The education sector in Jamaica has a long history, predating political independence. The tertiary education sector is highly skewed towards particular professions such as business, governance, law, medicine, teacher education, nursing and to a lesser extent security, psychology, history, the creative and performing arts, maritime studies and agriculture. The number of institutions offering tertiary education has grown to include a number of international institutions offering distance degrees. The last two decades have seen a disproportionate focus on law, maritime logistics and banking and tourism related services as areas of study at the tertiary level. A strong academic community exists at the three major local universities, and the potential for critical impact on the policy environment is high.
The U.S. Embassy is eager to support Jamaican universities seeking to expand, create and strengthen linkages between U.S. universities/think tanks and Jamaican institutions, including universities, think tanks, quasi-government agencies and government agencies. The U.S. Embassy actively seeks to encourage educational exchanges in non-traditional areas of study such as criminal justice, security, taxation, public policy, urban planning, restoration and architecture, agriculture, advocacy and social justice, STEM related fields and journalism. The academic calendar is August to May in Jamaican universities with room for a third semester at the three major universities during the summer months. Housing is typically provided by host institutions but may be limited, based on the resource base of the institutions.
The Jamaican Ministry of Labor requires that U.S. citizens receive a work permit before beginning their Fulbright grant. For applicants with dual Jamaican citizenship ties (by birth, descent or marriage) a permanent landing status process will suffice but must be documented with the host university early in the placement process. The universities are responsible for liaising with the Ministry of Labor for the work permit process and must invest in the substantial required fees to benefit from the services of the incoming scholar. All the major universities are located in well established communities which are close to major hospitals, shopping and business districts as well as schools for those applicants with minor dependents. Short-term Flex grants for teaching, research or teaching/research for one- to three-month segments over one or two consecutive years are available.
Cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the Western Hemisphere. As you prepare your Fulbright application, we encourage you to read the information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.