The European Union is offering €1.5 million in scholarships to Greek and Turkish Cypriots to study at European colleges and become peace advocates for the reunification of Cyprus.

According to the European Commission, the EU’s United World Colleges (UWC) scholarship programme has started to bring young Cypriots closer to the EU. The call for applications is open and will run until January 31, 2023.

The scholarships concern studies at European colleges for the period 2023-2025. They have been offered to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot people since 2020.

The European Union will fund scholarships for students to study the last two years of high school at one of the four UWC schools: the UWC Adriatic (in Italy), UWC Maastricht (in the Netherlands), UWC Mostar (in Bosnia) and UWC Robert Bosch College (in Germany). This is part of the EU’s assistance programme for the Turkish Cypriot community.

This is a two-year all-expenses-paid scholarship programme for Cypriot students aged 15-17 to obtain an international baccalaureate. This programme focuses on inter-community dialogue and reconciliation.

The EU and UWC share the view that education is a driving force for unity, compassion and peace, a press release said.

It is noted that candidates will be selected in accordance with UWC’s selection procedures on the basis of their intellectual curiosity and motivation, active engagement, social skills, resilience, personal responsibility and integrity.

This programme also includes participatory activities for young people and short courses designed to bring young people together to discuss a wide range of social issues affecting their communities, while developing their intercultural, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

All participants in the EU scholarship programme will join the ranks of UWC’s international alumni to create a community of peace advocates. The aim is for students to take an active leadership role in transforming not only their lives, but also in preparing the ground for the reunification of Cyprus.