Primary and Secondary Education

Greek public schools

Primary and secondary state-funded education in Cyprus is a high-level educational system. The teachers are qualified, the school facilities are aesthetically pleasing, and they are located on convenient, prestigious land plots. The government spend about 7% of its GDP on educational needs. In this respect, Cyprus is one of the leading countries in the EU (along with Denmark and Sweden). Two basic stages of education, namely primary and secondary education, consisting of 12 years. Children start going to school at the age of 6 and graduate from school at the age of 18: they attend primary school for 6 years and secondary school for the remaining 6 years.

There are several choices for education in Cyprus:

  • Children can be enrolled from age 3 in nurseries or kindergartens, public or private. The final pre-school year (age 5) is now mandatory and state-supported
  • Primary school runs from ages 6 – 11
  • The basic secondary school runs from ages 12 – 15

Students are then faced with a choice to continue in the academic stream – Lyceum runs from age 16 – 18 – or to enrol in vocational/technical colleges, where the duration of tuition will vary depending on the profession or occupation chosen. For those attending vocational colleges or taking apprenticeships, there is also the chance of further advancement through technical universities, and there are many institutions for professions such as teaching.

Those studying at the Lyceum can sit a University Entrance Exam if they wish.

Private British schools

Public schools are free and provide good preparation, including when it comes to foreign languages, especially English. In addition, foreign parents take into consideration the fact that all lessons are taught in Greek; public schools are usually chosen by parents, who are planning to link the life of the family with Cyprus and Greece, with the Greek language and culture.

The other parents send their children to private schools. There are wonderful British and Russian schools. Which one is better? This depends on where the child will receive further education in the future. If they are planning to attend a university in Russia (or another CIS country), it makes sense to attend a Russian school. If you are aiming to send your child to a British (or another European) university – it is preferable to choose a British school.

The majority of Russian-speaking parents, living in Cyprus, choose the second option. This does not mean that the children will not study their native Russian. First of all, Russian is taught in British schools as a second language. Secondly, a child can properly study the Russian language, literature and history, by visiting a special course provided by the Russian school. It is also possible to study with a private tutor.

Some parents are weary of their child attending a British school by assuming that a child does not speak English well enough. However, there are children of various nationalities attending British schools. They start going there at different ages and with different levels of English. It is not rare that a teenager of 14-15 who is a Beginner, starts attending a British school. Experienced school teachers know how to involve these children in the learning process without stress. An atmosphere of cooperation between the tutors and the students, good relations among the students, and the lack of aggressive behaviour on the part of the students are one of the merits of British schools in Cyprus.

Cyprus offers wonderful opportunities for receiving top-quality education in the national school curriculum and program of the UK. There are British schools in all large cities of Cyprus (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Pahos) that offer a full cycle of primary and secondary education. ThemajorityofBritishschoolsislocatedinLimassol.

The most famous British schools are:

  • The English School (Nicosia)
  • The Heritage Private School (Limassol)
  • American Academy Larnaca (Larnaca)
  • International School of Paphos (Paphos)

Education lasts 13 yearsChildren start attendings school at the age of 5. Primary school is spread over 6 grades, and secondary – over 7 grades. Teenagers graduate from high school at the age of 18. As a result of a 5-grade education in secondary school, students give exams and receive GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). The students spend the last two years of high school preparing for entering university. Upon completion, they take A-level exams. The results are the basis for enrolling into a university in the UK.

It should be noted, that private British schools also have kindergartens. Children spend 3 years there, starting from the age of 2. The last year of kindergarten prepares children for primary school.

Private British schools charge a fee, but it is relatively affordable. A year in junior school amounts to around 3500 euros and 7-8000 euros in the last years of high school.

Higher education

It should be noted that Cyprus is one of the leading countries in the EU in terms of the percentage of citizens who hold a degree from a higher education institution, among the working population. Students who have graduated from a high school in Cyprus, have a choice of either obtaining further education in European (mostly British) universities or in higher education institutions of Cyprus.

The level of Cypriot universities is average European. The government is actively implementing a policy of further improving higher education. As a result, in the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of foreigners studying in Cyprus. Cyprus offers great graduate programs that students come to attend from all over the world, even from countries where the education level is traditionally considered to be high. Among the ‘demanded’ professions are those in maritime and related spheres.

There are state-funded, as well as private universities in Cyprus. In total there are three state universities:

  • University of Cyprus (Nicosia)
  • Cyprus University of Technology (Limassol)
  • Open University of Cyprus (Nicosia)

In addition, in large cities of Cyprus, there are private universities: the University of Nicosia, Frederick University, Neapolis University and others.

It should be noted that since 2012 UCLan Cyprus, a branch of the famous British University of Central Lancashire, started operating in Cyprus. This is the first British university in Cyprus. The university offers programs in the following fields – business and management, legal studies, computer science and mathematics.

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