Cyprus Mail

Meeting to push Cyprus as ‘regional centre of tertiary education’

ΠτΔ – Συνάντηση για την τριτοβάθμι
The meeting at the palace on Wednesday

Transforming Cyprus into a regional centre of tertiary education was the aim of a meeting held on Wednesday between four ministers and the president at the palace.

Following the meeting, Education Minister Athena Michaelidou said the issue of education “is a key priority and a pillar to which we attach great importance in the government’s programme”.

She said “concrete measures which will help upgrade higher education in the country” were discussed at the meeting, with the aim of Cyprus becoming a “regional centre of tertiary education.

“Actions, roles and responsibilities were handed out between us so that in November we can meet again and show the results of our work,” she said.

Also in the meeting were the ministers of finance, interior and labour.

She added that “the goal is to proceed immediately with such measures, decisions and arrangements which will allow us to have the quality tertiary education which we want our country to have, which will be attractive to international students but also to local students”.

She said the measures to be taken will be “multi-layered” and concern issues of incentive, housing, and linking tertiary education programmes with the labour market.

Incentives to study in Cyprus are set to be offered to local and international students, and will likely include initiatives similar to the €326,000 in scholarships which were handed out to international students at the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) earlier this month.

In addition, the number of establishments is set to be increased, with Michaelidou saying “we are continuously receiving requests to open new schools, establish new universities.

“The matter will have to be looked at seriously so that everything we are doing is in line with our strategic goal of having quality higher education,” she added.

At the same time, Michaelidou made remarks on the issue of special needs education.

She noted that at present, up to three children with special needs share the same assistant and called the issues facing children with special needs “the most urgent of all problems”.

She added that discussions regarding issues faced by children with special needs in schools will be discussed with President Nikos Christodoulides in October.

She also made reference to the Palouriotissa high school in Nicosia, which made headlines after it was alleged that the Virgin Mary was removed from the school’s logo.

With this having been confirmed not to be the case, she said “the issue has ended”.

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