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‘Bright future’ for Cyprus-UK educational relations

Demetris Syllouris and Stephen Lillie at the event on Thursday

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the oldest university network in the world, will soon open an office in Cyprus, the first office outside the UK, House President Demetris Syllouris said on Thursday.

The association has 530 members in 50 countries, he added.

Working with the ACU is one of the opportunities to strengthen post-Brexit UK-Cyprus collaboration in higher education, a report on the subject launched at Thursday’s press conference said.

The report is a result of the first Higher Education and Research Forum organised by the British Council in February which brought together policy makers, university representatives and academics from Cyprus and the UK to discuss collaboration between the two countries after Brexit.

Head of the British Council in Cyprus James Martin outlined the main findings.

“Strong people-to-people links have ensured that UK higher education is a front-of-mind destination for Cyprus, and there is a desire to maintain this,” he said. “Despite the political uncertainty there are a lot of opportunities in Cyprus, among them an increase in transnational education.”

Cyprus’ ambition to become a regional higher education hub also provides more scope and there are numerous non-EU research funding opportunities that can be taken advantage of, Martin explained.

British High Commissioner to Cyprus Stephen Lillie said the main message is there is a “bright future” for Cyprus-UK relations.

He also talked about transnational education. Education needs to change together with changes in economics and society, he noted. Currently there is a shift towards transnational collaborations, where students are looking to access a UK education in their home country or another country outside the UK, which is where Cyprus can play a bigger role.

The report lists 12 recommendations and suggestions. It can be found here https://www.britishcouncil.com.cy/study-uk/HERForumCY

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