Aruba is a Dutch Caribbean island located just off the coast of Venezuela. With its white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and consistently warm weather, Aruba is a popular destination for tourists seeking a relaxing, tropical escape.
The island is famous for its "One Happy Island" slogan, reflecting the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Tourism is a major driver of the economy and visitors can explore natural wonders like Arikok National Park and experience a mix of Dutch and Caribbean cultures in the capital city of Oranjestad.
In Aruba, UNDP works with local actors to build national capacities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for a resilient future economy. Its current project, SISSTEM, is fully funded by the European Union (EU), under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) with 7.3 million Euros. It involves the establishment of the physical education facilities, hard (infrastructure) component of the SISSTEM programme and is being implemented by UNDP in close cooperation with the Aruba Monuments Bureau, to ensure that the historical heritage aspects of the building are considered.
The new SISSTEM faculty seeks to enable the UA to deliver tertiary-level educational programmes as well as research on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects. Currently, the program's academic component is being implemented by the UA in partnership with KU Leuven. The faculty will embody sustainability practices and policies at the academic level, supporting resilience in small island states, while representing an important element in advancing multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Aruba, and serving as an example in the Caribbean.