The Nicosia chamber of commerce and industry (Ebel) on Monday expressed “great disappointment” at the decision to integrate the Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus (HHIC) into the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) and to effect its transfer to Paphos.
Ebel said it was surprised by the “the attitude of Nicosia deputies, who without hesitation voted against the well-intentioned interests of their city.” The decision was passed by the House plenary with 45 votes in favour, three against, and one abstention, last Thursday.
“Nicosia is focused on education and should not indifferently and without compensatory measures lose its historic hotel school as it lost the Higher Technical Institute (Ati),” Ebel said, referring to the similar 2003 integration of the technical institute.
Ebel claimed that the decision was made without conducting a study and without consultation with the business world, despite the fact that the historical higher vocational school was established in Nicosia with UN investment in 1969.
“These types of decisions undermine the development of Nicosia and deprive it of comparative advantages which could benefit its economy, its residents and Cyprus as a whole,” the chamber concluded.
Last week, the education ministry described the move as a very important development and a decisive step forward in the government’s plan to upgrade HHIC and strengthen higher education in areas, such as Paphos, that serve the island’s main tourism industry.
For its part, the Paphos Regional Tourism Development and Promotion Company welcomed the vote.
In a statement, it noted that the development is considered very important for the entire district, which will contribute decisively to the efforts to transform the city and the district as a whole into an academic destination in the coming years.