it covers a small area, the islands provide high-quality teaching in their universities. Out of all students enrolled in tertiary education, 12% represented international students in the academic year of 2012/2013. Both numbers showed an increasing tendency over the years. For further information the Ministry of Education’s website is available at http://moest-antigua.org/.
Currently, there are only Bachelor’s, Master’s and Integrated Master’s offered at universities in Antigua and Barbuda. For example, the Institute of Information Technology offers only Bachelor’s and is focused more on Business and Management, Computer Science and Architecture. The University of Health Sciences is orientated towards Medicine and related courses where they offer both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The last two, have more diverse courses and students can choose from a Bachelor’s in education to a Bachelor’s in chemistry. Generally, undergraduate studies last for 3 years, Master’s for 2 and integrated courses 4 or more. The academic year starts in September and will end in June after three semesters.
Admission requirements are decided by each university. Students who wish to apply at the University of West Indies can do so by completing an online form managed by the branch at Cave Hill, Barbados. In the same way, application to the University of Health Sciences can be done online here. For the other ones, documents should be sent directly to the institution. Proof of finished secondary education along with transcripts, nationality, and high school diploma are required if you wish to apply here. Depending on the course, universities might require other forms of assessments such as entrance exam or interviews. An application fee will also be charged that varies from $16 (University of West Indies at Five Islands) to $75 (University of Health Sciences). The official language of the country is English, so all courses are taught in English.
Tuition fees vary from course to course and university to university. Most expensive courses will be in Medicine; a medical course at the University of Health Sciences can cost as much as $12,271 per term while US residents and international students pay $13,500 per annum for a Nursing course. Apart from that, fees range between $222 to $1,800.
Information for International Students
Living on islands can get really expensive. Renting an 85 m2 (900 sqft) accommodation is estimated to cost around $925 in the city area and $666 in a normal area. Prices go higher for renting a studio. Therefore, the islands are only 13% cheaper than the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, universities have available scholarships and will offer financial assistance through students loans, especially the University of Health Sciences. For students who are interested in studying in a different environment, characterized by beautiful beaches, warm weather all year long and the Caribbean atmosphere, Antigua and Barbuda is a perfect opportunity. The country, known for being considerably prosperous in the last years, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world (11.3 murders per 100,000 people) and is applauded for its tourism industry.