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Study in Cyprus – Universities in Cyprus

Why study in Cyprus?

Study in Cyprus – it is an EU member state and the third-largest island in the Mediterranean. It is said to be the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, who emerged out of the sea foam and was worshipped in her temple at Paphos, and the many sanctuaries which sprang up across the land. It is a beautiful, sun-drenched destination, with very different scenery. You can find the imposing Troodos mountains to wide sandy beaches and fertile valleys where olives and orange groves nestle in the shadows of eucalyptus and pine forests.

A former Roman republic where Cicero was a proconsul, Cyprus became the possession of Egypt’s Cleopatra. It was a gift from Julius Caesar, before being incorporated into the Byzantine Empire, being ceded to the Venetians and falling under Ottoman rule. As a result, the island is a treasure trove of historical riches spanning all these eras, from the painted churches of Byzantium to the port of Salamis and the Venetian walls encircling major coastal towns. 

Studying in Cyprus – a blend of past and present life

The historical blends in easily with the modern easily in Cyprus. Coffee shops, bars and restaurants ply their trade next to caravanserai dating back to the Middle Ages, which now sell Turkish-made jeans, Gucci bags and embroidered blouses. Meanwhile, animated groups of men slam down dominoes just by St Barnabas monastery and bikini-clad tourists make their way to Nissi beach in Ayia Napa, past old women wearing black shawls, sitting in their doorways shelling peas. If you come to study in Cyprus, you too will become part of this landscape. What is more, you will soon immerse yourself in this multicultural melting pot.

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Why is there a North Cyprus and a South Cyprus – and where should I study?

Cyprus was home to two communities, the Greek and the Turkish, until 1974, when a coup against the elected government of President Makarios, backed by Greece, was launched by the Athens junta, to reunite Cyprus’ Greek majority with Greece. Turkey responded and came to the aid of Turks on the island. It soon became divided into a Turkish North and a Greek South. There was a general exodus of Cypriots who found themselves isolated in the “wrong” area, and the British were charged with keeping the peace. Nicosia, the capital, is still divided. Visitors can pass between the two by showing their passports. Nevertheless, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) is quite independent in terms of its government, education and health systems etc.

Since the TRNC is only recognised as a state by Turkey, and only six countries accept its passports – US, UK, Pakistan, Turkey, France and Australia – educational accreditation is not guaranteed. Therefore, you have to make sure that the degree you are awarded is recognised internationally before signing up. Elab is here to help you navigate through this area of the application process. We will check the course and university you wish to apply for in the TRNC – if that is what you opt for.

Also, if you do think North Cyprus offers the best options, you will need to check airline links, because you could well find yourself having to travel through Turkey, and changing planes and numberplates there, and not finding a direct flight. This does add a couple of hours to your travel time too! This being said, as someone who has visited North Cyprus as a tourist, not a student, I felt the inconvenience was well worth it. In terms of academic goals, I would think long and hard about choosing to study in the TRNC.

Study in Cyprus – Universities in North Cyprus

The Eastern Mediterranean University is the only institution to feature in the Times Higher Education rankings, coming in at 501st place in the 2022 listings. EU students are classified as international applicants. They can expect to pay around 7,000 euros a year for tuition fees. Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete. International students are offered both merit-based and enrollment discounts of between 50-100 per cent, in order to support diversity and multiculturalism.

If you are interested in studying here, and getting a better idea of potential discounts, scholarships etc. The following link will be useful: 2021-22 New Graduate Student Registration Fee Table.pdf (emu.edu.tr). EMU was established in 1979 and is the largest and only public university in North Cyprus. Moreover, it attracts many Turkish students, as well as international applicants.

Another option is the recently opened University of Lefke. It has equally complex fee structure, see: Tuition Fees for International Students | European University of Lefke (eul.edu.tr). You may wish to ask an Elab consultant to go through both sets of figures with you.

Apart from the above mentioned two universities, the other institutions in North Cyprus are private universities. They offer courses in English, but have significantly higher fees.

