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Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is a Eurasian island country situated in the eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey, west of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, east of Greece, and north of Egypt.

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. A former British colony, it became an independent republic in 1960 and a member of the Commonwealth in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is one of the advanced economies in the region, and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.

In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence (1963–1974) between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and an attempted coup d'état by Greek Cypriot nationalists who aimed at annexing the island to Greece and were backed by the Greek military junta then in power in Athens, Turkey invaded and occupied the northern portion of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognised state, has sovereignty by law over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters except small portions that are allocated by treaty to the United Kingdom as sovereign military bases. Its capital is Nicosia.

The island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:

  • the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area in the south;
  • the Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 37% of the island's area and recognised only by Turkey;
  • the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two, covering about 3% of the island's area; and
  • two British Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), covering about 3% of the island's area.

It has traditionally been accepted that Greek Cypriots form up to 80%, Turkish Cypriots 18% (not including Turkish settlers), and Christian minorities (including Maronites, Latin Catholic and Armenians) 2% of the Cypriot population. According to the first population census after the declaration of independence, carried out in December 1960 and covering the entire island, Cyprus had a total population of 573,566; of whom 442,138 (77.1%) were Greek Cypriots, 104,320 (18.2%) Turkish Cypriots, and 27,108 (4.7%) others.

Due to the inter-communal ethnic tensions between 1963 and 1974, an island-wide census was regarded as impossible. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriots conducted one in 1973, without the Turkish Cypriot populace. According to this census, the Greek Cypriot population was 482,000. One year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government's Department of Statistics and Research estimated the total population of Cyprus at 641,000; of whom 506,000 (78.9%) were Greek Cypriots, and 118,000 (18.4%) Turkish Cypriots. After the partition of the island in 1974, Greek Cypriots conducted four more censuses: in 1976, 1982, 1992 and 2001; these excluded the Turkish Cypriot population which was resident in the northern part of the island.

According to the Republic of Cyprus's latest estimate, in 2005, the number of Cypriot citizens currently living in the Republic of Cyprus is around 656,200. In addition to this the Republic of Cyprus is home to 110,200 foreign permanent residents and an estimated 10,000–30,000 undocumented illegal immigrants currently living in the south of the island.

According to the 2006 census carried out by Northern Cyprus, there were 256,644 (de jure) people living in Northern Cyprus. 178,031 were citizens of Northern Cyprus, of which 147,405 were born in Cyprus (112,534 from the north; 32,538 from the south; 371 did not indicate what part of Cyprus they were from); 27,333 born in Turkey; 2,482 born in the UK and 913 born in Bulgaria. Of the 147,405 citizens born in Cyprus, 120,031 say both parents were born in Cyprus; 16,824 say both parents born in Turkey; 10,361 have one parent born in Turkey and one parent born in Cyprus.

In 2010, the International Crisis Group estimated that the total population of Cyprus was 1.1 million, of which there was an estimated 300,000 residents in the north, perhaps half of which were either born in Turkey or are children of such settlers. However, some academic sources claim that the population in the north has reached 500,000, 50% of which are thought to be Turkish settlors or Cypriot-born children of such settlers. Wikipedia reports that the "whole island" population is now 1,099,341.

The village of Pyla in the Larnaca District is the only settlement in the Republic of Cyprus with a mixed Greek and Turkish Cypriot population.

Outside Cyprus there is a significant and thriving Greek Cypriot diaspora and Turkish Cypriot diaspora in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, Greece and Turkey.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Cyprus.

Education in Cyprus

For a general description of education in Cyprus see Education:Cyprus.

Eurypedia overviews education in Cyprus as follows:

The education system in Cyprus is centrally managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC). Formal initial education is provided through public and private institutions of pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education, as well as public post secondary non tertiary institutions. It is compulsory for ages from four years and eight months to fifteen years. Public education is free from the age of four years and eight months to the age of eighteen.

Early childhood education and care is organised in two discrete systems based on the children's age, namely the pre-school system and the pre-primary system. The pre-school system comes under the remit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance and it involves day nurseries, where care and supervision is offered to children under the age of three. The pre-primary system comes under the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture and it involves kindergartens, which are open to children aged between three years to five years and eight months.

