The University of Belize, located in the city of Belmopan, is the country’s national university and is directly financed by the country’s Ministry of Education. It was founded in 2000 as an amalgamation of five higher education institutions. The country’s other main university is the private Galen University, established in 2003 and located in the Cayo District. About 95% of the student body are Belizean and the remaining 5% are students participating in study abroad programmes. Belize also contributes to the University of the West Indies, which has a small extramural department in Belize City. There is also a health sciences university — Belize Medical College — and students have the opportunity to be accepted into medical residency programmes in the United Kingdom and the United States. For further information, the Ministry of Education’s website is available at http://www.moe.gov.bz/.
Higher education institutions in Belize offer a number of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and students can choose from full-time or part-time education. The University of Belize offers a number of Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s Degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in partnership with a number of foreign universities. The private university also offers a variety of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. English is the official language of Belize and university programmes are taught in English. Ecology and biodiversity programmes are particularly popular among international students, particularly as Belize itself offers a particularly biologically diverse environment. Students may be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency.
Tuition fees in the country vary by institution, programme and student’s nationality. Students from Belize pay about $700 per semester, whereas international students can expect to pay between $1,300 and $2,000 per semester.
Information for International Students
International students are advised to contact their institution of choice directly, however, the following are usually required as part of the admission process: copies of relevant educational diplomas, proof of sufficient funds for the entire duration of the programme, completed application form, official transcripts, two academic references, photographs, and a copy of their passport. If these documents are in a language other than English, international students must submit notarised translations of these documents.
International students may require a visa for studying in Belize. The University of Belize assists international students with the visa proves on their arrival in the country, however, international students are advised to check visa requirements on the Government of Belize Immigration Department at http://ins.gov.bz/. Scholarships and student loans are available from institutions in Belize though these, as a rule, are only available to Belizean students. Galen University, for example, offers both academic and sports scholarships which cover between 35% and 75% of the student’s tuition fees.