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Education in Cyprus
There are few things more important than choosing what kind of education you want for your children, and Cyprus has several choices on offer for parents, which include both public and private options.
There are a total of thirty-six private schools in Cyprus which are divided into categories depending on the timetables and syllabi offered.
Different stages of education
Pre-Primary: Pre-Primary education is compulsory for all children who have reached the age of four years and eight months by the 1st of September of the year their tuition is due to begin, however, children over the age of three are also accepted. At this level, educators focus on developing the personality of the child through experimentation and play.
Primary: Spanning over six years, Primary education focuses on helping children become acquainted with their national heritage and identity as well as helping them develop their characters and abilities. Both the Greek language and the Greek Orthodox religion play a big part in the Primary education years, however, the Cypriot education system is well aware of the multicultural trends which are developing in the modern world and supports the development of intercultural awareness.
Secondary: This phase of a child’s education, whether pursued in public or private schools, covers both general education as well as gradual specialisation aimed towards aiding students in their academic and professional choices. Public Secondary General Education is provided for students aged 12 to 18 and is divided into two three-year cycles of education which are Gymnasio (lower secondary education) and Lykeio (upper secondary education). The two cycles include courses in core subjects such as Greek and Mathematics and interdisciplinary subjects such as Health Education, and Environmental Education. In addition to this, there is also a vast variety of extracurricular activities. All this is aimed at helping students achieve a comprehensive and balanced education.
Post-Secondary Vocational Education and Training (Post-Secondary Institutes of VET): Should students be otherwise inclined, they can choose to attend Secondary Technical and Vocational Education schools instead of the Lykeio. These schools are equipped to provide them with vocational knowledge: training and practical skills which will prepare them to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The duration of the programmes offered is of two years, on a 5-day a week basis.
University: Cyprus offers a host of public and private universities for people over the age of 18.The following is a list of universities currently operating in Cyprus:
The University of Cyprus
The Cyprus University of Technology
The Open University of Cyprus
European University – Cyprus
Frederick University – Cyprus
University of Nicosia – Cyprus
Neapolis University – Pafos
University of Central Lancashire – Cyprus
State and Private Higher Education Institutions: In the same way that Cyprus has a number of both state and private universities, higher education in Cyprus is provided by a melange of private and public institutions. While these higher institutions are considered to be important, none of them have university status and instead, they offer vocational programmes of study with a duration ranging from one to three academic years. These programmes do not provide access to second cycle programmes. The Apolytirion or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for access to the programmes offered by State Higher Education Institutions and candidates for entrance to a particular programme are ranked according to their performance in the Pancyprian Examinations. There are currently in the region of 40 Private Institutions of Higher education and while they don’t hold university status (in the same way that the state run higher education institutions don’t), they do offer educational and vocational study at what would be considered to be undergraduate and postgraduate levels.