Bridging Borders, Fostering Excellence – A Gateway to Global Education
University of Cyprus (UCY) is a remarkable institution located in the heart of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. With around 7.000 students, 113 laboratories and 820 faculty and staff members, UCY was established in 1989 with the collective vision to meet the evolving intellectual needs of the Cypriot people, and it has since grown into a modern, diverse and evolving institution that prides itself for its commitment to scientific thought, diversity, inclusiveness, equity, and creativity.
UCY has achieved significant milestones since its establishment. In fact, UCY is the leading university in Cyprus, as evident by its positioning in the global university rankings. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for the year 2023-2024, UCY holds a position in the range of #701-800, being the only university in Cyprus to appear in this prestigious list. This ranking reflects UCY’s standing on a global scale based on various academic and research criteria. Furthermore, in the Times World University Rankings, UCY has secured a notable position at #501-600, highlighting its reputation for outstanding education and research. Additionally, it ranked #64 in the Emerging Economies University Rankings, emphasising its impact in developing regions. In the QS World University Rankings, UCY stood at #368, while achieving the 53rd position in the QS Emerging Europe and Central Asia Rankings.
Inclusion in these rankings, together with the fact that UCY is widely acknowledged in international academia among students and graduates, and by major employers, is not at all incidental. There are many reasons why UCY is considered one of the top academic institutions in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
High-Caliber Academic Staff
At the core of UCY’s success is its exceptional faculty. The academic staff comprises distinguished, highly-cited scholars and experts in their respective fields. Their expertise and dedication to teaching and research create an intellectually stimulating environment for students, fostering a culture of curiosity and innovation.
Pioneering Frontiers in Research
UCY stands out as a research powerhouse, attracting the largest number of externally funded research programs in Cyprus. This has resulted in 154 research projects and a total funding exceeding €75.4 million. Its high-end research activities, supported by numerous research projects funded by the European Commission, the National Research and Innovation Foundation, and various public and private organizations, contribute significantly to the global scientific community. The university’s 13 Research Centres and research laboratories actively engage in cutting-edge research, providing students with valuable insights and hands-on experience. At the same time, UCY’s success in the Teaming Research Project led to the development of three Centres of Excellence, fostering ground-breaking research and innovation.
These impressive numbers underscore UCY’s commitment to excellence, as evidenced by 7 Starting Grants, 4 Consolidator Grants, 2 Advanced Grants, 6 Proof of Concept Grants, and 1 Synergy Grant across FP7, H2020, and Horizon Europe. ERC’s stringent criteria for selection, emphasising excellence as the sole criterion, further highlight the remarkable achievement of UCY researchers.
Furthermore, UCY’s dedication to cutting-edge research extends to 26 Marie Skłodowska-Curie projects funded under Horizon 2020. The university actively participates in Individual Fellowships, Innovative Training Networks (ITNs), and Rise Actions. With an impressive track record, UCY has successfully implemented 71 Marie Skłodowska-Curie projects, showcasing its commitment to fostering talent and advancing knowledge.
In the realm of external funding, UCY has reached new heights, with research funding from various sources reaching €27 million in 2021. Currently involved in 375 projects, 198 of which are EU-funded projects under Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, Justice, Life, Cost Action, and Interreg, UCY is a key player in shaping the landscape of European research.
Transforming Ideas into Impact
UCY’s commitment to innovation is evident in its multifaceted approach to Research and Innovation (R&I) contracts. The university concludes approximately 220 R&I contracts annually, encompassing collaborative research contracts and various R&I agreements, such as non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, copyright agreements, research subcontracting, provision of research services, and technology/patent licensing agreements.
In the realm of intellectual property, UCY has secured 6 granted patents with 8 pending patent applications, reflecting a dynamic environment of invention and discovery. The university actively manages around 90 cases of innovation and intellectual property rights annually, with a focus on the exploitation of research results, particularly in the realm of copyrighted intellectual property, including software, algorithms, and tools for various assessments with consulting.
