Worldwide cooperation in the field of Higher Education and Science is a priority for the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. With emphasis on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, the Government has signed bilateral agreements or memoranda of understanding with a number of European and third countries, such as Germany, Italy, Romania, China, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. More about these agreements is available here. Ongoing negotiations of the Government are also in process with Russia, Iran, Oman, Jordan and Ukraine.
Moreover, public and private universities in Cyprus sign bilateral agreements of cooperation with other universities and research institutions internationally. These are inter-university or inter-departmental agreements, which provide for student and academic staff exchanges, joint research projects, conferences and exchange of teaching and research material. Detailed information is available from the website of each university. An easy access to the universities' websites is available from the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Cooperation and Participation in Worldwide Programmes and Organisations
Cyprus became a full member of the European Union on 1 May 2004. It is also a member of the following international organisations: the United Nations (1960) and almost all of its specialised agencies; the Commonwealth (1961); the Council of Europe (1961); the World Bank (1961); the International Monetary Fund (1961); the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975); and, the World Trade Organisation (1995).
In the education and science sector, Cyprus participates in many worldwide programmes and organisations. Cyprus belongs to the Educational Committee of the Council of Europe, with a member on its Board of Directors. It has also joined the partial agreement on the European Centre of Modern Languages in Graz, Austria, set up as a resource centre for European language learning, in 1994. Cyprus has also been a member of UNESCO since 1961 and has worked within the Organisation to promote intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean region.
Cyprus was one of the first countries to adopt the Eurydice project in 1980, with the Eurydice Unit operating within the Ministry of Education and Culture since 2002. Cyprus joined the Socrates Programme in 1997, which was initially replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 and recently by the new EU Erasmus+ programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport. Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes in the fields of Education, Training and Youth and it will for the first time provide support for Sport. Cyprus joined the Bologna process in the first ministerial meeting after Bologna, held in Prague on 17 May 2001. It also participates in the IEA study TIMMS and, since 2012, in the OECD programme PISA.
The Government has also signed an Agreement with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), concerning the granting of the status of Assosiate Membership as the pre-stage to Membership at CERN.