Hawai'i has a number of fine institutions of higher learning, from the crown jewel of the state system, the University of Hawai'i (Manoa), to the many fine junior and community colleges found throughout the state. My 'ohana and I can speak to this from first-hand experience. My wife attended the University of Hawai'i (Manoa) in the early 1970's to pursue her passion, Far East Studies with a concentration in Japanese Studies. Imagine her delight when she discovered that UH's program for this major was more challenging and in general much more enjoyable than that of the Ivy League university at which she had started two years previously! And then, 9 years later when we returned to Hawai'i for another tour of duty, Barbara enrolled at Leeward Community College to take some business-related classes. Again, she was delighted at the quality of instruction, so the West's are "two for two" with respect to higher learning in Hawai'i.

Here are some brief thumbnails on the state's colleges and universities, along with links to their websites:

University of Hawaii System The University of Hawai'i System was established in 1907 and is a public system. It is governed by a board of regents, whose chief administrator is the president and chancellor. The system's primary goal is to provide all qualified people in Hawai'i an equal opportunity for a quality college and university education, to create knowledge and gain insights through research and scholarship; to preserve and contribute to the artistic and cultural heritage of the community and to provide other public service through the dissemination of current and new ideas and techniques. The system's priorities are serving the state of Hawai'i, achieving program quality and adapting to change.

Brigham Young University – Hawai’i

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“Brigham Young University-Hawaii is an accredited four-year undergraduate institution with 2,500 students from more than 70 countries. BYU–Hawaii is a unique multi-cultural campus where spiritual as well as academic learning is encouraged among the most “international” student body in the U.S.”

Above description taken from the University’s website…

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Hawai’i Pacific University

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“Hawai’i Pacific University is more than an excellent university with outstanding and rigorous academic programs, an ideal location, faculty who are well-respected in their fields, students from all over the world who come to learn in a multicultural environment, and a service orientation emphasizing individualized attention to each student. It is also a…

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Chaminade University of Hawai’i

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Founded in 1955, Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The school is divided into three major programs: the day undergraduate program, the evening undergraduate program and the evening graduate program. All are on the main campus.

Popular academic programs: Agriculture, Biological Sciences…

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University of Hawai’i, West O’ahu

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UH West O‘ahu is a baccalaureate degree granting institution which offers degrees in the liberal arts and professional studies. As the only public four-year university located in the leeward O‘ahu area, UH West O‘ahu is committed to the continuing development of the region through both innovative educational offerings and public service activities…

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University of Hawai’i at Hilo

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“The University of Hawai’i at Hilo is a state university with a private college atmosphere. We offer small class sizes, a high faculty-to-student ratio and opportunities for research and hands-on learning.

As a public university, the University of Hawai’i at Hilo has a unique position in the State—and country—by offering a rigorous and engaging curriculum…

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University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

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Founded in 1907, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa is the flagship campus of the University of Hawai’i System. A destination of choice, students and faculty come from across the nation and the world to take advantage of UH Mānoa’s unique research opportunities, diverse community, nationally-ranked Division I athletics program, and beautiful landscape. Consistently ranked a “best value” among U.S. colleges and universities, our students get a strong education…

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Hawai'i is blessed with a very fine system of Junior and Community colleges; as mentioned above, my family has taken advantage of this system and had a wonderful experience with it. As I grew and matured over the years, it became clear to me that what one does with the knowledge gained in college is much more important than the name of the school on the diploma. Many a wonderful person has emerged from Hawai'i's junior college system! And I was researching the below junior and community colleges, I was delighted to discover the breadth and depth of programs that they offer. Who says great things don't come in small packages? These institutions represent absolutely wonderful value to those seeking to improve their education. Check 'em out today! Some jewels in this crown include:

Windward Community College

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“Windward Community College is committed to excellence in the liberal arts and career development; we support and challenge individuals to develop skills, fulfill their potential, enrich their lives, and become contributing, culturally aware members of our community.”

Above description taken from college website. Programs of study…

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Maui College

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Seeking a higher education on Maui will lead you to the doorstep of this fine college, an integral part of the University of Hawaii system. Established in 1966 to serve the local island community, MCC has expanded its vision globally and graduated students from all walks of life.

An education on Maui will surely transform…

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Leeward Community College

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“Featuring a diverse student population and experienced and caring faculty, Leeward Community College has provided access, affordability, and a high quality education to the people of Hawaii since 1968.

Solid academic transfer courses, cutting-edge media programs, and…

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Kaua’i Community College

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“Kauai Community College is situated on the island of Kauai, the northernmost and oldest of the major Hawaiian islands.

It is a 2-year public community college and the only college on the island. Its 200-acre campus is located just west of the major town of Lihue…

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Kapiolani Community College

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Mission Statement – Kapiolani Community College…

Is a gathering place where Hawai‘i’s cultural diversity is celebrated, championed and reflected in the students, faculty, staff, administration and curriculum. Is a nurturing workplace of choice for strong and caring faculty…

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Honolulu Community College

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“Serve the community as an affordable, flexible, learning-centered, open-door, comprehensive community college that meets the post-secondary educational needs of individuals, businesses, and the community.

Serve the Pacific Rim as the primary technical…

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Hawai’i Community College

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Programs Offered:

Transportation & Applied Technology Department:
Auto Body Repair & Painting
Automotive Mechanics Technology
Diesel Mechanics…

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I close this little section much as I started…totally amazed by the remarkable breadth and depth of study these junior and community colleges offer. They represent a wonderful opportunity for anyone, at any stage of life, at absolute bargain basement prices. And in paradise, to boot!