Being one of the most unique states in the United States of America, it is not surprising that there are many differences in the higher education system in Hawaii versus the systems in the continental United States. With 7 inhabited islands making up this paradise, many people are surprised to find out that one university operates all of the higher education institutions in the state.
The University of Hawaii is the major research institution and place of higher learning in the state of Hawaii. Its main campus is the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which is located in Honolulu, Hawaii - the capital city on Oahu. The Manoa campus houses many of the college's residential halls as well as the university's main administrative buildings. It provides students with a less-than-usual college experience, as it is three miles from the downtown city life in Honolulu and just one mile from the famed Waikiki Beach. Essentially students can go to class, spend the afternoon studying in perfect paradise and then head out for a night on the town in the big city.
The University of Hawaii system consists of three university campuses - Manoa, Hilo and West Oahu. In addition to the university campuses, there is also one college that operates under its jurisdiction. The college is University of Hawaii - Maui College, located on the island of Maui. There are six community colleges that are a part of the system as well, including: Hawaii Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapi'olani Community College, Kaua'i Community College, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College. Also a part of the system are four professional schools, 11 research facilities, three university centers and five educational centers.
This is one of the smaller college systems in the United States, with an enrollment of about 50,000 students throughout all of the facilities and campuses across the state. As it is a remote destination, the majority of students at the University of Hawaii are residents of Hawaii, but about 8 percent of students travel from the U.S. Mainland to attend school at this institution. Notable alumni who graduated from this educational system include Senator Daniel Inouye and actress Bette Midler. President Barack Obama's parents Barack Obama Sr. and S. Ann Dunham also went to the University of Hawaii, with his mother earning three different degrees including a doctorate degree in anthropology from the university system.