Antigua and Barbuda grants free primary, secondary and vocational education to its citizens. There is also a plethora of private schools and institutions offering local, regional and international studies and exams including O-Levels, A-Levels and SATS. There are three medical universities on island in addition to an open campus for the University of the West Indies. Plans are in progress for the construction of a fourth full campus of the University of the West Indies as well as a Law School. The island’s government also grants scholarships, bursaries and subsidies to citizens applying to universities abroad.
Antigua and Barbuda uses the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (written as EC or XCD) as its main currency which is regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and pegged to the United States Dollar (USD) at a stable $2.70. The USD is commonly accepted and used in transactions. Antigua and Barbuda enjoys a prosperous service-based economy which involves Tourism, the banking sector and Government. Both the tourism and the public sectors account for most of the nation’s employment. Communications, agriculture, investments and fisheries are other sources of income.
After gaining independence in 1981 from Great Britain, Antigua and Barbuda became a democratic, independent state with a constitutional monarchy. The Queen is represented by an appointed Governor General who heads the state, while an elected Prime Minister heads the government. Elections are constitutionally held every five (5) years with candidates vying for a seat in a 17 member parliament consisting of two chambers (the ruling party and an opposition). Similar to that of the United Kingdom.
The legal system consists of a Magistrate Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Privy Council in London, while the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) settles disputes between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States.