Cyprus is attracting growing foreign investment in its tertiary education sector as it makes strides to becoming a regional education hub. The number of foreign students studying on the island has doubled since it joined the EU in 2004 and today 30 per cent of students are from overseas.
An early trendsetter was the University of Central Lancashire, which eight years ago became the first British university to establish a campus in Cyprus, situated in Pyla near Larnaca. Honours and postgraduate degrees from UCLan Cyprus have the advantage of being recognised both in the UK and in Cyprus.
Investment Watch spoke to Liz Bromley, UCLan’s deputy vice chancellor about Cyprus’ ambitious plans for its further education sector.
Why did UCLan decide to establish a campus here?
It was chosen as a great location bridging the distance between the UK and the East; a country that has strong historic links with the UK and where we found our really powerful partners, Floros Voniatis and George Hassapis, to help develop the idea of a UK education in Cyprus. Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, we are even more pleased to have our friends and partners in Cyprus, as this continues to give the University of Central Lancashire a foothold in Europe through UCLan Cyprus.
Cyprus is a beautiful island offering a nice life, family, work balance
Why do you find Cyprus a good place to do business?
The fact that English is commonly spoken in Cyprus makes it very easy for the University of Central Lancashire to do business here. As we’ve already said, the location is excellent as we look to recruit students from Russia, the Middle East and China. It is also a great venue for students from the UK to go abroad and see other places in the global economy. The weather and scenery are a bonus. Our robust partnership with our Cypriot partners is critical as they make it much easier for us to do business in Cyprus because they are so well networked and visible in the country.
Would you recommend Cyprus to British, American or European universities as a place to establish a campus?
Yes, but we also should be mindful that it is a small place and there are only so many students to go around. It is also imperative that any partnership created is strong and that the partners understand the challenge and complexity of working in an educational partnership. However, it is good for potential students to have a choice about their education provider. Competition makes us all sharper in terms of how we deliver an outstanding student experience.
Global Recruitment Solutions (GRS)
Founded by Britons Steve Slocombe and Donna Stephenson in 2005, Global Recruitment Solutions (GRS) is the market leader in Cyprus for recruitment, payroll, human resources and outplacement services, and currently employs 25 people in Cyprus. Its clients range from Cypriot start-ups and SMEs to major multinational companies.
As well as being a lead recruiter in fields such as accounting, legal, financial services and IT, GRS has been the recruitment partner for flagship infrastructure projects in Cyprus. Among these was the supply and payroll of personnel to the construction of Larnaca and Paphos airports, desalination plants, wind farms, energy, property and port projects.
In 2012, GRS became the first agency in Cyprus to receive a licence to supply temporary workers and in addition to the projects, GRS is supplying temporary workers to all sectors of the Cyprus economy.
Investment Watch spoke to Donna Stephenson, a co-founder and director of GRS, which is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, and has additional offices in Nicosia and Malta.
How do you see the future for GRS and Cyprus’ economy?
GRS is optimistic for both. International businesses continue to show an interest in establishing substance and physical presence here. And statistics confirm that the number of companies choosing Cyprus as their management centre is increasing on a year-on-year basis.
In fact, with demand for our services constantly growing and the GRS group’s headcount expanding all the time, we relocated to new and bigger premises in Limassol last year.”
To get an idea of GRS’s client base, we’d like to know some of the companies you provide services for.
Where do I start? In the last 12 years our clients include companies from all sectors of the Cyprus economy and clients headquartered overseas that have a presence in Cyprus. We are dominant in the finance, banking, investment firm, accounting, audit, legal, IT sectors for hiring anyone from a front-of-house receptionist to a CEO.
We are very proud of the longevity of the relationships that we have built with our clients. Such clients are the Russian Commercial Bank, Renaissance Capital, Easy Markets, Partech Group, eTorro, Barclays Bank, big 4 and top 10 accounting firms, Ikos, Rimes, Reuters, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Sodexo, BAT, European Commission, local and international corporate service, trust, fiduciary firms such as Consulco, Vistra, Aspen, Alter Domus, Trident, legal firms such as Harney’s, Technology companies such as Amdocs, Plath Group, Metaquotes, MTN to name a few.
Client projects for the provision of personnel and payroll services include Bouygues Batiment, Axima, Nirosoft, Koor Metals, Vulcan Group, Sterau, APR Energy, Energy International, H&M Retail, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Why is Cyprus an attractive place to do business – for GRS and its clients?
Cyprus is a beautiful island offering a nice life, family, work balance. The beauty of the landscape (sea, mountains, traditional villages and tourism), the low crime, sense of community, location and accessibility as well as being an EU Member state with a sound, progressive economy (fully developed legal system, a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5%, a business-friendly environment and low operational costs) make for a high quality of life and thus an attractive place to establish a home and do business.