Primary education comprises a six-year course of general education beginning at the age of five years and eight months.

Secondary education is offered in two different types: secondary general education and secondary technical and vocational education. Secondary general education consists of two cycles of studies of three years duration each cycle, the first one being the Gymnasium and the second one the Lyceum. Secondary technical and vocational education comprises the second cycle of secondary education only and it is open to pupils who have successfully graduated from the Gymnasium.

Post secondary non tertiary education is offered to graduates of secondary education at the Post Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training. These are public institutes, which started operating in September 2012.

Higher education is provided both at university and non-university level. Universities are academically autonomous bodies.

Adult education is offered in the form of formal education, non-formal education and vocational training.


For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Cyprus.

Quality procedures

Eurypedia overviews the situation as follows:

At the tertiary level of education quality assurance is exercised both in the form of internal and external evaluation. Internal evaluation is a form of self-evaluation which every institution is required to carry out. External evaluation is not the same for all institutions, depending on the type and level of each institution:

  • Public universities, as academically autonomous entities, are not liable to supervision. * Private universities must be evaluated every five years
  • Non-university level institutions, either public or private, are inspected by the ministries responsible for their operation.

Two independent bodies, the Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation (SEKAP) and the Council for Academic Recognition (KYSATS), play an important role in assuring quality in higher education:

  • the former is entitled with the accreditation of the programmes of study of the private non-university level institutions in Cyprus
  • the latter is responsible for the recognition of academic qualifications awarded by recognised universities or other institutions in Cyprus or abroad.

In the process of an on-going Educational Reform, the Ministry of Education and Culture is planning to replace both SEKAP and KYSATS by a new body, the Cyprus Quality Assurance Agency, the remit of which will be to carry out external evaluation of all institutions of tertiary education.

Evaluation of the whole educational system is not regulated. However, evaluation studies have been carried out at times by experts. The newly established Centre for Research and Evaluation is also entitled to carry out research and evaluation studies on the whole education system.

SEKAP (called CEEA by ENQA) is an Affiliate of ENQA but not a member.

There is very little information yet on the Cyprus Quality Assurance Agency except for a DG EFA Country Fiche which notes:

The establishment of the Cyprus Quality Assurance Agency is examined and promoted by the relevant government departments. The aim of this Agency is to promote quality assurance and safeguard accountability for both public and the private HEIs through various measures which should include external accreditation and development of internal quality culture based on the ENQA standards and Guidelines and European Agreements on collaboration for Quality Assurance.

This new body is expected to absorb the functions of SEKAP (Council for the Educational Evaluation-Accreditation of Programmes of Study) and carry out the evaluation of all public and private higher education institutions operating in Cyprus.

Unified Law on Higher education The Ministry of Education and Culture in collaboration with other stakeholders and the relevant government departments are in the process of preparing a unified law which will regulate higher education in Cyprus in its totality.

Internet in Cyprus

Internet in Education

The Ministry of Education and Culture has obtained suitable educational software for standalone use when installed on school computers, while it has proceeded to prepare Digital Educational Content (DEC), for the DIAS project. The DIAS project promotes ICT in all schools. Under DIAS (Diadiktiako Scholeio – Internet School) a Learning Management System has been developed, which will cover all services for students, teachers and parents. More specifically, the following services will be provided: Digital Educational Content for all subjects, which will be accessible both from school and home; Personal e-mails and websites for students and teachers; access for parents to information on the educational progress of their children; Ethernet connectivity in all schools. DIAS began its pilot phase in November 2008 in eight schools and it will expand to all schools by 2014. (1)

ICT and Lifelong Learning - The idea is to offer classes using ICT, so that adults that attend evening secondary schools and evening technical and vocational schools, can study at home and attend school less frequently. This will enable more people to attend evening schools. (1)

ICT and School Management System - School Management System is at its initial stage. All procedures involving schools and the Ministry will be performed using ICT, aiming at decentralization, more efficiency and more accountability. Data Warehouse technology will be used. School Management System is expected to begin operation in 2011. (1)

Copyright law in Cyprus

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Cyprus

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives


1. ReVica/VISCED page for Cyprus (


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