The Republic of Cyprus operates a state-sponsored education system but also has excellent private (international) institutions. Both are available and accessible to foreign residents and students, with the selection of institution usually taking into consideration the potential of the institution to teach to the required level to enable a student to achieve their required qualifications, the costs involved, the teaching language and overall long-term educational curriculum
The Education System in the Republic of Cyprus has four stages:
The Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture has approval of all nursery schools (or kindergartens) operating on the island, whether a state-run public school or a private nursery school. The Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture also determines the curriculum to be followed. There are 3 categories of nursery school:
- Public nursery schools operate under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Culture, working in collaboration with parents associations and community authorities. All teachers are qualified, while the teacher’s aids must have completed secondary schooling.
- Communal nursery schools are run by parents' associations or community authorities and are registered by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Private nursery schools are privately established and owned, however, they are all approved by Ministry of Education and Culture and operate according to the Private Schools' Law, of the Republic of Cyprus.
Primary education is compulsory for all children from the age of 5 years and 8 months and has a duration of 6 years. Primary education is free at state schools administered by the Government. Education at private schools is generally taught in English and will incur charges. Fees vary from school to school
When primary school is completed the child will receive a Leaving Certificate. There are no completion examinations required in readiness to proceed to Secondary School, however, a child is assessed by on-going evaluations throughout the learning period. A child cannot continue on to Secondary school without a Leaving Certificate.
Secondary Education (Middle School)
The Secondary School education cycle is provided into two phases and relates to children between the ages of 12 and 18:
- Gymnasio Cycle (lower secondary)
- Lykeio Cycle (upper secondary)
A child cannot enter secondary school without a leaving certificate showing completion of primary education.
The secondary school period is six-years, the first three years are compulsory, with school leaving permitted after the child’s fifteenth birthday. There are no entrance examinations for a child moving from a state owned primary school however, students who have completed primary school at a private foreign-language institution must undergo a series of entrance examinations to be allowed to attend Cypriot public secondary schools.
Lower secondary school (Gymnasio)
This is a period of general education for ages 12 to 15.
Upper secondary school
The Lykeio Cycle comprises two types of schools: the Eniaio Lykeio and Technical and Vocational Schools.
Upper secondary school (Lykeio) Eniaio Lykeio
Admission is available to pupils who have completed and passed the Gymnasio Cycle. The curriculum diversifies at this point into three distinct programme curricula, all leading to a school leaving certificate.
Secondary technical and vocational education (STVE)
After completion of compulsory secondary education - the Gymnasio Cycle - a pupil can continue with a three-year technical education (STVE) provided they have a Leaving Certificate. Both the technical (a focus on the sciences) and vocational (a focus on technology, industry and workshop training) educations look at the theoretical and practical aspects of the subjects.
Successful completion of secondary technical or vocational education allows a graduate to attend a tertiary institution.
Higher and Tertiary Education
Higher education is available in Cyprus at state owned institutions and private third-level institutions.
Public Universities include:
- The University of Cyprus
- The Open University of Cyprus
- The Cyprus University of Technology
Private Universities include:
- European University- Cyprus
- Frederick University- Cyprus
- Neapolis University- Cyprus
- University of Nicosia- Cyprus
Higher education in Cyprus is also provided by a number of State Higher Education Institutions, and Private Institutions of Higher Education, which do not carry has university status. The State Institutions of Higher Education, offer vocational programmes of study with a duration ranging from one to three academic years.