Public universities are established by law and they are financed mostly by the government. They are autonomous and self-governing universities. At present, there are three public universities in Cyprus. Two of them operate in Lefkosia, the capital city, and one in Lemesos. The University of Cyprus and the Cyprus University of Technology are conventional universities which have as a main goal to promote education and research to as many young students as possible. On the other hand, the Open University of Cyprus is a distance learning university which aims to include adult learners in further education and promote lifelong learning.
The majority of undergraduate students are admitted to the Universities on the basis of their results in the Pancyprian Examinations, the competitive entrance examinations organised centrally by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Postgraduate students are admitted on the basis of other criteria similar to those used by academic institutions in Europe and the United States.
Overseas students who are graduates of high-schools recognised by the appropriate education authority of their country and who possess a good knowledge of Greek can be admitted based on GCEs, IGCSEs or other equivalent examinations, or based on the results of special examinations set by the above universities.
Prospective students of the Open University of Cyprus can proceed with their application online. Each programme of study has its own minimum entry requirements and should applications exceed available positions, applications that meet the entry requirements are randomly selected for enrolment to the respective programmes.
The University of Cyprus (UCY) (www.ucy.ac.cy)
The University of Cyprus (UCY) was established in 1989 as the first public university of Cyprus, and accepted its first students in 1992. Although newly established, UCY has managed to become the leading educational institution in Cyprus, and one of the most respected institutions in the Mediterranean, hosting today almost 7,000 students.
UCY is a vigorous community of scholars engaged in the generation and diffusion of knowledge. Despite its brief history, UCY has earned the respect of the international academic community and the appreciation of Cypriot society. UCY has consistently pursued excellence, fulfilling its mission to the Cyprus society via its twofold objectives: (1) the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and (2) the enhancement of the cultural, social and economic development. Moreover, UCY aims to establish itself as a Pioneer Research Institution achieving International Scientific Recognition in European Higher Education, offering Competitive Programmes, and to become a Centre of Excellence in the wider Euro – Mediterranean Region.
The University of Cyprus consists of eight Faculties including a Medical School which accepted its first 30 students in September 2013. The School offers a complete six-year undergraduate medical programme (MD) that has drawn from well-regarded and long-established European medical schools and has developed its own comprehensive as well as unique medical sciences curriculum, adapted to the needs and environment of Cyprus.
The official languages of instruction are Greek and Turkish, the official languages of the Republic of Cyprus as stipulated by the Constitution. In postgraduate inter-University cooperation programmes, other languages may also be used. In a number of Departments such as the English Studies Department and the French Studies and Modern Languages Department, English and French, respectively, are the languages of instruction.
Open University of Cyprus (OUC) (www.ouc.ac.cy)
The Open University of Cyprus was legally established in 2002 as the second state university and the only institution of higher education in Cyprus, offering recognized academic programmes at all levels (undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate) using the distance learning methodology. Studies at OUC reflect its unique educational philosophy, which is based on modern educational systems supported by technology and promoting lifelong learning. Moreover, short courses are offered by OUC to provide individuals with opportunities for education, training and re-training in scientific areas, useful to both their professional and personal development, thus actively promoting lifelong learning. The main educational tool used for distance learning studies at OUC is the e-learning platform, called e-class. The degrees awarded by the Open University of Cyprus are equivalent to the degrees awarded by all accredited universities worldwide, regardless of the educational methodology used – conventional or not. The University’s degree structure and credit system is based on the concept of Thematic Units (or Modules) adaptable to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) (www.cut.ac.cy)
The Cyprus University of Technology is a public university. It was established by law in 2003, and welcomed its first students in September 2007. The University’s Faculties are located in the city centre of Limassol. With its orientation towards applied research, the University aspires to establish for itself a role in support of the state and society in their efforts to confront problems, which cover all areas of science and technology. The development of all departments aspires to offer education to students of a high scientific, technological and professional level. Moreover, CUT aims to produce high quality research that will transcend the traditional boundaries between basic and applied research, so that solutions may be offered to major problems of society and the economy.