Cyprus Mail

Raising profile of Cyprus’ universities ‘a priority’, president says

By Angelos Anastasiou

THE government aims to turn Cyprus into a regional centre for quality education through legislation attracting foreign post-graduate students, President Anastasiades said last night.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the University of Cyprus’s (UCY) post-graduate students, the President congratulated the students for their achievement, and pointed out that 220 post-graduate degrees would be presented to students from Cyprus, Greece, the USA, Georgia, Iran, India, Hungary, Nigeria, Russia, Pakistan, Italy, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and China.

“Limited though the participation of foreign students in UCY programmes may be, the geographic distribution of graduates across the world reconfirms the institution’s global esteem,” Anastasiades said.

Raising the profile of Cyprus universities amongst international prospective students and researchers, aiming at increasing interest from them in the Cyprus education system, remains a key objective for the government.

“This administration’s strategy on public universities includes the creation of an institutional framework that will attract more foreign post-graduate students, with the goal of turning Cyprus into a regional centre for quality education.”

According to the President, legislation to allow offering more programmes in English is being developed by the government.

European Union co-financing contribution to Cyprus educational programmes and research and development projects has been increased to 95 per cent – from a previous 50 per cent – for the period from 2014 to 2017, Anastasiades said.

“Considering that EU funding available for research and development for the 2014-2020 period lies around €70 billion, one realises the potential gains to be achieved through various funding programmes.”

“If Cyprus was able to absorb €50 million during the recent difficult period, with EU co-funding at 50 per cent, just imagine how successful the effort will be when 95 per cent of the cost is co-financed,” he said.

The endeavour to strengthen Cyprus’ prospects of becoming an educational centre of excellence includes strategic infrastructure projects at UCY, Anastasiades said, citing the example of the planned further development of the Nicosia campus, as well as the construction of the Polytechnic School, poised to start in 2014.

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