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About Cyprus

With over 300 days of sunshine a year and a summer stretching from May to October, Cyprus might be just the perfect place for abroad studies. Besides its beautiful looks, Cyprus is also becoming a centre of education in the region with the help of investments from large international organizations.

The official languages of Cyprus are Turkish and Greek, but English is also widely spoken as the country is a former British colony. In fact, English is the language of instruction in many of the higher education institutes in Cyprus, especially in the private sector.

Why Study in Cyprus?

Studying in Cyprus you will receive a high quality international education at an affordable cost. You will make friends from all over the world at whichever of the Cyprian universities you choose to attend. As Cyprus is located at the crossroad of Africa, Asia and Europe it has experienced many different cultures through time. Be prepared for a diverse explosion of culture as you enter this beautiful Mediterranean island.

Accommodation and Living
Accommodation and living expenses for students studying in Nicosia (the capital of Cyprus) and renting a flat (i.e., not living in student residence halls on campus) are about EUR 750, with about half of this amount allocated for rent and the remainder for food, entertainment, and incidental expenses. Expenses are considerably lower in the other towns of Cyprus (Larnaca and Limassol) where tertiary institutions operate, primarily due to lower rents.

All institutions operate student residence facilities on their campuses,. Prospective students are advised to inquire directly with the institutions in which they are interested on whether they provide residence facilities, and what the costs are.

Health Insurance
EU citizens can receive free outpatient or inpatient treatment in Cyprus with a European Health Insurance Card. However, this covers only essential treatment and not routine treatment.

Work Whilst Studying
Employment during periods of study is not allowed for third countries students.
However, a relevant directive from the European Union allowing part time work permit will be enforced within 2007.

The Education System of Cyprus

The Education system in Cyprus consists of the following stages:

Pre-Primary Education:
Pre-Primary Education is compulsory for all children between 4 8/12 – 5 8/12 years old. Children are also accepted over the age of 3. This level of education aims to satisfy the children’s needs for the development of a wholesome personality in an experiential environment which enables them to recognize their capabilities and enhance their self-image.

Primary Education:
Primary education is compulsory for all children over the age of 5 8/12 and has a duration of 6 years. The aim of Primary Education is to create and secure the necessary learning opportunities for children regardless of age, sex, family and social background and mental abilities.

Secondary Education:
Secondary General Education offers two three-year cycles of education – Gymnasio (lower secondary education) and Lykeio (upper secondary education) – to pupils between the ages of 12 and 18. The curriculum includes core lessons, interdisciplinary subjects and a variety of extracurricular activities.

Instead of the Lykeio, pupils may choose to attend Secondary Technical and Vocational Education which provides them with knowledge and skills which will prepare them to enter the workforce or pursue further studies in their area of interest.

Higher Education:
At present, public and private universities operate in Cyprus.

State Higher Education Institutions:
Higher education in Cyprus is also provided by a number of State Higher Education Institutions, and an even greater number of Private Institutions of Higher Education, none of which has university status. The State Institutions of Higher Education, offer vocational programmes of study with a duration ranging from one to three academic years. These programmes do not provide access to second cycle programmes. The apolyterion or equivalent qualification, is a prerequisite for access to the programmes offered by State Higher Education Institutions and candidates for entrance to a particular programme are ranked according to their performance in the Pancyprian Examinations.

Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Currently, 25 Private Institutions of Higher Education are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture some of which have branches in other cities in Cyprus, besides Nicosia. Private Institutions of Higher Education do not have university status but they offer both academic and vocational programmes of study at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Quality Assurance and Accreditation
The competent body for quality assurance and accreditation of the programmes offered by Private Institutions of Higher Education is the Council for Educational Evaluation-Accreditation (Symvoulio Ekpedeftikis Axiologisis Pistopiisis, SEKAP), which is a member of ENQA. At present, a number of programmes offered by the Private Institutions, have been evaluated and accredited by SEKAP. These programmes fall into the following categories:

• Academic and Vocational programmes of study lead to the following qualifications: Certificate (1 year), Diploma (2 years) and Higher Diploma (3 years). For access to these programmes the apolyterion or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite.

• First cycle programmes (4 years), lead to the award of a Bachelor Degree. For access to these programmes the apolyterion or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite.

• Second cycle programmes (1 to 2 years) lead to the award of a Masters Degree. The prerequisite for access to these programmes is the Ptychio, or Bachelor, or equivalent qualification.

Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications
The competent national body for the recognition of higher education qualifications is the Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Degrees (Kypriako Symvoulio Anagnorisis Titlon Spoudon, KYSATS). KYSATS recognizes equivalence, or equivalence-correspondence for first cycle titles, or just equivalence for postgraduate titles (second or third cycle). KYSATS may also recognize joint degrees.

Quality Assurance Agency
The establishment of a Quality Assurance Agency has been approved by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus. The aim of this Agency is to promote quality assurance in both the public and the private institutions of higher education, through various measures which include external accreditation and development of internal quality culture. These efforts are in line with the Berlin Communique, the ENQA Standards and Guidelines on QA, as accepted by the Bergen Communique and the Agreement on Quality Assurance in the EU.

Academic Year

The academic year begins on 1 September and ends on 31 August. At the University of Cyprus and the Public Schools of Tertiary Education, instruction is offered between September and May and it is divided in two semesters. At the Private Schools of Tertiary Education instruction is offered between October and June and is also divided in two semesters. Some Private Schools of Tertiary Education offer summer courses as well.

Useful Links

Cyprus Higher Education

Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Cyprus Government Portal

Cyprus Visa

Council of Education Evaluation

Region Western Asia
Currency Euro (EUR)
Surface Area 9251
Sq. Km.
Population 871000
Population Density 94.2 / square kilometre
Capital City Nicosia
GDP (million current US$) 23542
GDP per capita (current US$) 29622.8
CPI: Consumer Price Index 126
Temperature °C (min/max) 12.8/26.0
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