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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice



Last update: 27 November 2023
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Adult Education – Εκπαίδευση Ενηλίκων (Ekpedefsi enilikon)

Adult education is offered at public, semi-government and private institutions which, according to the type of education or training they offer, may be grouped in three categories, namely: institutions offering formal adult education; institutions offering non-formal adult education; and, institutions offering vocational training. Some courses are offered free of charge, but most of the courses involve paying fees.


Centre for Educational Research and Evaluation – Κέντρο Εκπαιδευτικής Έρευνας και Αξιολόγησης (Kentro Ekpaideftikis Erevnas kai Axiologisis)

It is an independent unit within the Ministry of Education and Culture on par with the Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus, with the aim of undertaking scientific research in areas of educational policy, curriculum and in-service training.



Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation - Συμβούλιο Εκπαιδευτικής Αξιολόγησης και Πιστοποίησης (Symvoulio Ekpedeftikis Axiologisis kai Pistopiisis)

It is an independent body which advises the Minister on issues concerning the establishment, monitoring and operation of tertiary education institutions in Cyprus and the accreditation of programmes of study offered by the private institutions of higher education.



Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications - Συμβούλιο Αναγνώρισης Τίτλων Σπουδών (Symvoulio Anagnorisis Titlon Spoudon)

It is an independent body responsible for the recognition of qualifications awarded by institutions of higher education that are recognised in the country where they operate. Its role is analogous to that of the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) in other countries.


Day Nurseries - Παιδοβρεφοκομικοί Σταθμοί (Paidovrefokomiki Stathmi)

Day nurseries are institutions of pre-school education and care, which are open to children under the age of three. The aim of day nurseries is to offer child care rather than education. For this reason they fall under the remit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Assurance and they are subject to inspection by the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry. Parents of children in day nurseries pay fees.


There are public, community and private day nurseries. Public day nurseries are established by the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance in cooperation with the parents’ association and the local authority for the area where the institution is located. Community day nurseries are established and run by local authorities on a non-for-profit basis. Private day nurseries are established and supported by individuals, usually on a for-profit basis.


Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) – Προσχολική και Προδημοτική Εκπαίδευση και Φροντίδα (Proscholiki kai Prodimotiki Ekpedefsi kai Frontida)

ECEC 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 involves day nurseries, child minders and after school day centres,  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 involves kindergartens, which are open to children aged between three years to five years and eight months.


Educational Psychology Service – Υπηρεσία Εκπαιδευτικής Ψυχολογίας (Ypiresia Ekpaideftikis Psychologias)

It is an inter-departmental service within the Ministry of Education and Culture, which is accountable to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. It provides support to schools and advice to the Ministry on matters concerning pupils with special needs.



Education Service Commission - Επιτροπή Εκπαιδευτικής Υπηρεσίας (Epitropi Ekpedeftikis Ypiresias)

It is an independent office, which does not come under the Ministry of Education and Culture. It has a Chairman and four other members appointed by the Council of Ministers for a six-year term. It covers educationalists at all levels, serving in public schools and institutions and it has the power to appoint, confirm place in permanent positions, promote, transfer, second, retire and exercise discipline control over those under its remit, including dismissal.


Educational Priority Zones – Ζώνες Εκπαιδευτικής Προτεραιότητας (Zones Ekpaideytikis Proteraiotitas)

Educational priority zones cover primary and secondary education schools operating in areas of low educational and socioeconomic indicators. The aim is to provide alternative educational practices promoting equal inclusion of pupils in the educational system.



Evaluation Committee for Private Universities – Επιτροπή Αξιολόγησης Ιδιωτικών Πανεπιστημίων (Epitropi Axiologisis Idiotikon Panepistimion)

It was appointed by the Council of Ministers in December 2005, by virtue of the provisions of Law 109(1)/2005 on the establishment of private universities. Its main purpose is to assess applications for the establishment of private universities.



Evening Schools of Secondary Education – Νυκτερινά Σχολεία Μέσης Εκπαίδευσης (Nykterina Scholeia Mesis Ekpedefsis)

The evening schools of secondary education, either evening gymnasia / lyceums or evening technical schools, are public schools of secondary education aiming to provide a ‘second chance’ education to persons who have left secondary education without a school leaving certificate. They operate in evening hours at the premises of the regular (morning) secondary schools. The school leaving certificate of the evening schools is equivalent to that of the regular lyceums / technical schools.  


Gymnasium - Γυμνάσιο (Gymnasio )

Lower secondary education is offered in the Gymnasiums, which are self-contained units that complement the general education offered by primary schools and prepare pupils for upper secondary education. The Gymnasium offers a 3-year cycle of general education with emphasis on humanities. The curriculum is common for all pupils.


