The Cayman Islands are a group of three islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman) located in the western Caribbean Sea 180 miles south of Cuba and 195 miles northwest of Jamaica. The population is 47,862 and the literacy rate is 98%.
The Cayman Islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503. As part of the Treaty of Madrid in 1670, the islands were ceded to England along with Jamaica. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica were a single colony until 1962 when Jamaica gained independence. The Cayman Islands continues to be a British Overseas Territory that is led by a governor who is responsible to the British Crown.
Currently, Cayman Islands'education system is overseen by their Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs.
Primary school is 6 years and begins at age 6. No credential is awarded upon completion of primary school.
Secondary school is 5 years. Prior to the establishment of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) in 1972, at the end of secondary school (Form V), students were assessed using the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE O-Level) which was administered by examination authorities in the United Kingdom. The CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) replaced the GCE O-Level exam. Students also have the option of sitting for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination at the end of Form V. Form VI is two years long and students have the choice of taking the CXC Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) or the GCE Advanced Level (GCE A-Level) exam upon completion.
There are 3 post-secondary institutions on the Cayman Islands: the University College of the Cayman Islands, the International College of the Cayman Islands, and the Cayman Islands Law School.
The University College of the Cayman Islands was established in 1987 as the Community College of the Cayman Islands. It was renamed in 2004. It offers one-year certificate programs, two-year associate's programs, 4-year bachelor's programs, a one-year post-graduate diploma in education program, and a 2-year Master of Science and Master of Human Resources Management. Admission requires 2-5 passes on the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), depending on the program of study, and sufficient scores on the University College Entrance Examination (UCEE).
The International College of the Cayman Islands was established in 1970 and is accredited in the United States by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). It offers a two-year Associate of Science, a 4-year Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science and Master of Business Administration. Associate's and bachelor's programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent and sufficient scores on the SAT examination. Master's programs require a bachelor's degree. The Master of Business Administration program also requires sufficient scores on the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT).
The Cayman Islands Law School is affiliated with the University of Liverpool in England. It offers a 3-year Bachelor of Laws program that requires at least 2 passes on the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level examination for admission.