The Department of Higher and Tertiary Education (DHTE) is the competent authority within the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) responsible for all sectors and issues related to Higher Education. It is responsible for the budget, legal matters of state universities, the establishment and operation of private universities and private institutions of Higher Education, the development of international cooperation by developing bilateral/multilateral agreements, the funding of Greek and Byzantine studies in universities abroad and for providing support to European programmes and units such as Erasmus+ and Eurydice. Moreover, it is entrusted with the responsibility of providing administrative support to the Cyprus Council of Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, the Council of Educational Evaluation-Accreditation and the Evaluation Committee of Private Universities, and of carrying out the Pancyprian Entrance Examinations for the Higher and Tertiary Educational Institutions of Cyprus and Greece and for appointments in public and semi-governmental organisations.
The MOEC via the DHTE aspires to establish Cyprus as a regional centre of education, research and technology. Building a solid foundation and yet with a flexible structure able to adjust according to local and international demands has become the Ministry’s twofold challenge. This goal has provided the incentive for the Cyprus Government and its stakeholders to make important decisions with regards to the future of HE and, at the same time, implement them in order to create a strong HE system. Indeed, Cyprus’ HE is currently developing and progressing in full speed.
Defining and implementing HE policy, modernizing the HE system, developing a culture of quality assurance in education, fostering excellence in teaching that will ensure the expected learning outcomes are met, and at the same time attempting to increase the link between education and labour market, while supporting a healthy framework of autonomy, are among the most important elements which constitute Cyprus HE development.
In this framework, the main priority of the DHTE is the provision of high quality education and quality enhancement of the HEIs of Cyprus. For this reason, four independent bodies have been operating: the Council of the Educational Evaluation –Accreditation, the Advisory Committee for Tertiary Education, the Evaluation Committee of Private Universities, and the Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, which is the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus for the recognition of Higher and Tertiary Education qualifications obtained in Cyprus and abroad. The first three bodies will soon be replaced by an Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in HE which will be the new competent authority for quality assurance in Cyprus.
It is important to note that all public and private universities have developed undergraduate and graduate programmes (first, second and third cycles) of high quality and are developing infrastructures for high quality research centres.