Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

Michael Mills, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Donald Dellow, Ed.D.


Market forces, Autonomy, Accountability, Institutional isomorphism, Resource dependency


The purpose of this case study was to understand governance of higher education in the developing country of Belize by examining how governance affects financial and curricular decision-making in higher education in Belize. The study also examined the role of the market in higher education and its effects on curricular and financial decision-making in higher education. Data were collected from higher education administrators and Ministry of Education officials through semi-structured interviews, and from review of institutional and public documents related to higher education. A major finding of this study is that although the Ministry of Education through the Tertiary and Post Secondary Services Unit is responsible for the supervision and development of the higher education system, there is a lack of expertise in this "Unit".

The lack of expertise means that there is no one who can advise the Ministry of Education in respect to the direction or development of higher education. The study also revealed that there is a lack of an adequate funding formula to support the University of Belize and the junior colleges. While the junior colleges receive only salary grants, UB receives a yearly subvention for capital and recurring expenditures. The lack of a funding formula to include capital projects stifles the infrastructural development of the institution and affects the quality of education offered. The study also revealed that there is a lack of a national development plan to assist institutions in identifying academic programs that meet national development needs. As a result, academic programs are often identified based on market needs, perceived community needs, and social and religious needs depending on the religious affiliation of the institution.

Another finding of the study is the role of the market in higher education in Belize. The market plays or should play a role in guiding higher education in Belize, but there is a need for policies and measures to be instituted to lessen the effects of the market. Also, while competition among institutions is necessary because of the small size of the higher education system, collaboration is even more crucial.