Cyprus Higher Education
Cyprus is an island state in the eastern Mediterranean, located approx. 70 km south of Turkey and 400 km east of the Greek island of Rhodes. After many years of war against the English colonial power and partly between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, Cyprus was declared an independent republic in 1960. In 1974, Turkish troops invaded and occupied approx. 40% of the island after the Greek Colonel’s coup attempt against the Cypriot president, Archbishop Makarios. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot state was proclaimed.
However, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots have not put up with each other, and despite many attempts at mediation, no solution has been found to the conflict. Today, Cyprus is still divided into a Greek and a Turkish territory, where Greek and Turkish are spoken, respectively, and the two territories also have their own currency.
On 1 May 2004, Cyprus was formally admitted to the EU – however, special measures have been taken with regard to the Turkish Cypriot part of the island, which means that the acquis communautaire has been suspended for this part of this part of Cyprus for the time being. See other members of European Union on Countryaah.
Higher education in Cyprus
Higher education in Cyprus takes place at public and private universities. In the academic year 2010/2011, there were 3 public universities and 4 private ones. The oldest university in Cyprus is the University of Cyprus, which was founded in 1989. Here you can study many different subjects in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The University of Cyprus is one of the most sought-after universities in Cyprus and Greece combined, and only every 10th applicant is admitted. Teaching is almost exclusively in Greek.
Cyprus also has a number of private and public educational institutions (colleges), which are recognized and offer medium-term higher education. In the academic year 2010/2011, there were 5 public colleges and 25 private ones. In college, you can study subjects of 1 to 3 years duration in areas such as trade, agriculture, tourism and IT as well as more academic subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Teaching at colleges is predominantly in English, but Greek is also taught. To get accurate information about the language of instruction in a specific education, you must contact the individual institution.
You should be aware that not all programs (educations) at the private institutions are recognized in Cyprus.
The academic year is divided into 2 semesters and runs from September to June.
Degrees in higher education
In Cyprus, the following degrees are available in higher education:
- Certificate: Obtained after up to 1 year of study.
- Diploma. Achieved after 2 years.
- Higher Diploma. Achieved after 3 years.
At the University:
- Ptychio: Cypriot bachelor, obtained after 4 years of study (240 ECTS points)
- Master: Obtained after 1 ½ – 2 years of study, where 1 ½ is most common from the University of Cyprus.
- Doctor: Cypriot PhD, obtained after at least 3 years of study after completing a master’s degree, or after 4 years of study after a bachelor’s degree.
Application for higher education
You must contact the individual institution for information on application forms and any admission tests. It is a good idea to be in good time. You can possibly also contact the Cyprus Embassy in Denmark.
With a Danish upper secondary education, you have the right to apply for admission to a higher education in Cyprus. All higher education institutions in Cyprus hold entrance exams.
If you are applying for admission to the University of Cyprus or elsewhere on the basis of previous years of study or completed studies (eg a bachelor’s degree), it may be a good idea to have the education assessed by the Cypriot Recognition Office.
As all teaching at the University of Cyprus takes place in Greek, it is important that you understand and speak the language. At the university, there is a department (Greek Language Department),which offers language courses in Greek of either 3 or 6 months duration to foreign students.
At colleges in Cyprus, teaching is predominantly in English, and you must therefore be able to document that you understand and speak English, e.g. using an English language test.
You will receive information about application deadlines at the individual educational institution.
Recognition of foreign educations
If you have completed a publicly recognized education in Cyprus or elsewhere abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Research and Education
At the University of Cyprus, you have the option of having a dorm room on campus. A single room costs between 600 and 1,000 Danish kroner a month and is generally cheaper than renting a home in the capital Nicosia.
To apply for a dorm room, please contact the Housing Office, University of Cyprus. As there are only a limited number of dorm rooms, it is a good idea to apply well in advance.
Also, some private educational institutions have colleges on campus for their students. To get information about housing facilities and prices, you must contact the individual institutions.
Facts about Cyprus
Population: 1.1 million. Nicosia is the biggest city in Cyprus with total population of 200,563.
Languages: Greek, Turkish and to some extent English.
Employment: Unemployment is 16.7% (Eurostat, February 2014).
Residence permit: You must apply for a residence permit after 3 months.