Cyprus boasts a highly developed educational system and offers exceptional facilities, both public & private. The brilliant standard of Cyprus education can be attributed to the high priority that the government places on it. Cyprus is one of the top 3 spenders for education in the EU, with nearly 7% of its GDP devoted to educating its citizens. The quality of its public schools is comparable with many of other European countries’ private schools. The Cyprus education system is centralised and fully regulated by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Compulsory education in Cyprus lasts for 10 years and is from the ages of 5 years (pre-primary education) to 15 years (end of lower secondary education). Education is free for all ages up to 18 years.
Upper secondary education for children aged 15-18 years is offered in two different types:
- Secondary general education, which is offered at lyceums and includes both common core and optional subjects of specialisation.
- Secondary technical and vocational education which is offered at technical schools and includes a theoretical and practical stream of apprenticeship.
Higher education is offered in public and private institutions, both at university level and non-university level.
Today, Cyprus is a major international education destination with over 10,000 international students from 75 countries currently studying at various educational institutions. It offers internationally recognised bachelor and master degree programs in a variety of sectors (business, medicine, law, finance, tourism, technology, science, engineering, journalism, fashion, arts, education, psychology, international relations, marketing). MBA and Doctoral degrees are also available. Public and Private universities offer their courses in English language and all higher education institutions participate in EU funding programs. Scholarships are often provided to international students. The majority of foreign students who select Cyprus for their tertiary education originate from Asia, Africa, Eastern European countries and the EU.
Non-EU students need a visa. Student Visas are issued to full-time students taking at least 12 credits per semester. The student visa is issued for a specific educational institution. Students can apply to the Cyprus embassy of their region 2-3 months before their course starts. When applying for a student visa, specified documents such as academic qualifications, evidence of medical check-up, health insurance, letters of financial support and good conduct must be submitted.
According to Alien and Immigration Law, full-time and regular students from non-EU countries, who have completed 6 months of full-time study and residence in Cyprus, are allowed to work up to 20hrs per week outside their study hours and upto 38 hours per week during holidays, subject to the rules and conditions applicable to the relevant activity.