Education in Cyprus is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The education system is divided into pre-primary education (ages 3–6), primary education (ages 6–12), secondary education (ages 12–18) and higher education (ages 18+). Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 15. State-provided schooling including higher education is paid for by taxes.
Pre-Primary Education is compulsory for all children between 4 8/12 – 5 8/12 years old. Children are also accepted over the age of 3. This level of education aims to satisfy the children’s needs for the development of a wholesome personality in an experiential environment which enables them to recognize their capabilities and enhance their self-image.
Primary education is compulsory for all children over the age of 5 8/12 and has a duration of 6 years. The aim of Primary Education is to create and secure the necessary learning opportunities for children regardless of age, sex, family and social background and mental abilities.
Secondary General Education offers two three-year cycles of education – ‘Gymnasium’ (lower secondary education) and ‘Lykeio’ (upper secondary education) – to pupils between the ages of 12 and 18. The curriculum includes core lessons, interdisciplinary subjects and a variety of extracurricular activities.
Instead of the ‘Lykeio’, pupils may choose to attend Secondary Technical and Vocational Education which provides them with knowledge and skills which will prepare them to enter the workforce or pursue further studies in their area of interest.
Post-Secondary Vocational Education and Training (Post- Secondary Institutes of VET) offers all types of vocational education and training and provides students with the necessary qualifications by imparting academic and technical knowledge, as well as professional and practical skills. The duration of the programs offered is two years, on a 5-day basis.
At present, the following public and private universities operate in Cyprus.
- University of Central Lancashire – Larnaca
- Intercollege – Larnaca
- Alexander College/ UWE Bristol – Larnaca
- European University – Cyprus
- Frederick University – Cyprus
- University of Nicosia
- Neapolis University – Pafos
- Cyprus International Institute of Management – Cyprus
- The University of Cyprus
- The Cyprus University of Technology
- The Open University of Cyprus
Larnaca offers a wide variety of private educational institutions from pre-primary level to higher level of education, such as Pre-Med Nursery school, Little Gems Montessori, American Academy Pascal English School, Med-high, UCLan University*, Alexander College** and Intercollege.
* The University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (UCLan Cyprus) has been successfully registered as one of the 8 Universities of the Republic of Cyprus and is the only university in Cyprus to offer double degrees accredited in both the UK and Cyprus, giving local and international student’s access to the highest quality British undergraduate and postgraduate education.
** Alexander College works in partnership with the University of the West of England in Bristol to offer Undergraduate and Postgraduate UK degree courses right here in Cyprus.