Education system in Cyprus

Education system in Cyprus

Level Type Age
kindergarten Nipiagogeio 3-5,8
elementary school Dimotiko Scholeio 5,8-12
the lowest high school Gymnasio 12-15
the higher high school Lykeio или techniki scholi 15-18
the higher school   18-23



The state education system in Cyprus is presented by initial and average schools, teaching level at which meets the high requirements. In this country of Europe there are also schools of a vocational education which main objective to prepare qualified personnel for work in the sphere of production and tourist services.

As alternative to the state average educational institutions serve the private schools recruiting pupils on a paid basis. Practically in each city of Cyprus there is a choice of private school at which study, generally foreign pupils. Such schools offer training at the English, French, Italian, Armenian and Arab languages.

In Cyprus there are schools conducting training on American and according to the English programs (for example, American Academy Junior Schools – elementary schools in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol, English School – a gymnasium in Nicosia), and also according to the French and Lebanese programs.

School year at the public high schools in Cyprus begins on September 1. For students of gymnasiums (Gymnasio) and lyceums (Lykeo) lessons begin on September 10, and come to an end on June 2-5 the next year.

Within school year there is following vacation:

  • Two weeks for Christmas holidays.
  • Two weeks for Easter.
  • 10 days relating to the public, national or religious holidays.

School year within educational process is divided into three semester:

  • A semester: From September 10 to December 10.
  • B semester: From December 11 to March 10.
  • Semester of C: Since March 11 until the end of academic year.

In 1-3 classes at schools in Cyprus they are trained in basic skills (reading, the letter, the account), and then, in 4-6 classes, gradually add foreign languages, music, physical culture and various humanitarian objects to the training program.

Then children pass into a gymnasium, three years of training in which are the second stage of compulsory nine years’ education. This step provides profound studying of general education disciplines and foreign languages.

At last, the final stage (already optional, and therefore paid in Cyprus) – three years of study in lyceums of the facultative objects focused on specialization in the field of separate disciplines. The curriculum provides studying of three categories of objects: the main (obligatory for all) special and facultative. The freedom of choice is limited to a set of the following combinations: classical sciences, humanitarian disciplines, objects of a physical and mathematical cycle, and also economy and languages.

As alternative to the state average educational institutions serve not numerous private schools in Cyprus recruiting pupils on a paid basis. Some of them place emphasis on learning of foreign languages, generally English, French and Italian.

In Cyprus there are schools conducting training on American and according to the English programs (for example, American Academy Junior Schools – elementary schools in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol, Pascal English Schools – schools in Nicosia), and also according to the French and Lebanese programs.

At the international school in Limassol organized by natives of Russia, teaching is conducted in parallel according to the Russian and American programs. And respectively, in the Russian and English languages. The Russian program takes 11 years, and last, twelfth year pupils are engaged only according to the American program. Graduates of this school in Cyprus receive the Russian certificate about secondary education and the certificate of school. Here it is possible to have training for receipt in the American higher education institutions (Freshman). The cost of year of training in this Russian-American program makes, including accommodation and food, in elementary grades of $13 700, in seniors – $16 300, and according to the Freshman program – $16 000.


Advantages of the higher education in Cyprus:

  • Low cost of training and accommodation
  • Fine climate
  • Goodwill to foreigners and to Russians in particular is traditional
  • Possibility of the transfer to the 2 and 3 courses of universities of other countries

Cypriots always differed in high thirst for education. Even when in the country there was no own university (the decision on its organization was made only in 1989), Cyprus was one of the countries with the highest percent of experts with university preparation. Went to study then to Greece, Turkey, England, the USA and other countries.

As a rule, the academic year in the higher education in Cyprus begins at the beginning of September/October and comes to an end in May or June. The academic year is divided into two semester.

The educational institutions of Cyprus offering the higher education

At present in Cyprus universities function:

  • European University Cyprus
  • University of Nicossia
  • Cyprian University
  • Technological University
  • Open University

In Cyprus pay much attention to an education system. On the island the state educational institutions prevail. Today in Cyprus about 18 thousand young people annually get higher education, and nearly a half of them studies in the homeland, at the Cyprian university (University of Cyprus). The Cyprian university was founded in 1992. It consists of four faculties: humanitarian and social sciences (including departments of education, foreign languages, social and political sciences), applied sciences, economy and management, and also philology. Training is conducted in the Greek and Turkish languages there and four years proceed. Almost all his students are Cypriots. There are practically no foreigners at university. This reflection of the state policy directed to maintenance of prestige of national education. Quite great demands are placed on entrants, to them it is necessary not only to undergo multi-stage procedure of examination, but also to sustain a competition of documents.

