Cyprus Higher and Tertiary Education

Higher and Tertiary Education in Cyprus is offered by both public and private institutions.

The Department of Higher and Tertiary Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture was established in 1984 and is the competent department of the Ministry for the following:

  • Legislation for the University of Cyprus
  • The establishment of the Open University of Cyprus
  • The establishment of the Technological University of Cyprus
  • The European Programmes in Higher Education
  • The Private Schools for Higher and Tertiary Education and the relevant legal framework to establish Private Universities
  • The Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KYSATS)
  • The Council for the Educational Accreditation of Programmes of Study (SEKAP)
  • The Entrance Examinations to Higher Education
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Student Affairs

During the academic year of 2002-2003, the University of Cyprus and six Public Tertiary Education Institutions were operating. The total number of Cypriot students at home and abroad during the academic year 2002-2003 was 29.090, of which 12.716, forming a percentage of about 44%, were studying in Cyprus.

Cypriot students abroad were 16.374. They are mainly distributed to Greece (65%), the United Kingdom (17%) and the USA (9%). The total number of students registered at Cyprus third level education institutions during the same academic year was 18.033, out of which 12.716 were Cypriots and 5.317 were international students.

The Universities of Cyprus - The University of Cyprus is an autonomous educational institution and at present is the only university in operation.

In the meantime, the House of Representatives has approved, in December 2003, the Law for the establishment of the Technological University of Cyprus. This new University will cover the educational fields of the existing public schools of higher education with the following initial faculties:

  • Faculty of Technological Applications
  • Faculty of Health Services
  • Faculty of Administration and Finance
  • Faculty of Geotechnical Sciences
  • Faculty of Applied Arts and Communication
  • The Technological University of Cyprus is expected to be in operation in 2-3 years.

In order to realize and strengthen Life Long Learning in Cyprus, the House of Representatives approved on 30 December 2002 the corresponding law for the establishment of the Open University of Cyprus. The Interim Governing Board has been appointed and has made the preliminary preparations for the operation of the University in September 2005 with the following programmes:

  • Degree programme in Greek Civilization
  • Postgraduate programme in Health Services
  • Postgraduate programme in Education

Significant work has also been done for the completion of the legal framework for the establishment and operation of Private Universities in Cyprus. The draft law is being examined by the Law Office for finalization.

The University of Cyprus

Brief Profile - The University of Cyprus was established in 1989 and admitted its first students in 1992. Admission to the University is highly sought, evidenced by the number and caliber of its applicants. The ratio of candidates to admissions is 10 to 1. The main objectives of the University of Cyprus are twofold: the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and the enhancement of the cultural, social and economic development of Cyprus.

Research is promoted and funded in all departments for its contribution to scholarship in general and for its local and international applications. The research programmes conducted at the University cover a wide range of fields that relate to specializations and departments presently in operation. They are funded either through the University's budget or by funding agencies in Cyprus or abroad. The University participates in a number of international university organizations and networks. It also cooperates, through inter-state and inter-university agreements, with universities and research centers in Europe and internationally, for the promotion of science and research. Moreover, in its attempt to contribute actively to the development of Cyprus, the University cooperates with various institutions in Cyprus on research programmes that focus on the needs of Cypriot industry, the economy and society at large.

The University's permanent Campus is currently under construction in the Athalassa area, about five kilometers from the Nicosia city centre. On its completion, the University Campus will be able to accommodate a total of 8.000 students.

Programmes - The University of Cyprus currently offers programmes (graduate and postgraduate) through the following faculties and departments:

  • Faculty of Humanities, with Departments in English studies, French Studies and Modern Languages, Turkish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
  • Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, with Departments in Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Physics and Chemistry.
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Education, with Departments in Education, Social and Political Sciences and Psychology.
  • Faculty of Economics and Management, with Departments in Public and Business Administration and Economics.
  • Faculty of Engineering, with Departments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Faculty of Letters, with Departments in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, History and Archaeology and Classics and Philosophy.

The House of Representatives has approved the expansion of the Faculties and the new Department of Law will operate soon.

Cyprus International Relations - The University of Cyprus is a member of the Community of Mediterranean Universities (CMU), the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and the Association of European Universities (EUA). The University also has established close contacts with numerous international organizations, including UNESCO, CEPES and the Council of Europe. This international cooperation, enhanced by the collaboration of the academic staff with universities and research institutions abroad, positions the University of Cyprus favorably in the international scholarly community.

The University of Cyprus has signed bilateral agreements of cooperation with around 50 universities in Europe, Australia and the USA. There are agreements, both inter-university and inter-department and there are also agreements for student and academic staff exchanges, joint research projects, conferences and exchange of teaching and research material. Further more, the University has a European Collaboration Office in Brussels, which aims to foster collaboration and gather information on EU policies for research, education and culture. In addition, the Office is establishing relationships with key EU players participate in lobbying groups and cooperate with Offices of other EU member countries or regions in formulating funding proposals.