Higher Education – Ανώτερη Εκπαίδευση (Anoteri Ekpaidefsi)

Higher education is offered both in public and private institutions, at university and non-university level. Universities are academically autonomous bodies dedicated to the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research. They offer programmes at the Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. level. Non-university level public institutions of higher education offer vocational programmes of one to three years duration.


Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA) – Αρχή Ανάπτυξης Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού (Archi Anaptixis Anthropinou Dynamikou)

It is a semi-government organisation with a role in continuing education, operating since 1979. HRDA's mission is to create the prerequisites for the planned and systematic training and development of human resources in Cyprus, at all levels and in all sectors, in order to meet the needs of the economy in the context of social and economic policies. To fulfill its mission HRDA operates the Human Resources Development Fund. Every employer is obliged to pay to the Fund fees that will not exceed one per cent (1%) of remuneration payable to each of their employees. The Government, in its capacity as employer, is exempted from this requirement. 



 Inspector - Επιθεωρητής (Epitheoritis)

Inspectors are higher officers of the Ministry of Education and Culture, who are responsible for supervising the public pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, as well as consulting and appraising their teaching personnel. There are different Inspectorates for primary and secondary education.



 Kindergartens – νηπιαγωγεία (nipiagogeia)

 Pre-primary education is pursued in kindergartens, which are open to children in the age range of 3 – 5 8/12 years. As of September 2004 attendance for children 4 8/12 – 5 8/12 years old is free and obligatory.  There are public, community and private kindergartens. All of the different types of kindergartens are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture and they are subject to inspection by the Department of Primary Education of the Ministry. The primary role of kindergarten education in Cyprus is to satisfy the basic needs of the child contributing to the child’s cognitive, emotional, social, moral, aesthetic and psychomotor development; the acquisition of useful life skills; and, the development of right attitudes and values.  



 Local School Boards – Σχολικές Εφορείες (Sxolikes Eforeies)

 The Local School Boards are legal entities established in municipalities, villages or neighbouring communities where schools operate and they are responsible for the management of primary and secondary school buildings, furnishings and equipment and any other property owned by the school. They are also responsible to submit suggestions to the Ministry of Education and Culture regarding the allocation of pupils to primary or secondary schools; and, ensuring pupils’ welfare and safety in cooperation with the parents’ associations. Every School Board is responsible for the primary and secondary schools under its authority, as assigned by the Council of Ministers. In assessing the school needs, Local School Boards are in close cooperation with the school Heads and the Teachers’ assemblies, Parents’ Associations and the Technical Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture.



 Lyceum – Λύκειο (Likeio)

 Upper secondary education is pursued in the lyceums. The Lyceum offers a 3-year cycle of studies, which includes common core subjects, optional stream subjects and subjects of special interest and/or enrichment. There are also evening schools of upper secondary education which are called ‘Nykterina Gymnasia’ (evening gymnasia), which offer a 4-year cycle of studies.    



 Office of the Attorney General – Γραφείο Γενικού Εισαγγελέα (Grafeio Genikou Eisaggelea)

 The office acts as the legal adviser to the Ministry of Education and Culture and cooperates closely with the Ministry in drafting education bills to be submitted to the House of Representatives.



Open University of Cyprus - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου (Anoikto Panepistimio Kyprou)

The Open University of Cyprus is an independent and academically autonomous higher education institution, established as a legal entity under public law. Its mission is to provide high quality distance undergraduate and postgraduate education and training.



Pancyprian Examinations – Παγκύπριες Εξετάσεις (Pagkypries Exetaseis)

The Pancyprian Examinations are national examinations set every June by the Ministry of Education and Culture according to the provisions of the relevant law. The Pancyprian Examinations serve both as graduate examinations for the lyceums and the technical schools, and university entrance examinations for the public universities. In order to be eligible for the examination, applicants must be Cypriot citizens with at least one Cypriot parent; they must also have a school leaving certificate, either from a lyceum, a technical school or a recognised private secondary school. 



Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus – Παιδαγωγικό Ινστιτούτο Κύπρου (Pedagogiko Instituto Kyprou)

It is the main provider of teacher in-service training in the public sector, offering both obligatory and optional seminar to teachers at all levels of school education.  



Post Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training - Μεταλυκειακά Ινστιτούτα Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης-MIEEK (Metalykeiaka Institouta Epaggelmatikis Ekpaidefsis kai Katartisis)

Post secondary non-tertiary education is offered to graduates of secondary education at the Post Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training (MIEEK), which operate as public schools administered by the Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture.  The MIEEK offer programmes of further technical and vocational education and training, which involve both classroom teaching and work experience in enterprises. Attendance is of two years duration leading to the qualification of ‘Higher Technician’. Admission to the programmes is based on certain predetermined criteria.