Study in Cyprus – Universities in South Cyprus

Rankings:

University
Established
Ranking
Specialism
University of Cyprus
1989
401-500
Nobel prize for economics in 2000. High research output in oceanography, nanotechnology and gender studies. 21 departments and 8 faculties. The UOC teaches the MBA in English, on alternate years.
Cyprus University of Technology
2007
501-600
Research-focussed institution with international partnerships. Located in Limassol, strong in physics and computer science.
University of Nicosia
1980
601-800
A private university which accepts bitcoins for payment of tuition. Courses are mainly in English, the university has six schools and teaches 100 courses, many of which are online. It is the largest institution to teach in English in Southern Europe.

You may also be interested in the University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus, accredited by the UK university, and in Cyprus, where course fees range from 6,000 euros a year, all the way up to 16,000 euros a year.
The European University of Cyprus, a private institution, focusses on science and the arts and offers merit-based scholarships.

The private American University of Cyprus, set up in 2014, offers courses in the fine arts, political science, health studies, as well as business and economics.

EU students who are doing an undergraduate degree in Cyprus – not the TRNC – at a public university have their tuition fees covered by the government. The government spends 6 per cent of its GDP on education and is expanding the higher education sector. At present, 33,000 international students have chosen Cyprus as their higher education destination. This is a number which will climb as new universities are established.

As a rule of thumb, private universities teach in English, whereas public universities offer some of Cyprus’ 200-English-taught courses, but may also have combined curricula, where the odd module is in Greek.

Applying to study  in Cyprus – the process

NB: For the purpose of this section, all the information applies to Cyprus, the EU member state , and not the TRNC. If you wish to apply to the TRNC, please contact Elab and we will guide you through the application system.

Cyprus does not have a centralised application system, so you will have to apply to individual universities. The process can be slow, so you will be well advised to start a few months before admission deadlines – applying by June/July for September admission – which vary depending on the semester you wish to join and individual universities. Contact Elab for up to date information.

You will have to provide some or all of the following documents:

You will have to pay fees in advance and demonstrate that you can cover your own costs and have health insurance – the EHIC card is accepted.

NB: Some universities may invite you to sit an entrance exam or do an interview – check with Elab once you have chosen a course.

Arriving to study in Cyprus – what will I need to do?

EU students do not need a visa to study in Cyprus. However, they must register their presence within 7 days of arriving at the university. You will have to produce:

Once you have registered at the university, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit at the local Civil Registry and Migration Department. In the first instance, the permit will be valid for 12 months, but it renewable annually.

You will be asked for:

The process is simple and quick but ensure that you have all the documents ready prior to applying for the permit.

Teaching and learning at university in Cyprus – the system

The academic year is divided into two terms.

Students will sit mid-term exams as well as final exams at the end of each term. Bachelor’s degrees take four years, and Master’s run for 1-2 years.

The new universities are highly sensitive to the needs of the global job market and industry and combine placements and internships, where appropriate, with lectures, workshops, seminars and group and project work.

The cost of living in Cyprus

The cost of living is reasonable. You should be able to  cover all your expenses, including accommodation, for 850 euros a month, if not less. Obviously, where you live matters, in terms of cost, with Nicosia being more expensive than the rest of the country, but average rentals are 450 euros, and food and transport are cheaper than in much of Europe.

Do not assume that you will be able to get part-time work, in spite of the fact that Cyprus is a highly-developed tourist destination, since many vacancies in the hospitality sector prefers their employees to speak some Greek. You can, however, work for up to 20 hours a week in the hotel and food industries, ever since Cyprus joined the EU. What is more, do not expect high wages, because you are in Cyprus to study, and employers know that they will be breaking the law if they give you over 20 hours a week. You should manage to make 400-600 euros a month, however, and that  should cover the rent!

Studying in Cyprus – what is the next step?

If you are interested in studying at a Cypriot university, contact Elab and we will walk you through the timescale and the process of applying. What is more, we will also provide you with guidance on courses and universities, and give you all the practical information you need, from opening a bank account to the cost of monthly travel passes – and anything in between. In addition, if you are still considering where to study in Europe, you may want to join our Europa Programme, which compares and contrasts  European universities and what they offer.

To sum up, call or email us and let us start working together on putting together an excellent application which will maximise your chances of being accepted at the university of your dreams, in sunny Cyprus.