Lectures / Cultural Activities in Cyprus - All departments of the University organize public lectures and other events focused on issues of scholarly, scientific and wider interest. In addition, the University sponsors centrally organized lectures, cultural events, exhibitions, concerts and other activities open to the general public. It cooperates with many cultural institutions, local authorities and others in order to promote culture, for the benefit of the academic community and the students as well as for society at large. The University, in cooperation with the Municipality of Aglantzia, organizes a series of lectures open to the public, which is known as 'Free University'. The University has expanded the 'Free University' to cover Limassol, Pafos and the Cypriot Diaspora in London. Other series of lectures are organized on a regular basis by the Archaeological Research Unit, the Economics Research Centre and the Centre for Banking and Financial Research.

Public Schools of Higher Education - All public institutions of higher education operate under the guidance of the appropriate Ministries.

These institutions are:

The Cyprus Forestry College

The Cyprus Forestry College is a government international institution of Tertiary Education and operates under the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment. Since its establishment in 1951, the college has trained students from Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East, the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean in the general principles of forestry and forestry practices. The Cyprus Forestry College is participating in the European programmes Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci. The language of instruction is English. The college is a residential institution with its own accommodation, boarding and transportation facilities.

The Cyprus Forestry College offers the following courses:The three - year Forestry course, leading to the award of the Diploma in Forestry.
The six - month Post Diploma course, leading to the award of the Higher Diploma in Forestry, and short training course, leading to the award of the Certificate in Forestry.

The Higher Technical Institute

The Higher Technical Institute (HTI) operates under the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance. Its main purpose is the education of high caliber Technician Engineers in order to satisfy the needs of a developing industry in suitably trained personnel to take up middle management technical positions.
The international status of the HTI has been enhanced with an ever increasing number of foreign students, mainly from the Commonwealth and from countries of the region.


The Institute offers three-year, full-time courses for the Diploma of Technician Engineer in the following fields:

  1. Civil Engineering
  2. Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  3. Mechanical Engineering
  4. Marine Engineering
  5. Computer Studies

Electrical/Electronic Engineering graduates can register as Incorporated Engineers with the Engineering Council of UK.

The procedures for analogous accreditation of the respective diplomas of the Mechanical and Marine Engineering courses of HTI were successfully completed in November 2004. It is expected that the relevant bodies will soon confirm that 'the Diplomas of the Mechanical and Marine Engineering Courses of HTI satisfy the full academic requirements for Corporate Membership of IIE and IMarEST, IEng registration with the Engineering Council of UK.' Industrial training is a major component of the studies at HTI and amounts to 1000 hours. In collaboration with the Cyprus Manpower Development Authority, HTI has developed an extensive network of training for its students with a variety of industries, contributing highly to the technological development and upgrading of the economy. Sea training is provided for the Marine Engineering students.

Other Courses - Responding to the rapid changes in technology, HTI has been also hosting short updating courses and seminars on new technology. Since 1994,HTI has been offering evening preparatory courses for the Engineering Council, ECE part II, examinations. Successful candidates satisfy the academic requirements for registration with the Engineering Council of UK and the Cyprus Technical Chamber. They can also proceed for post graduate studies.

The Institute provides services for testing and consultancy which can be offered to both the public and the private sectors.

Research - Special concern is placed in the area of research. Over the last years there has been an extensive activity on applied research both at national and European levels. Various projects are running in the fields of solar energy, computer assisted applications, solutions to engineering problems, desalination of water, sludge as a soil conditioner, e-manufacturing, optical fiber sensing and telecommunications, rapid prototyping, 3D-reconstruction and reproduction, robotics, seismic repairs due to earthquakes, noise models for highways and other.

International and European Programmes - Since 1992 HTI has been participating in various European programmes which include activities like student and staff exchanges in Tertiary Education and intensive courses between Institutions. The Institute was the contractor of the projects CEMENTC AND HERMES within the European programme LEONARDO and since 1998 is being involved in the programme Socrates/Erasmus. A number of students participate in the IAESTE programme and take their industrial training abroad.

In 1978 a joint project between the World Health Organization and the Government of Cyprus was signed, for the purpose of training in the repair and maintenance of medical equipment.

Prospects for Degree Studies - About 70% of HTI graduates pursue further education abroad by being admitted to degree courses, notably in the United Kingdom and the United States. HTI graduates are given transfer student status with numerous accredited Universities and gain a University degree in Engineering, by studying for further two years.

HTI within the Technological University of Cyprus - The House of Representatives has recently passed a bill of law, establishing a new academic institution, the Technical University of Cyprus. According to the above law, HTI will be integrated within the new University. This important development will no doubt enhance its role as a key regional training and research engineering institution and facilitate further institutional links with academic and research establishments in the European Union.

The Higher Hotel Institute

The Higher Hotel Institute, Cyprus (HHIC) is a government institution of Tertiary Education bunching under the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance. Its main purpose is to supply the Hotel and Catering Industry of Cyprus with specialized and well trained personnel as well to contribute to the development of the industry in general.

