Sustainable Island Solutions through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SISSTEM)

The Sustainable Island Solutions through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SISSTEM) programme, a join initiative by the Government (GoA) and the University of Aruba (UA), seeks to stablish a new SISSTEM Faculty at the University, with special focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  

The key objective of the programme is to enable the UA to deliver tertiary level educational programs, as well as a research offer with focus on STEM. The academic and curricular component of the SISSTEM programme is currently being developed by the UA in collaboration with the KU Leuven University in Belgium.

Given that the University infrastructure was considered insufficient to accommodate the SISSTEM programme, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was selected as implementing partner for the expansion of the faculty. The project, fully funded by the European Union (EU), with a contribution of 7,300,000 EUR, will secure and make available physical facilities to house the new SISSTEM Faculty. For such, UNDP is currently, in close collaboration with the Aruba Monuments Bureau (MB), managing the renovation of the Maria Convent Historic Building in Oranjestad (Aruba).  

Once renovated (second quarter of 2024), this historic building will increase the UA’s capacity with multi-functional classrooms, study rooms, a library and an auditorium and staff offices, particularly for its STEM bachelor and master programmes, which already hosts 35 students and 11 PhD researchers/teachers. 

Intended Impact 

The key objective of the project is for the UA to be able to deliver tertiary-level educational programmes, as well as a research offer with a particular focus on STEM subjects. The SISSTEM Project will result in an increase in the number of people with expertise and technical skills for innovative, sustainable development in Aruba, in the Caribbean as well as in other Small Island Developing States (SIDS).