The Synergy of Academia and Industry
In a strategic move to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world applications, the University of Cyprus (UCY) embarked on the ground-breaking “University Labour Market Liaison Offices” project in October 2016. Co-financed by the Structural Funds of the European Union and national resources, this €7.1 million initiative prioritized integrating students seamlessly into businesses and organizations for internships within their academic programs.
At the forefront of this transformative project, UCY assumed the role of the coordinating institution within a consortium involving eight universities. The primary objective was clear: to cultivate professional experiences that align with students’ fields of study, fostering a symbiotic relationship between universities and the dynamic demands of the labour market.
Responding proactively to this initiative, UCY underwent substantial curriculum restructuring, incorporating internship training as an integral component. The Industry Liaison Office, established as part of the project, became instrumental in engaging with businesses and organizations throughout the academic year. In-classroom presentations at the beginning of each semester disseminated information about the project and outlined available placements across various industry sectors.
Students, inspired by the prospect of gaining real-world experience, expressed their interest in the project. A rigorous evaluation process supervised by academic mentors determined their suitability for specific placements. Successful candidates then enrolled in the corresponding academic course and embarked on their internship journeys.
Since its inception, the project has had a resounding impact, engaging over 1400 UCY students who successfully completed internships in various organizations across Cyprus. Remarkably, approximately 35% of these students secured permanent employment opportunities due to their commendable performance during their placements.
The direct impact on participating students has been profound. Their professional attributes have been refined through the acquisition of supplementary knowledge and practical experience. Teamwork capabilities have been augmented, and soft skills, along with communication proficiency, have been enhanced. As a result, the employability prospects of these students, both during their academic tenure and post-graduation, have been substantially elevated.
Simultaneously, businesses and organizations have reaped immediate benefits from the project. They have had the opportunity to recruit qualified young graduates and prepare new talents with cutting-edge ideas, skills, and knowledge. The project has played a pivotal role in fostering closer collaboration between these entities and UCY, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Internationalization is one of the top UCY strategic goals. Therefore, the university seeks to establish partnerships with institutions worldwide, promoting academic exchange, joint research initiatives, and student and staff mobility. It also aims to increase its international student population, which is currently at around 10% of its total student population. By promoting diversity and creating an enriched academic environment, UCY hopes to enhance its global footprint.
Also, UCY’s global networking and active participation in European and international scientific developments are key contributors to its international reputation. The university collaborates strategically with top institutions globally through Bilateral Agreements of Cooperation and active participation in over 65 international university networks and associations.
At the same time, recognizing the importance of a multicultural and inclusive learning environment, UCY aims to prepare its students to engage with the challenges and opportunities presented internationally. This emphasis on diversity ensures that UCY graduates are not only academically proficient but also culturally aware and globally competent. Hence, UCY’s involvement in the ERASMUS+ Programme since 1998 has facilitated student mobility, with more than 2500 UCY students spending semesters at European universities. Additionally, UCY actively participates in the Erasmus+ International Programme, fostering mobility with third countries.
UCY’s membership in the European university alliance YUFE (Young Universities for the Future of Europe) further solidifies its commitment to shaping the future of European education. As one of the 17 alliances selected by the European Commission in 2019, YUFE aims to develop and implement models for a unified European University, enhancing UCY’s international influence and collaboration.
Since 2014, UCY also hosts on its premises the Confucius Institute – the first to be established on the island – offering Chinese language courses and promoting cultural and commercial connections between Cyprus and China. As the first and only non-profit organisation and joint venture between the Chinese International Education Foundation, UCY and the Beijing Institute of Education, the Confucius Institute at UCY works by offering students a large spectrum of programmes, events and other activities on Chinese language, culture, arts and business. An Aula Cervantes is also hosted on the UCY Campus since 2011, as a result of the understanding between UCY and the Instituto Cervantes Headquarters in Spain. The Aula offers Spanish language courses and is responsible for the running of the DELE and SIELE exams for the Spanish language proficiency, while at the same time it organises cultural and other activities.