The HHIC offers the following full time educational programmes:Hotel and Catering Management (3 years):

  1. Culinary Arts (3 years)
  2. Front Office (1 year)
  3. Housekeeping (1 year)

It offers its students full education combined with theoretical education and practical training. The language of instruction is English. Industrial placement at the end of each academic year supplements theoretical education and practical training. On the basis of the needs of the Hotel and Catering Industry, the Institute yearly organizes special ab initio accelerated training programmes as well as upgrades programmes for Hotel and Catering employees. At the same time, HHIC carries out research on various subjects concerning the Hotel and Catering Industry.

The Institute adapts its educational programmes so that these comply with the European standards. Modern views, such as sustainability of tourism and protection of the environment, are incorporated into the curricula, thus enriching the programmes of the Institute. To this purpose, the Institute cooperates closely with corresponding European educational Institutes, and participates in the activities of International Boards such as the World Tourism Organization, the International Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Hotel and Catering International Management Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Leonardo and Socrates programmes of the European Union, etc.

Today, the HHIC faces a new challenge, probably the biggest in its history and its future operation within the Technical University of Cyprus to be established in two years time. The School of Management and Economics of the Technical University of Cyprus will include the department of Tourism and Hotel Management which will offer courses of Hotel and Catering Management, presently offered by HHIC.

The School of Nursing

The School of Nursing of the Ministry of Health offers basic courses of a three-year and three-month duration in General Nursing and in Psychiatric Nursing (Registered Nurses) and a post-diploma course of a twelve-month duration in Nursing Administration, Midwifery, Intensive Care and other specialized fields. The language of instruction is Greek.

The Mediterranean Institute of Management (M.I.M.)

The Mediterranean Institute of Management (M.I.M.) of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance, operating under the Cyprus Productivity Centre, provides high quality Management Education to University graduates through the morning Post Graduate Management Diploma Programme conducted in English and the evening Post-Graduate Programme in Management and Public Administration conducted in Greek.

Post Graduate Management Diploma Programme - The overall objective is to provide the participants with a sound framework of concepts and analytical methods and techniques which, coupled with company visits and on-the-job training, offered also as part of the programme, will equip them to execute effectively the usual duties of 'Assistant General Manager' or 'Functional Manager'.

Post-Graduate Management and Public Administration Programme - This programme offers the opportunity to graduates working in the private and the wider public sector to prepare for a Managerial career. Its main objective is to provide the participants with a sound framework of concepts and analytical methods and techniques which will equip them to execute effectively their Managerial duties.

International Programmes Component

a) International seminars in cooperation with the International Labor Office

MIM in close cooperation with the International Labor Office organizes seminars related to the fields of competence of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance.

b) Government Scheme for providing technical assistance to foreign countries

Since 1994, the MIM has undertaken the management and practical implementation of the government scheme for technical assistance to foreign countries, with special emphasis on Central and Eastern European countries.

The Public Health Inspectors School

The Public Health Inspectors School functions under the Ministry of Health, whenever a need arises to train public health inspectors. Its medium of instruction is the English language. The School offers a three-year course which leads to the award of the Diploma of Public Health Inspector.

The Tourist Guides School

The Tourist Guides School functions under the Cyprus Tourism Organization whenever arises a need to train guides. Its medium of instruction is the Greek language. The School offers a one-year course, which leads to the award of the Diploma of Tourist Guide.

The Cyprus Police Academy

The Cyprus Police Academy functions under the Ministry of Law and Public Order. Its medium of instruction is the Greek language. The Academy offers a three-year course, which leads to the award to the Diploma of Probationary Policeman.

Private Schools of Higher Education - The Private Schools of Higher Education were founded mainly during the last two decades. They offer a wide variety of programmes of study in professional and academic levels. At present, there are twenty three private schools of higher education which offer 1 to 4 years programmes of study in various fields together with a number of courses at Masters level. The Department of Higher and Tertiary Education provides all the necessary administrative support and helps them to register new programmes of study which are in demand by the students.

Council of Educational Evaluation - Accreditation

The Council of Educational Evaluation - Accreditation is the competent authority responsible for the Educational Evaluation-Accreditation of Programmes of Study of Private Institutions of Tertiary Education of the Republic of Cyprus. It is appointed by the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Education and Culture, for a five-year term of office that can be renewed only once. The Council insures quality control by overseeing the process of evaluating programmes of study offered by Private Institutions of Higher Education. This process culminates in the accreditation of those programmes judged as satisfying the minimum internationally accepted requirements.

Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications - The Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KY.S.A.T.S.) is the competent authority for the recognition of Titles (or Degrees) which were awarded from institutions of Higher Education recognized in the country they operate. It serves the role of the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) for Cyprus. The recognition of academic Titles (or Degrees) is based on the Directives of UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

KY.S.A.T.S evaluates academic qualifications granting them recognition of equivalence or equivalence and correspondence only in the case when the academic title is awarded by an accredited education establishment recognized in the country it operates or if the academic title (degree) has been conferred by an evaluated - accredited programme of study. It must be noted that an evaluated - accredited programme of study means the one which has been evaluated and accredited by the competent National Authority responsible for the evaluation - accreditation in the country where the programme is offered.

Source: Press And Information Office, Republic Of Cyprus, 2005