Pre-University of Belize tertiary level institutions

The following describes institutions of post-secondary learning existing in Belize prior to the establishment of the University of Belize in August 2000.

Bliss School of Nursing

This was a tertiary level institution established in Belize to train its registered nurses and nurse assistants, pharmacists and other medical personnel. It was built with funding from the Baron Bliss Fund established by the money the Baron left in trust to Belize after his death and hence named after him. The campus was located on St. Joseph Street in Belize City, near what is now the main hospital. The Bliss School of Nursing was founded with monies left by Baron Bliss at about mid-century. It has trained a number of Belize's most prominent registered nurses and was the main health education-related facility in Belize up to its amalgamation.

In 2000 after the creation of the University of Belize, its duties were taken over by the University's Faculty of Nursing and Allied Health.

Degrees offered

* Nursing
* Medical Laboratory Technician
* Social Work
* Pharmacy

Belize Technical College

Belize Technical College (fondly known to Belizeans as "Technical"), was established as a high school and later junior college for Belizeans that did not excel in academic pursuits. It was founded in September 1952 as a four year high school but before long adopted junior college level status.

Legacy in Belize

The list of graduates of Belize Technical College is as long as the campus is wide, and the names are too many to mention here. Amandala publisher Evan X Hyde briefly taught at Technical in 1969-70 and has been one of the most vocal advocates for reviving it.

In 1981, Belize became embroiled in the dispute over the Heads of Agreement, and in late March when riots began in the streets of Belize City, Technical students led by Socorro Bobadilla were right in the middle of it.

Technical's engineering program has always been one of its main staples and indeed was one of the few intact programs carried over to UB at the establishment of the faculty of Sciences and Technology.

The BTC held its last graduation in June 2000.

Degrees offered: Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering, Building and Construction, Architecture, home campus of UB's Adult and Continuing Studies Unit.

Controversy over grounds

In early November 2006, the University announced that its facilities on the Technical campus would be upgraded to accommodate a new vocational training project, the ITVET. Students at the campus were up in arms over possibly having to vacate the campus amid rumors that the campus was for sale.

Student activist Moses Sulph and current City Councillor and UB student Phillip Willoughby roused students to action, demanding and receiving a meeting with University President Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis in which the proposed upgrade was discussed. President Lewis maintained that the campus was not for sale and was not being given away to the Government; UB students would not be inconvenienced by construction. Minor protests were held at the main campus in Belmopan and on the streets of Belize City, and the incident has earned media attention. Regardless of the students' pleas, construction has begun as of January 2007, with a number of buildings, primarily wooden and at the southern end of the campus, having been demolished as of May 2007.

Belize Teachers' College

Belize Teachers' College was established in the 1950s to train Belize's teachers and education professionals in the art of education. It was disbanded in 2000 and subsumed into the University of Belize as the Faculty of Education and Arts.

Belize College of Arts, Science and Technology (BELCAST)

BELCAST can be considered Belize's first university. Founded in 1979, its platform was the radical reorganizing of Belize's intellectual core to facilitate development. (Tun) But as the 1980s wore on, it became a source of controversy over the left-leaning philosophy of its faculty members. After the accession of the UDP to office in 1984, BELCAST quickly came under the gun and by 1986 the College was disbanded in favour of the University College of Belize (UCB), the fruit of a partnership between the Government and Ferris State College of Michigan. Some of its programs today survive in UB's Education and Arts and Science and Technology faculties.

University College of Belize

The UDP claimed the new UCB would be business-oriented and backed by the power of the degrees offered at Ferris State. Unfortunately, despite the patronage of Belizean man of letters and later Governor General Sir Colville Young, UCB gained little or no prestige internationally. UCB was a two year institution offering degrees at the Associate and Bachelor level, not just in Business, but also in Education, Environmental and Natural Sciences, Education and similar subjects. Towards the mid-1990s UCB opened an affiliate junior college in Belmopan, but by the end of the decade it was one of the five schools subsumed into UB. Its programs form part of the faculty of Management and Social Sciences at UB.

Belize School of Agriculture

The School of Agriculture was located at Central Farm in the Western Cayo District near San Ignacio. It offered two year programs in Applied Sciences/Agriculture and Natural Resources. After the amalgamation, it remained almost wholly intact as the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

See also

* University of Belize


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