Pre-Primary Education - Προδημοτική Εκπαίδευση (Prodimotiki Ekpedefsi)

Pre-primary education is open to children between 3 to 5 8/12 years old and is pursued in the kindergartens. It is free and compulsory for all children in the age range from 4 8/12 years to 5 8/12 years, while children between 3 to 4 8/12 years old may be accepted but not free of charge. The aim of pre-primary education is to satisfy the children’s needs for the development of a wholesome personality in an experiential environment.

There are public, community and private kindergartens. The educational programme in the public and community kindergartens retains as many elements of normal family life as possible, with an emphasis on comfort, love, trust, acceptance, safety and respect to the child’s individual personality.



Primary Education - Δημοτική Εκπαίδευση (Dimotiki Ekpaidefsi)

Primary education comprises a six-year course of general education beginning at the age of five years and eight months and is free and compulsory for all children in this age range. At the end of this period they receive a school-leaving certificate, which entitles them to enter secondary education.

The aim of primary education is to create and secure learning opportunities for children, regardless of age, gender, family, social background and academic ability. Strong emphasis is placed on skills in languages and mathematics, as well as health and environmental education and creative and artistic expression.

There are both public and private primary schools. Public schools operate in every town and village where more than fifteen children live. Areas with fewer than fifteen children are served by regional schools. Because of the hardships faced by primary schools in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, only one primary school is operating in this area, located in Rizokarpaso. Since 2005, a kindergarten is also operating in one of the classrooms of the Rizokarpaso primary school.

Private schools are established by private individuals or bodies and are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture. Some of them extend their cycle of studies to seven or eight years. Pupils in the private schools pay fees.



Public Service Commission - Επιτροπή Εκπαιδευτικής Υπηρεσίας) (Epitropi Ekpedeftikis Ypiresias)

It is an independent body appointed by the President of the Republic for a six-year term. It consists of a Chairman and four other members and has the power to appoint, promote, transfer, second, retire and exercise discipline over public servants, including dismissal. The Public Service Commission appoints the Permanent Secretary and the Directors of the Departments of the Ministry of Education and Culture. 


School Leaving Certificate- Απολυτήριο (Apolytirio)

The school leaving certificate of the upper secondary education (Lyceums and Technical Schools) is called ‘apolytirio’. It contains the pupil’s final mark and analytical scores for all the subjects attended. ‘Apolytirio’ entitles enrollment in public Universities through the ‘Pancyprian Examinations’.



Secondary education – Δευτεροβάθμια Εκπαίδευση (Defterovathmia Ekpedefsi)

Secondary education is a 6-year cycle of studies, which covers ages between 12 and 18 years. It is free for all the six years of duration and compulsory up to the age of 15. There is secondary general and secondary technical and vocational education in Cyprus. Secondary general education offers two successive 3-year cycles of education – the Gymnasium (Γυμνάσιο), which constitutes the lower secondary education cycle, and the Lyceum (Λύκειο), which constitutes the upper secondary general education. The technical and vocational education offers a 3-year cycle of upper secondary education. There are both public and private schools of secondary education.



Special Education – Ειδική Εκπαίδευση (Eidiki Ekpedefsi)

The integration of children with special needs into mainstream schooling is emphasised. Children with special educational needs attending mainstream schools follow the normal curriculum, which may be adjusted to suit their particular needs. For the vast majority of pupils with special needs support is provided within a class at the child’s local school, which receives all of the necessary modifications and resources. In cases where full-time attendance in a mainstream class is not appropriate for the child’s needs, special tuition in a resource room for specified periods per week may be recommended or, alternatively, attendance at a special unit within a mainstream school. Such special units offer the opportunity to provide more intensive special educational support to a small number of pupils (usually a maximum of six), whilst maintaining contact and a certain level of integration with a mainstream class. If neither of the above options is considered suitable, the child is recommended to attend a public special education school.



Technical Schools – Τεχνικές Σχολές (Technikes Scholes)

Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) is open to students who have graduated from the Gymnasium. It comprises a 3-year cycle of studies which is offered at the Technical/Vocational Schools. Its ultimate aim is to provide students with sound knowledge and skills, which will prepare them to enter the world of work or continue with further studies in higher education. The subjects taught are offered in two directions - the theoretical direction and the practical direction.


University – Πανεπιστήμιο (Panepistimio)

Public universities are founded as public corporate bodies enjoying full academic autonomy and self administration (governed by their Council and Senate). They are funded by the government, but they can raise money from other sources as well. All the three public universities in Cyprus are dedicated to excellence of teaching and research. The specific objectives and mission of each university are stated in its respective founding Law. Public universities are multi-faculty institutions, each Faculty made up by Departments. They offer academic programmes at Batchelor, Master and Doctoral (Ph.D.) level. Private universities are founded as private law organisations, registered with the Ministry of Education. They raise their funds from tuition fees.