Many people have their doubts about attending college in Hawaii. After all, what kind of education do the tiny islands have to offer? Just a degree in surfing and the Hawaiian language, right? Wrong.
Established in 1907, the University of Hawaii confers associate, bachelor, master, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and other research facilities divided across six islands. The University of Hawaii system educates over 50,000 students of which about 44,000 are undergraduates. Over 600 programs are offered throughout the University of Hawaii system with 123 devoted for bachelor’s degrees, 92 for master’s degrees, 53 for doctoral degrees, 3 for first professional degrees, 4 for post-baccalaureate degrees, 115 for associate’s degrees and other certifications.
The University of Hawaii Community College system is made up of four campuses on Oahu and one each on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Kapiolani Community College on Oahu gained national attention in 1976 when its radiology department developed a new hip x-ray technique. In 1986, the community college’s respiratory care program won a national award as an outstanding vocational education program.
The main campus in Manoa on Oahu has been recognized numerous times for its excellent teaching programs. The John A. Burns School of Medicine is one of the leading medical education institutions in the United States. In 1992, Harvard University identified the school as one of ten “leaders in the reform and improvement of medical education.” All eyes were on the school in 1998 when Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi and his team of scientists developed the Honolulu Technique for cloning mice. The institution is the only medical school in the state and is named after a former Hawaii governor. The William S. Richardson School of Law also at the Manoa campus is one of the leading law schools in the nation. The school is named after former Hawaii State Supreme Court Chief Justice and is the only law school in Hawaii. There are over 200 students with an average of 80 students in each class, taught by 18 faculty members. Law School 100 ranked the school in the top tier as one of America’s Top Law Schools in 2004. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the school as one of America’s Best Graduate Schools for 2005.
The University of Hawaii has many facilities that have become assets to the students.
Established in 1960 by former President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress, the East-West Center has grown to become a major diplomatic institution of the world and had opened an auxiliary in Washington, DC in 2001. Professionals and students from all over the world study and work together at the Center to better understand current issues in society, and explore ways of addressing them.
Mauna Kea Observatory
The Mauna Kea Observatory, located on top of dormant volcano Mauna Kea on the Big Island, is one of the world’s premier astronomical research facilities. Founded in 1967, the observatory is at an altitude of 13,796 feet above sea level and consists of various multi-national astronomical instruments. The altitude and isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean allow unobstructed views of space without any interference.
The Waikiki Aquarium has been an institution of the University of Hawaii System since 1919. Situated beside a living coral reef on the Waikiki shoreline, the aquarium is home to more than 2,500 organisms of 420 species of marine plants and animals. The aquarium attracts over 350,000 visitors a year and has become one of the premier marine science institutions in the state.
The University of Hawaii still remains to be the school of choice for many Hawaii residents. No surprise considering the diversity, affordability, intellectual rigor, advanced technology, respect and most importantly the aloha.