Private education is offered at all levels in Cyprus. Private schools are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture which approves their curricula and is responsible for their supervision. Private schools are established by private individuals or businesses and they are usually run on a for-profit basis. They are mainly self-financed raising their funds from tuition fees set by the owner of the school. Their fees must be prior approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The government subsidises private schools in some cases. In the pre-primary sector, private kindergartens receive financial support from the Ministry since 2004 when pre-primary education became mandatory for children aged between 4 8/12 years and 5 8/12 years (starting from 2021 for students aged 5 to 6 years old). Community kindergartens also receive a subsidy by the government. In addition, the government contributes to the payment of fees for the children from the Turkish Cypriot community or minority religious groups who opt to attend private schools. In the case of some private foreign language schools, financial support is given by overseas governments or organisations.
One hundred and seventy one (171) private kindergartens are in operation, 27 private schools of Primary Education, 38 private schools of Secondary Education and 544 Private Tutorial Centres.
The private sector of higher education is offered by private universities and private non-university level institutions. There are five private universities in operation - the European University-Cyprus, the Frederick University, the University of Nicosia-Cyprus, the Neapolis University-Pafos and the University of Central Lancashire- Cyprus. Private universities offer Bachelor, Master and, since September 2010, PhD level.
Non-university level private institutions of higher education offer a wide variety of programmes of study, of one to four years duration, at Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor and Master level. At present, there are forty three private institutions registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (DI.P.A.E.), is the Authority responsible for ensuring the quality of higher education in Cyprus and for the support of the processes provided by the relevant Legislation, for the continuous improvement and upgrading of higher education institutions and their programs of study.
Students in private institutions of higher education receive a state grant as it is the case with students in public institutions.