Founded by law in 1989 in response to the growing intellectual needs of the Cypriot people, the University of Cyprus (UCY) is the first university to be established in Cyprus, and one of the pioneering public research universities in the wider Euro-Mediterranean region. Since then, it has earned the respect of the international academic community and the appreciation of Cypriot society.
The mission of UCY is the development of scientists with ethics and critical thinking, the active participation in scientific research and innovation, the contribution to cultural creation and social renewal and the contribution to the sustainable economic and social development of Cyprus and the wider Euro-Mediterranean area.
State-of-the-Art Infrastructure & Facilities
The UCY campus is spread across 1.300.000 m2 and is equipped with modern facilities like the Learning Resource Centre “Stelios Ioannou”, fully furnished classrooms and auditoria, the Athletic Centre and the Social Activities Centre. Additionally, UCY houses a Language Centre offering classes in 8 languages, an Aula Cervantes and a Confucius Institute.
At UCY, all academic staff members are renowned scholars from different parts of the world with prestigious citations and publications to their credit. They bring a vast array of knowledge in their respective fields and are dedicated to teaching and taking an active interest in their students’ personal and professional development. One of the UCY faculty members is a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Sciences, Sir Christopher Antoniou Pissarides.
What Makes UCY the Go-to Destination for Higher Education?
UCY offers world-recognised undergraduate and postgraduate (Master and PhD level) programmes with a strong emphasis on research and development. National and international students can choose from diversified curricula ranging from Humanities and Letters to Engineering and Applied Sciences. In addition, UCY is known to have a high employability rate.
Moreover, being a member of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe Alliance, as well as through its participation in the Erasmus+ Programme, the signing of agreements of cooperation with international partners and its active participation in European and international networks and associations, UCY has developed a very strong international outlook. When it comes to world rankings, UCY is placed among the top international universities, namely: TIMES 2023 (in the top 401-500), QS 2023 (473), the Shanghai List – ARWU 2022 (501-600) and US Best Global University Rankings 2022 (566). Owing to its academic excellence, impactful synergies, ground-breaking research projects and high rankings, UCY has become the go-to destination for higher education in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
International students are supported by the International Students and Staff Office of the International Relations Service, whose mission is to help strengthen the internationalization of the University by providing comprehensive support and information to international students and staff (academic and administrative) before, during, and after their arrival in Cyprus. At the same time, the International Students and Staff Office is there to provide all the necessary information regarding studying, working, and living at UCY but also Cyprus in general, while cooperating closely with all the UCY Administrative Services and Departments, as well as with national and international authorities, in order to ensure the continuous improvement and high level of the services provided.
Fostering Research Excellence
UCY has 13 Research Centres and a considerable number of Research Units, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines.
Since the establishment of the European Research Council in 2007, the institution has received the highest number of ERC grants in Cyprus. More specifically, it was awarded 7 Starting Grants, 5 Consolidator Grants, 2 Advanced Grants, 8 Proof of Concept Grants, and 1 Synergy Grant (FP7, H2020 and Horizon Europe).
In the past, UCY has successfully implemented 71 Marie Sklodowska-Curie projects and is currently participating in 375 projects, out of which 198 are EU-funded projects under Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, Justice, Life, Cost Action and Interreg. Apart from individual fellowships, the university also participates in ITNs and Rise Actions. In 2021, UCY’s research funding from external sources reached €27 million, which is a remarkable feat.
An Entrepreneurial Hub for Students & Young Scientists
At UCY, a Centre for Entrepreneurship (C4E) has been set up to provide the necessary training, expertise, mentorship, support and connections the university’s students and young scientists for becoming effective entrepreneurs. The main objectives of C4E include fostering a culture of innovative entrepreneurship within the university and developing relevant in-house expertise, providing the entire university community with high-quality services and building the connections required to bring scientific innovations and novel ideas produced inside UCY to global marketplaces while contributing to the creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem in Cyprus.