UCY’s commitment to providing world-recognized academic programs is one of the cornerstones of its success. The university offers a diverse array of courses spanning from Humanities and Letters to Engineering and Applied Sciences. The comprehensive curriculum is meticulously designed to provide students with a well-rounded education, preparing them for the challenges of the modern world. For students aspiring to pursue postgraduate studies, UCY offers a range of postgraduate programs taught in English or other languages. These programs provide a platform for in-depth research and specialized learning, equipping graduates with advanced skills and expertise in their chosen fields.
Among these programs are the MSc in Precision Medicine in Clinical Practice, MSc in Data Science, MSc in Artificial Intelligence, MA in Peace, Conflict, and Democracy, MSc in Behavioral Economics, MEng on Natural Gas in Energy Transition, MA in Field Archaeology on Land and Under the Sea, and MSc in Digital Heritage and Landscape Archaeology.
These niche programs exemplify UCY’s dedication to fostering expertise in emerging fields. Each program is a testament to the university’s commitment to preparing its students not just for the present but for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving global landscape. UCY’s academic offerings are crafted with precision and relevance, ensuring that its graduates are equipped to lead in an ever-changing world.
UCY takes pride in offering internationally recognized degrees that act as passports to the European Union (EU) job market. All academic programs operate under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), providing students with a seamless transition within the EU job market. The inclusion of the Diploma Supplement with DS Label further enhances the credibility and recognition of UCY degrees.
High Employability Rate
UCY aims to prepare students for successful careers and enhance their employability through industry-relevant skills and continuous learning. A testament to the above is its impressive employability rate. Approximately 83% of its alumni are currently employed on a full-time basis, reflecting its commitment to preparing students for successful careers in their chosen fields.
State-of-the-Art Campus and Facilities
Nestled in the rapidly expanding University Campus that is expected to cover a sprawling 220,000 m² upon completion, UCY’s commitment to providing a conducive learning environment is evident in its state-of-the-art campus and facilities. An example is the “Stelios Ioannou Learning Resource Centre-Library” serves as a hub of knowledge, offering an extensive collection of books, journals, and digital resources that support academic endeavors. The imposing building was the result of a generous donation by the Stelios Ioannou family as well as co-funding by the European Regional Development Fund, and was designed by the internationally renowned architect Jean Nouvel. Its collection includes:
- Over 625,000 volumes of books and magazines
- Over 600,000 subscriptions to e-book titles
- Over 30,000 electronic magazine titles
- Millions of electronic journal articles
- Over 190 electronic databases
Another example of a state-of-the art building is the UCY Athletic Centre, standing out for its modern and excellent outdoor and indoor facilities. It offers services and meets the needs of the university community.
Exciting Student Life
Beyond the classroom, UCY offers a vibrant and exciting student life. Student clubs, cultural events, sports activities and community engagement initiatives create a dynamic campus environment. These experiences contribute to personal growth, leadership development and lasting friendships.
Furthermore, Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus where UCY is based, is an appealing destination for students, seamlessly blending the modern and the old to create a unique and enriching experience. Nestled within its ancient city walls lies a historical tapestry of narrow winding streets, showcasing medieval architecture, vibrant marketplaces, and cultural landmarks. Beyond the ancient charm, Nicosia embraces modernity with a dynamic urban environment. The city boasts contemporary amenities, bustling cafes, and a lively nightlife that caters to the younger population. The juxtaposition of old and new creates a stimulating atmosphere, fostering a sense of connection to the past while embracing the possibilities of the future. Nicosia’s appeal to students is not just academic; it’s a cultural journey where the past meets the present, offering a well-rounded and vibrant educational experience.
UCY believes that it has a crucial role as a cultural hub and is committed to promoting artistic endeavors and providing a platform for diverse expressions of creativity. The university actively engages with societal issues, leveraging its expertise for the betterment of the broader community and contributing to positive social change.
UCY’s Strategic Vision: Nurturing Excellence and Impact
Today, UCY’s strategic plan for the future revolves around nurturing academic excellence both in research and research, fostering sustainability and actively contributing to the cultural and societal fabric. Through these endeavors, the university aims not only to meet the challenges of the future but also to emerge as a trailblazer in the global academic landscape. As UCY continues to evolve, its commitment to excellence, innovation, and societal impact remains unwavering.
For More Info: https://www.ucy.ac.cy/