Briefly about education in Cyprus

Education in Cyprus is built on the British model, as the island has long been an English colony. It is much cheaper to study in English here than in the UK, while enjoying life on the coast.

Price. Average tuition fees in Cyprus are in the range of USD 7,000-10,000 per year for students from outside the EU. This applies to teaching in both Greek and English.

Requirements. You can apply for a bachelor’s degree after grade 11. Often, proficiency in English at the IELTS 5.5 level is sufficient.

Language. The ratio of the number of programs in English and Greek is different in each institution. Public universities have more undergraduate programs in Greek: foreign students can study here by passing an entrance language exam.

Visa. Student visa to Cyprus – electronic. Its design is handled by the university. The student must provide scans of the required documents and have 8,000 USD in the bank account.

Work while studying. An international student can work up to 20 hours a week during studies and 40 hours a week during vacations.

Employment. If the graduate received an offer to work in an industry with low competition (and there are not many of them on the island), you can get a work visa of category E. Otherwise, you must leave the country within 60 days after graduation.

Note! The island of Cyprus is formally divided into two states: the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The latter is recognized only by Turkey, although several large universities successfully operate on its territory. This article will focus on education in the Republic of Cyprus, unless otherwise indicated. Requirements and standards in TRNC universities may differ from those described in the article.

Benefits of education in Cyprus

Flexible system of higher education. Students of Cypriot universities have the opportunity to completely customize the learning process for themselves. It is not necessary to know Greek or Turkish for admission: universities offer many programs in English. You can submit documents 2-3 times a year, and start training in spring or autumn. Finally, about 70% of subjects during the year are chosen by the student independently.

Uncomplicated admission process. In most universities, the main requirements for admission are completed secondary education and knowledge of the English language. At the same time, the presence of IELTS or TOEFL certificates is not always necessary: ​​often you can take a language test right at the university. If the applicant is fluent in Greek or Turkish, it is also possible to take an entrance exam in one of these languages.

Attitude towards Russian-speaking foreigners. Cyprus is a popular destination among Russian citizens for tourism and climate migration. The Russian-speaking national community is the third largest in the Greek part of the island. Here locals treat Russian speakers well, and service workers often speak Russian. A foreign student from the Russian Federation or the CIS will not feel like a stranger in the country.

Culture and climate. Cyprus has 340 sunny days a year. The island is one of the most popular destinations for expats in Europe and the United States. A maximum of an hour away by car and you can enjoy the clear azure beaches, and on the way get acquainted with the architectural and religious monuments of the 12,000-year-old history of Cyprus.

Disadvantages and features of education in Cyprus

Expensive hostel. Most universities offer students comfortable accommodation on campus, but dorms are limited, and rentals can go up to 611 USD per month and are not covered by the scholarship. Many foreigners cannot afford this, so they often rent an apartment with other students outside the territory of the university.

Difficult to get a scholarship. Despite the fact that most Cypriot universities offer financial support to applicants, it is difficult to obtain it. Each application is considered individually: among other criteria, the commission assesses the student’s financial situation in order to calculate the amount of future scholarships. Moreover, in most cases, payments cover no more than 50% of the cost of training.

The problem of accreditation of universities in Northern Cyprus. The island of Cyprus is formally divided into two states: the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey, in the north. Southerners consider TRNC universities illegal and do not recognize them. However, all the major universities in the TRNC are officially accredited by several international associations. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for students from third countries to enter universities without a license and find themselves deceived.

Admission and requirements at universities in Cyprus

Until the middle of the 20th century, Cyprus was a British colony, so the traditions of British education have been preserved here. To enter a university in the Republic of Cyprus or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), it is not necessary to speak Greek or Turkish. Most universities and institutes offer fully English-language programs. At the same time, the requirements for the level are low and start from B1. It is also not always necessary to have a certificate. Many universities conduct their own language test before starting classes. If the applicant speaks Greek or Turkish, he can also take an entrance test.
In general, the process of admission to universities in Cyprus is not difficult. Russian citizens do not need to go through the procedure for recognizing a diploma or certificate. Additional entrance tests are not provided. Most universities divide the academic year into 2 or 3 semesters (A, B and C). You can start training with any of them, not only in September.

At the first stage of selection, universities are asked to fill out an electronic application and attach the following documents to it:

Completed electronic application form on the university website;

Certificate for bachelor’s degree or diploma of the previous stage of education for master’s and doctoral studies;

Certificate of proficiency in English IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge exam B1 (universities also conduct their own language exams);
Letter of recommendation;
Motivation letter;
Copy of identity card;
Registration fee ~ 122 USD.

If a certificate or diploma is issued in the CIS countries, it must have an apostille or consular legalization. All documents must be translated into English. In case the admissions office has questions or additional requirements, a representative of the faculty will contact the student by e-mail.
A characteristic requirement of the Republic of Cyprus is the mandatory delivery of tests (AIDS, syphilis, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C), and twice: before applying for a visa and upon arrival in the country.

Legalization and recognition of diplomas in Cyprus

In 2017, the governments of Russia and Cyprus signed an agreement on the mutual recognition of education, qualifications and degrees. This means that when entering a university and finding a job, Russian citizens will only need to provide a certificate or diploma issued in their home country with translation into English. It is automatically considered the equivalent of a Cypriot education certificate. Applicants from other countries outside the EU will need to apostille their diploma or undergo consular legalization. You can read more about these procedures here.
However, in some cases, it will still be necessary to go through the recognition procedure. It is especially common for graduates of medical universities who want to work in Cyprus to confirm their diplomas. This is the responsibility of the State Council for the Recognition of Qualifications KYSATS. The equivalence of a diploma is established not according to the academic degree or specialty specified in the document, but according to the number of hours and the presence of certain subjects in the training program. If a strong discrepancy is found with the standard of the same specialty at a local state university, the future doctor will have to confirm his qualifications and pass specialized exams. Such a need may also arise if a student graduated from an unpopular university, with which KYSATS experts have not worked before. Exams are held in Greece, Athens. An additional difficulty is that testing is done in Greek only.