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The University of Hawai‘i System

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) is a postsecondary education system composed of 10 campuses throughout the 50th state. In addition to the flagship campus at Manoa, it includes the 3,000-student UH Hilo on the island of Hawai‘i and the smaller UH West O‘ahu, which offers an upper division program, on the leeward side of O‘ahu. There are four UH Community College campuses on O‘ahu and one each on Maui, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i, making college classes accessible and affordable and easing the transition from high school to college for many students.

The mission of the UH system is to provide quality college and university education and training; create knowledge through research and scholarship; provide service through extension, technical assistance, and training; contribute to the cultural heritage of the community; and respond to state needs. The campuses, organized under one board, differentially emphasize instruction, research, and service. The system’s special distinction is found in its Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific orientation and international leadership role. Core values bind the system together: Hawai‘i’s gracious spirit of aloha; collaboration and respect; academic freedom and intellectual vigor; institutional integrity and service; access, affordability, and excellence; active learning and discovery; diversity, fairness, and equity; leveraged technology; Hawaiian and Asian-Pacific advantage; innovation and empowerment; accountability and fiscal integrity; and malama‘aina sustainability.

The UH seal contains a torch and a book titled Malamalama in the center of a circular map of the Pacific, surrounded by the state motto, Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono (“The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”). The UH motto, inscribed in both the Hawaiian and English languages on Founders’ Gate at UH Manoa is Maluna a‘e o na lahui a pau ke ola ke kanaka (“Above all nations is humanity”). The motto is reflected in the ethnic diversity of UH students: 22 percent Caucasian, 16 percent Japanese, 13 percent Filipino, 13 percent Hawaiian or part Hawaiian, 6 percent Chinese, and 30 percent other.

UH governance is vested in the Board of Regents, appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i. The regents in turn appoint a president of the UH.

All campuses use a semester calendar, with two terms per academic year, plus summer sessions.

The UH Manoa Campus

The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (UH Manoa) is a research university of international standing. It creates, refines, disseminates, and perpetuates human knowledge; it offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through the doctoral level, including law and medicine; it carries out advanced research; and it extends services to the community. Students have special opportunities for Asian, Pacific, and Hawaiian educational experiences and involvement in research activities, service learning, and co-curricular activities.

UH Manoa has widely recognized strengths in tropical agriculture, tropical medicine, oceanography, astronomy, electrical engineering, volcanology, evolutionary biology, comparative philosophy, comparative religion, Hawaiian studies, Asian studies, Pacific Islands studies, and Asian and Pacific region public health. UH Manoa offers instruction in more languages than any U.S. institution outside the Department of State.

The main UH campus located in Manoa Valley on the island of O‘ahu, began in 1907 as a land-grant college of agriculture and mechanic arts. With the addition of a College of Arts and Sciences in 1920, the college became the University of Hawai‘i. In 1972, it became UH Manoa to distinguish it from the other units in the growing UH system.

Today 20,000-plus people are enrolled in UH Manoa courses, on campus or via distance delivery, studying toward bachelor’s degrees in 87 fields of study, master’s degrees in 87, doctorates in 53, first professional degrees in architecture, law, and medicine, and a number of certificates. In addition, 69 percent of UH Manoa students are undergraduates, 56 percent are women, and 73 percent attend school full-time. The mean age of students is 26.

The beauty of Manoa valley serves as a backdrop for a unique yet inviting campus. Wander through the campus and find an authentic Japanese tea house and garden actually located on East-West Center grounds, a studies center that is a replica of a Korean king’s throne hall, and a Hawaiian taro patch. New structures include the striking Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building on campus and a privately donated marine biology facility on Coconut Island.

UH Manoa is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Professional programs are individually accredited by appropriate agencies.

A popular campus symbol is the rainbow, a frequent sight in Manoa valley. Green and white are UH Manoa’s colors.