The Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK) has stopped paying rent for four of their buildings and are refusing to pay increased rents for other buildings despite contracts stipulating they need to, saving the university over €900,000, TEPAK chiefs said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a press conference, the university’s financial chief Costas Hoppas said rent for four buildings authorities were investigating for shady contracts was not being paid.
They would also be doing the same for more buildings while the board also decided increased rents for other buildings would not be paid even if the contracts stipulated it, the chairman Stathis Papadakis said.
Meanwhile, the university is also negotiating with other building owners to reduce rents and release other buildings whose contracts have expired.
All these measures have spared TEPAK finances to the tune of €900,000 a number which will increase to €1.3 million by 2018, Papadakis told reporters.
Limassol police are examining a report by the attorney-general for 25 out of 35 total buildings TEPAK is renting. This time last year three people were arrested for alleged offences committed between 2005 and 2009 concerning three buildings rented by TEPAK for almost €16m.
One of the university’s aims is to reduce long term contracts and has obtained a planning permit to convert an old warehouse into the School of Arts. Works are expected to begin this year and end in 2017.
Similar projects are also in TEPAK’s future plans.
Papadakis said since 2010, the number of students had increased from 1,971 to 3,173 and academic programmes from 13 to 17 however state funding has fallen from €52m to €39m.
TEPAK however managed to offset this, raising €33m from external funding creating 200 new research jobs.
The aim, according to Papadakis is not only to further develop the university, increase revenues, finding sponsors and donors but to reduce dependency from the ‘restrictions of the reduced state funding.’
TEPAK’s rector Andreas Anayiotos said 77 per cent of their 2,500 graduates are employed of which 73 per cent of them found a job in Cypriot businesses, companies or organisations only a few months after they completed their studies
Almost four fifths of those with a job were in a field of work related to their studies while 28 per cent were taking post graduate studies at home or abroad.
Anayiotos added over the next four years, TEPAK would create four new departments – Chemical Engineering (in the hydrocarbons sector), Physics and Energy Resources, Public health and Pharmacy.
TEPAK will also be involved in the Technological park set to be created in Pentakomo for creating new research centres.