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Education is one of the most important values in Cyprus, thus the Government is constantly trying to enhance the current educational system. Tertiary Education has seen a development during the last years with the establishment of a second public university and four private universities. As a result more and more Cypriots enrol in the Cypriot Universities, when at the same time the number of students from foreign counties in the region is taking an upward trend.
Tertiary education in Cyprus is currently provided by both public and private institutions through full-time, part-time, distance and other forms of attendance.. Today in Cyprus operate two public Universities, University of Cyprus operating since 1992 in Nicosia and Cyprus Technological University which opened its gates in 2007 in Limassol. Also the Open University in Cyprus is offering degrees in various fields and promotes “Lifelong Learning”. Together the public Universities are facilitating faculties in almost all the main fields. Along with the public Universities there are four Private Universities three of them based in Nicosia with departments in other cities and one based in Paphos. All the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes are accredited by the Evaluation Committee of Private Universities.
Apart from universities in Cyprus are also five public and twenty five private higher education institutions, which do not have university status but they offer both academic and vocational programmes of study at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Among the public Tertiary Institutions are the Mediterranean Institute of Management, the Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus, the Police Academy, the Forestry College and the School for Tourist Guides. Private Tertiary Institutions offer programmes in various fields of study.
As for Private Schools of Higher Education are subject to supervision by the Department of Higher and Tertiary Education (DAAE), regarding registration, inspection, registration of fields of study, educational evaluation and certification. The efforts to promote quality assurance in both the public and the private institutions of higher education 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.
The number of students in Tertiary education continues to increase, given the desire of Cypriots for higher studies, but also due to the growing need for graduates of higher education especially in the field of new technologies. In addition, according to the records of the Ministry of Education and Culture, there is a steady increase in the number of foreign students choosing to study in Cyprus. Foreign students attending the Universities in Cyprus mainly come from countries of the British Commonwealth and the Middle East.
Many students from around the world choose Cyprus to study mainly because of the quality and recognition of the programmes of study, the friendly and safe environment and the enjoyable Mediterranean climate. Further more the low fees and the fact that majority of the programmes are taught in English give the foreign students a chance to adjust easily. Also the ideal geographical position in the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa promotes the easy access to Cyprus, from students coming from these three continents.
The aim of the Government is the establishment of Cyprus as a regional educational and research centre. This aim forms new prospects for the expansion of tertiary education and indicates that there are decent possibilities for tertiary education to contribute to the economic progress of the country.