Overview of Caribbean Countries and their Higher Education Systems

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Introduction

The Caribbean Region is commonly defined as an area of 24 island countries plus 4 mainland countries maintaining close ties with the Caribbean islands (Guyana, Belize, Surinam and French Guyanne). The 28 countries represent a total population of 40 million, covering a total area of 727,000 km2 and share a common geographic and climatic area as well as a complex cultural background where commonalities and specificities are equally important. This region is not only a vivid cultural community and one of the last bastions of maritime wildlife habitats, but also a growing and expanding scientific market. Caribbean universities producing more and more publications, especially in the fields like agriculture, biomedical research or environmental sciences, significantly contribute to the global production of knowledge. European stakeholders should turn their eyes on Caribbean attentively as this new emerging actor starts actively playing on the international scene. Forging strong ties with Caribbean lies in the best interests of Europe and Caribbean region. The Erasmus Mundus programme enabling young talented people to deepen their knowledge by cooperating with international partners is the opportunity to make such ties real. This short report, produced by the CaribErasmus project with the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme of the European Union, aims to present a panorama of the Caribbean HEI area and to list some of the Caribbean universities which may have a lot to offer to our European HEI partners. The information gathered was based in a combination of desk research and a survey of Caribbean Higher Education institutions to create both general countries’ profiles and specific higher education presentations. The present report does not intend to be neither comprehensive nor complete. Its goal is to encourage European higher education institutions to discover the opportunities lying in the Caribbean by presenting some pertinent information.

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