The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.) dates its beginning from 1958, originally as the Jamaica Institute of Technology. In 1959 the name of the institution was changedto the College of Arts, Science and Technology and it became incorporated in the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) Scheme of 1959. This was validated by an Act of Parliament in 1964. In 1986, the CAST Scheme was revised in order to make the College a degree-granting institution, and the College became legally empowered to conduct its affairs under a governing Council and Academic Board.

The institution was formally accorded University status on September 1, 1995 as the University of Technology, Jamaica. The University of Technology, Jamaica Act 27 – 1999, which makes permanent provisions for the establishment of the University of Technology, Jamaica, was approved by Parliament on June 8, 1999 and signed into law by the Governor General on June 29, 1999.

The history of the institution is intimately connected with the social and economic development of Jamaica. From just over 50 students and four programmes in 1958, UTech has grown to become a major national institution with a student population of approximately 11,500. It now offers more than 50 programmes at certificate, diploma and degree levels.

Syllabuses are modelled on the English polytechnic system, with emphasis on flexibility of approach, work-based learning and professional linkages. Flexibility in its academic programmes is reflected in the various modes of course delivery, which include full-time and part-time (day release and evening) and cooperative work-based programmes. Several credit and non-credit courses are offered during the Summer Session from mid-May to August. In addition, several programmes are franchised through links with community colleges, and most programmes are linked to national and international professional organisations.