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Cyprus:Overview

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Overview Cyprus

Contents

Cyprus:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Cyprus:Historical Development

Cyprus:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Cyprus:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Cyprus:Political and Economic Situation

Cyprus:Organisation and Governance

Cyprus:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Cyprus:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Cyprus:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Cyprus:Organisation of Private Education

Cyprus:National Qualifications Framework

Cyprus:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Cyprus:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Cyprus:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Cyprus:Funding in Education

Cyprus:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Cyprus:Higher Education Funding

Cyprus:Adult Education and Training Funding

Cyprus:Early Childhood Education and Care

Cyprus:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Cyprus:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Cyprus:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Cyprus:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Cyprus:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Cyprus:Primary Education

Cyprus:Organisation of Primary Education

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Cyprus:Assessment in Primary Education

Cyprus:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Cyprus:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Cyprus:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Cyprus:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Cyprus:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Cyprus:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Cyprus:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Cyprus:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Cyprus:Higher Education

Cyprus:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Cyprus:First Cycle Programmes

Cyprus:Bachelor

Cyprus:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Cyprus:Second Cycle Programmes

Cyprus:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Cyprus:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Cyprus:Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Distribution of Responsibilities

Cyprus:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Cyprus:Main Providers

Cyprus:Main Types of Provision

Cyprus:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Cyprus:Teachers and Education Staff

Cyprus:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Cyprus:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Cyprus:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Cyprus:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Management and Other Education Staff

Cyprus:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Cyprus:Management Staff for Higher Education

Cyprus:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Cyprus:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Quality Assurance

Cyprus:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Cyprus:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Educational Support and Guidance

Cyprus:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Cyprus:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Cyprus:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Cyprus:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Cyprus:Mobility and Internationalisation

Cyprus:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Mobility in Higher Education

Cyprus:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Cyprus:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Cyprus:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Cyprus:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Cyprus:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Cyprus:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Cyprus:National Reforms in School Education

Cyprus:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Cyprus:National Reforms in Higher Education

Cyprus:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Cyprus:European Perspective

Cyprus:Legislation

Cyprus:Institutions

Cyprus:Bibliography

Cyprus:Glossary

 



Key features of the education system

The right to education: Article 20 of the Constitution states that every person has the right to receive and every person or institution has the right to give instruction or education, provided that it will be in accordance with the Republic’s laws.

Compulsory education: Compulsory education lasts for ten years and extends from the age of 4 years and 8 months (pre-primary education) to the age of 15 years (end of lower secondary education). 

Free education: Public education is free for all students in the age range of 4 years and 8 months to 18 years.  Textbooks are also given to both students and teachers free of charge.
Public tertiary (non-university level) education is also free. 
Public higher education (undergraduate level) is basically free for Cypriots and EU citizens, as the Government fully pays the fees which the Councils of the universities set. International undergraduate students from out with the EU countries pay fees. 
Postgraduate students, Cypriot or international, pay fees set by the Council of Ministers. 
Adult education offered in public institutions is to a large extent free. However, a large number of training courses, mostly offered by private or semi-government organisations, involve fees.

Governance: National legislation sets the aims and principles of education, the regulations of operation of schools or other educational institutions, examinations, funding and staff related issues.  
Education governance is centralised with the following bodies exercising control over education: 

  • The Council of Ministers: This is the highest authority in policy making in education.
  •  The Ministry of Education and Culture: Overall responsibility for education rests with the Ministry of Education and Culture. It is responsible for the administration of education, the enforcement of educational laws and the implementation of educational policies, the preparation of the education budget and educational bills and the construction of school buildings. It also sets out curricula, syllabuses and textbooks.
  • The Education Service Commission: This is an independent, five-member body, appointed by the President of the Republic for a six-year term. It is responsible for appointments, secondments, transfers, promotions and discipline (including dismissal) of teachers and school inspectors.
  • The Local School Boards: These are responsible for the maintenance and equipment of the school buildings in collaboration with the Department of Technical Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Autonomy:  As a result of centralisation in education governance, autonomy is very limited at the school education level. Only a few elements of decentralisation can be identified at the school unit level, such as the teachers’ autonomy in regards to the teaching methods they use in their class; or the head-teachers’ right to manage a small budget for extra expenses of the school unit (e.g. light equipment).

At the higher education level, universities are academically autonomous bodies. Public universities are fully self-administered public corporate bodies. The Council of the universities is responsible for the management and control of their financial affairs. 

   



Stages of the education system

Early childhood education and care is organised on

  • The pre-school system;
  • The pre-primary system.

The pre-school system comes under the remit of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance and it involves day nurseries (vrefopaidokomikoi stathmoi), where care and supervision is offered to children under the age of three.

The pre-primary system comes under the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture and it involves kindergartens (Nipiagogeio). It concerns children in the age range of 3 years to 5 years and eight months.   

Primary education is provided in primary schools (Dimotiko scholeio) and it comprises a six-year course of general education beginning at the age of 5 years and 8 months.

Lower secondary education is provided in the lower secondary education schools (Gymnasio) and it comprises a three- year course of general education beginning at the age of 11 years and 8 months.

Upper secondary education involves a three-year cycle which begins at the age of 15 years and is offered in two different types of programmes:

  • The upper secondary general education programmes; 
  • The upper secondary technical and vocational education programmes.

The upper secondary general education schools are called lyceums (Lykeia) and their programmes include both common core subjects and optional subjects of specialisation.

Secondary technical and vocational education (STVE) is offered in the technical schools (Technikes scholes). The STVE programmes include formal technical and vocational education offered in two streams - the theoretical stream and the practical stream. The apprenticeship scheme, which involves combined school and workplace courses, is also included in the programmes of the technical schools.  

Post- secondary non tertiary education is offered to graduates of secondary education (18+ years old), at the Post- Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training (Metalykeiaka instituta epaggelmatikis ekpaidefsis kai katartisis - MIEEK). The MIEEK offer two- year duration programmes of further vocational education and training. 

Higher education is offered in public and private institutions, both at the university level (Panepistimia) and the non-university level (Scholes tritovathmias ekpaidefsis). 

Adult education is the responsibility of both, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. It is offered in the form of formal education, non-formal education and vocational training, either in public institutions, or by semi-government or private organisations.  

Special education is provided in mainstream schooling for the vast majority of pupils with special needs. In case full-time attendance in a mainstream class is not appropriate for the child's needs, special tuition in a resource room for specified periods per week may be recommended or, alternatively, attendance at a special unit within a mainstream school. If neither is considered suitable, the child is recommended to attend a public special education school. 

Second chance education is offered in evening schools, called evening gymnasia (Esperina gymnasia) and evening technical schools (Esperines technikes scholes), which offer four- year duration programmes to early school leavers (15 - 19 years old).

Useful Links

Further information on the education system of Cyprus may be found on the following websites:


For a brief description of the structure of the education system, please see the following schematic diagram.


Structure of the national education system

2016 diagram CY.pngsource: Eurydice 2016


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