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Dominican Republic: A unique and endless destination throughout the world.




In 1505 the Convent of the Friars of the Franciscan Order established the first primary schools that were later moved to the St. Francis Monastery in 1512.

It was here that the cacique Guarocuya was educated and baptized into the Christian faith under the name Enriquillo.

In 1510 the missionaries of the Dominican Order settled in Hispaniola under the leadership of Friar Pedro de Córdoba. The Order requested that the Pope confer the status of University to the center for higher education that they were directing. The Pontiff granted their request by the "In Apostulatus Culmine" papal bull and, on October 28, 1538, the first university in the Americas was established. It was named after St. Thomas Aquino. Today, it is the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, a center of great intellectual activity whose reputation aptly earned for the city of Santo Domingo the nickname "Athens of the New World".


Based on that heritage of scholarship, many prominent citizens felt the need to make education accessible to all people. Consequently, the Constitution states that free compulsory education shall be provided for all children between the ages of six to twelve. Basic education is no longer a privilege; it has become a universal right in the Dominican Republic.

The state's public education policy extends to the secondary level through the provision of subsidies for private school education as well. The State also supports public higher education at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), and subsidizes higher education schools specializing in science and technology, as well as several private academic centers that have been accredited by the Secretariat of State for Higher education, Science and Technology and several private academic centers that have been accredited by the State Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology (Secretaría de Estado de Educación Superior Ciencia y Tecnología).

Currently public education at the basic level and secondary education is provided to more than 1.8 million students nationwide.