C4E serves the entire UCY community, namely undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, researchers, young scientists, faculty and staff. Beyond the university, C4E also contributes to the emergence of Cyprus’ “start-up” ecosystem, participating in relevant initiatives and liaising with people and support structures, such as accelerators incubators, and maker spaces. In addition, the C4E hub promotes the uptake of innovative results, the exploitation of scientific know-how and the use of advanced research infrastructures of UCY by existing private and public organisations, contributing to the competitiveness and growth of the Cypriot economy.
Placements and Liaison with the Labor Market
UCY considers the development of competencies and working skills while studying (through traditional and non-traditional learning) a key for the success and distinction of its students and alumni in the labour market. It is for the above reasons that the UCY Career Centre (https://ucyweb.ucy.ac.cy/careercentre/en/) provides a number of opportunities for development and preparation for the workforce. Moreover, through the University´s partnering with the EURES Network, students and graduates have the opportunity to receive guidance and information about employment opportunities, language learning, and funding for their job mobility.
Scholarships to Motivate Students to Achieve Academic Goals
At UCY, individual departments offer scholarships on academic merit and financial status. UCY also offers scholarships for its MBA and MBE programmes. Furthermore, UCY provides specific scholarships to international, high-calibre students with financial difficulties and to refugee students who live under critical conditions. EU students pay no fees for undergraduate studies.
One of UCY’s undergraduate students in the Department of Social and Political Science, Sofia Bantona, shares that she had a fantastic experience at the UCY and her sociology degree helped her understand the world and herself better. Moreover, the university staff assisted her with important information about the documentation required during her stay in Cyprus, being of Greek nationality.
Kalliopi Tsagkari, a postgraduate student in the Department of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies (also from Greece) states, “The reason I chose to study at UCY was its reputation as a very well-organized university at all levels, as well as its ranking among the best universities worldwide. UCY offers employment opportunities on campus to EU students, allowing them to secure an income while developing skills for a future career. The institution also provides a variety of student clubs so that students can be active according to their interests while integrating easier into the student community.”
Effective Teaching Practices Employed during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, UCY was the first institution in Cyprus to switch to online teaching overnight, even before the issuing of the lockdown in the country, due to its well-developed, modern IT infrastructure. Lessons continued smoothly over the 2 years of the pandemic and students did not miss any of the programme courses they were enrolled in.
International Student Mobility in the Post-Pandemic Era
The pandemic has significantly disrupted international student mobility, as a result of successive lockdowns, difficulty in travel and closed borders, and students’ nervousness to be trapped away from home.
What one can see in the post-pandemic era is that student mobility recovers but gradually, over time, as the world turns to the ‘new normal’. Although there is certainly some initial hesitation around studying abroad – especially given the availability of digital alternatives – which could mean a slower pace of recovery for international student mobility, the increasing desire for in-person interactions and experiences abroad means that mobility numbers are bound to grow.
Therefore, according to Ms Elena Avgoustidou-Kyriacou, Acting Director of the UCY International Relations Service, both incoming and outgoing mobility will increase at UCY. There will also be a rise in the number of Erasmus + Agreements signed, thereby opening doors to new opportunities for students to be mobile in other actions of the Erasmus+ Programme (e.g. Intensive Programmes), as well as different kinds of mobility (e.g. Blended Mobility).
To keep up with its upward momentum of attracting a large number of international students, UCY will require more digitalisation of the management of the Erasmus+ Programme, introduction of new mechanisms, updated procedures, more staff in the Mobility Office of the International Relations Service and more effective communication and cooperation with the UCY departments and services, as well as with collaborating institutions.
Roadmap for the Future
With life returning to normal, UCY plans to increase its efforts to enhance its international outlook by participating in university networks/associations, forming strategic partnerships with international institutions and attracting students and staff from abroad.
For More Info: https://www.ucy.ac.cy/