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Higher Education

Postsecondary education is provided by the University of Guyana, which has seven faculties besides programs in law and medicine. Full-time classes for the majority of students began in 1973, the same year the first graduate program began. The Faculty of Education offers a Master's degree and a certificate in nursery education. Other faculties include agriculture, arts, health sciences, technology, and social sciences, which has updated its curriculum to include women's studies. An Amerindian unit is now part of the university, and students can earn a Master's degree in Guyanese and West Indian history. Most of these programs are four years long. The semester system became university-wide in 1974, when students began paying tuition. Tuition for two semesters is about US$1,000. Medical school costs about US$2,000, and a year in law school costs about US$3,500. The enrollment today is more than 4,600 students, with a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.

Technical and vocational education may be obtained at a number of institutions. The Georgetown Technical and New Amsterdam Technical Institutes specialize in trade courses, such as carpentry, plumbing, welding, and bricklaying, and courses in mechanical and electrical engineering, building and civil engineering, surveying, and telecommunications. Students may earn a certificate or diploma in commerce and secretarial science as well. The Guyana Industrial Training Center also offers a course in masonry, mechanics, and other trades. The Carnegie School of Home Economics specializes in household management and catering. These adult-education programs are regulated by the University of Guyana and the Adult Education Association, which collaborate with and receive funding from the Ministry of Education.

In 1976, the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education was inaugurated primarily as a center for study and research in adult education and for training teachers of adults and administrators of adult education programs. In 1996, the Institute included distance education in its curriculum to train teachers in Guyana's rural areas. The Guyana School of Agriculture, which prepares students to teach agriculture or to work as managers or field assistants, covers natural science and economics and the practical aspects of farming and animal science. The school accepts students from Guyana and other countries, some of them from Nigeria and Zimbabwe. More than 2,000 students enrolled between 1963 and 1982, about 20 percent of them female. Graduates may continue their education at the University of Guyana, and some obtain employment in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Several non-university institutions accommodate a wide variety of groups with special needs. The Government Technical Institute accepts both males and females and offers full-time, part-time, and evening courses in general education, trade training, and science and technical training.

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