Academic year at university in Cyprus is divided into semester, the program of occupations is under construction on the basis of credit hours. For receiving degree it is necessary to gather 120 “credits” plus of 6-9 credit hours on foreign languages. Educational process includes consultations, laboratory researches, lectures, seminars, practice. Each semester comes to an end with examinations. The university has the largest library on the island: it contains more than 150 thousand books and about 1 600 periodicals.

In Cyprus there are also private institutes and colleges (Idiotikes Scholes Tritovathmias Ekpaidefsis/Colleges) which offer programs of training in certain areas (secretarial business, business management, electrical equipment, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, banking, accounting, hotel business, etc.). In Cyprus there is a lot of for such small country of the educational institutions which are intermediate between schools and universities. Cypriots rank colleges as the higher school because in them for 1-4 years of training it is possible to gain not only specialty and the diploma, but also the bachelor’s degree.

For example, having ended Cyprus College, it is possible to become the bachelor of sciences (Bachelor of Science) in the field of business, computer technologies and engineering, humanitarian and public disciplines. And the Highest technological college trains high quality experts in areas of construction, electronics, mechanical engineering, computer technologies. After three years of training his graduates gain the diploma of the engineer technician (Diploma of Technician Engineer) and can continue education abroad – that, by the way, and is done by about a half of graduates of HTI.

In some colleges of Cyprus the programs of the double diploma accredited by the relevant universities of Great Britain and the USA are offered. For example, in “Interkolledzhe” where our many compatriots study hotel management, it is possible to gain the diploma of university of Indianapolis and methodical developments of the London university are used. Among Cypriots and foreign students use great popularity study on office of psychology and the international relations.

The tourist boom which began in the 80th years in Cyprus generated creation of colleges of hotel and tourist management. Hotel management is taught in Amerikanos college (Americanos College), the Cyprian college, the European college, Institute of technology and specialized College of tourism and hotel management. In the ministry 20 such institutes are registered. They offer programs of training by obtaining the certificate, diploma and degree. It should be noted that registration of institutes does not guarantee recognition of degrees which are gained by their students. Recognition of degree is possible only after successful accreditation of the separate program of training. For training at such institute the entrant has to have the final certificate (Apolytirio) certifying that it successfully ended an education average and it is good to know English. A main goal of these institutes is training of students for successful professional career. The majority of programs are offered in 2-semestrial academic year. Teaching language – English.

Diplomas and degrees

Course Duration Degree
Basic 4 years Bachelor
Main 2 years Master
Additional   Doctor


How to enter the university of Cyprus?

To come to college or university in Cyprus, the student should pass the test on English of TOEFL with necessary result or IELTS. It is also necessary to submit the certificate about secondary education, go the diploma, or the academic extract with the description of courses and the indication of a number of hours. Those who did not gain the necessary number of points on English can study on the language course opened at college or university in Cyprus.

The foreign students, graduates of the higher high schools who are well knowing Greek or Turkish, can be also enrolled on the basis of delivery of G.C.E., or G.C.S.E., or other equivalent examinations.

Terms of entering a university of Cyprus

In the majority of colleges and universities study begins at the end of September – the beginning of October, however students should be registered in two-three weeks prior to occupations, especially newly arrived. Though to arrive on training in the fall and it is not obligatory – at the majority of universities in Cyprus it is possible to begin training with any semester which within a year usually 2-3.


Some institutes offer hostels to the students, for the others accommodation in the rental apartment is possible. To foreign students with limited financial means colleges help to find houses and apartments with cohabitation of four and more people. Colleges without own hostels also suit the students in apartments.


To make training of pupils pleasant and memorable, a lot of things become for the organization of their free time. Computer laboratories with the free Internet, the organization of departures on excursions, viewings of thematic movies, festive evenings with performances of students and other actions. As a rule, there are free clubs and student’s societies on interests which list in large colleges can be very impressive.

Work during study in Cyprus

By the Cyprian immigration legislation so far students foreigners have no right for work, but the Cyprian government plans adoption of the directive which will allow foreign students to work at the territory of Cyprus during training.

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