Trinidad and Tobago is well known for their approach towards schooling, education in the island is compulsory (for certain ages) and free. This includes university studies at the undergraduate level, citizens can enjoy tuition-free schooling at accredited public institutions and select private schools. Domestic students who wish to join the higher education framework must undergo the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
The Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Division oversees the roughly 10 accredited higher education institutions in the country. Subsequently, The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) decides which higher education institution meets the standards of accreditation. Currently, there are three universities with this stamp of approval.
The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is state owned and has multiple campuses throughout the island, any of which students can opt to study at. Prospective regional and international students must obtain an annual student permit from Trinidad and Tobago’s Immigration Division for the duration of their programme. Visa requirements are country specific and UTT’s international office facilitates the process once and applicant has been successful.
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus is highly rated in the Caribbean and is well known for its focus on research and innovation. The application process for international students is faculty specific. Non-native English speakers must perform satisfactory on the English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test.
The University of the Southern Caribbean is a private institution operated by the Caribbean Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As the smallest of the three it benefits from a low student-to faculty ratio. International students wishing to study here must obtain a student permit.
Non-university tertiary studies account for the remaining higher education institutions on the island. They range from training in technology, healthcare, business, agriculture and theology etc.
Trinidad and Tobago’s higher educational structure is primarily comprised of universities, colleges and vocational schools managed by The Ministry of Education. Trinidad and Tobago follows the traditional higher education path in which a Bachelor’s degree must be obtained before proceeding to a masters and finally a doctorate. The duration of these degrees is dependent on where students pursue their studies and in which subjects.
For example, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus Bachelor’s are generally three years in duration with the exception of medicine which takes five years, this also varies whether the student is part-time or full-time. Master’s normally take two years to complete (three years for medicine). Doctorates require an additional two years of study beyond the masters.
The application process for the three universities in Trinidad and Tobago require all prospective students to complete an online form by the submission deadline. International applicants may require a visa depending on where they are applying from as well as a satisfactory grade in an English proficiency test. Teaching is conducted in English unless it’s a foreign language course.
Tuition fees for Trinidad and Tobago nationals at the undergraduate level are waived. Member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) may also have waived tuition fees or lower fees. International fees are usually payable in USD.
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus
The University of the Southern Caribbean
Information for International Students
International student should be aware that the tuition fees they see are quoted in US dollars not Trinidad and Tobago dollars. Also, there are immigration rules that they must comply with prior to commencing their studies these include, annual student permits and visas. Visa requirements are dependent on nationality and can be facilitated by the school’s international office. Some schools may require non-native English speakers to take proficiency test as teaching is conducted in English.