Education in Cyprus: Pre-school, secondary, higher education

Education in Cyprus: Pre-school, secondary, higher education

Higher education in Cyprus is a decent option for studying English at the native level and acquire a diploma recognized in European Union countries. The education system in Cyprus includes primary, secondary and higher education. Education is convenient not only for locals but also for foreigners: expatriates can choose from a variety of English-language programmes. Therefore, if you decide to buy apartments in Cyprus and relocate with your family, you can be sure that you will have all the conditions to support your children's development. Read more about the education planning Cyprus system and learning opportunities in this article.


Preschool in Cyprus

English-speaking preschools in Cyprus are scattered throughout the island. No matter in which town you decide to buy villas in Cyprus, you will easily find a suitable institution nearby.

It is compulsory to attend a preschool for at least one year before starting primary school. It's mandatory for your kid to attend between the ages of 4.5 and 5.5, but at the parents' discretion, the kid can start at the age of 3. The standard of education in these institutions is as high as inschools. Teaching follows European standards and takes into account the individual characteristics of each child.

Preschools can be:

  • State-run
  • Municipal
  • Private

Public preschools are sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture in cooperation with the Parents' Association. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are accepted. To enroll your child, you must provide a copy of the child's birth certificate. Applications are submitted either in person or electronically through an online portal. All children attending public preschools are taught Greek as part of the standard curriculum. This type of institution is free to children from 3 years and 8 months old, but if you enroll your child earlier, it becomes a paid service.

Foreign parents have the right to apply a place in a government-funded preschool for their children, but the number of places is limited and depends on the area and available facilities. Most preschools give priority to five-year-olds who are expected to continue their learning in a local school.

Community-based institutions are non-profit organizations that operate with parental involvement. This is an excellent option if you have free time and live near other young families. These preschools tend to be more informal and offer a flexible curriculum. Community-based preschools fees are nominal and can be effectively reduced if you choose to volunteer your time.

Private preschools offer an educational programme approved by the Ministry of Education, Cyprus. This option is popular with expatriates who want their children to be educated in languages other than Greek. English, Arabic and Swedish speaking preschools are the most popular private preschools. The tuition fee in these schools is approximately €3,090 per year.

In terms of hours of operation, this parameter depends on the type of preschool. State preschools are open from 7:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Municipal and commercial institutions may extend their opening hours until 3:00 p.m., and some even operate all day. Official holidays in government preschools are observed similarly to primary schools, although community and private centers may operate during holidays.

Education in Cyprus: Pre-school, secondary, higher education

Structure of schooling

Primary and secondary education in Cyprus is compulsory. Children start tutoring at the age of 5 and continue until the age of 15, although many continue their scholarship until the age of 18.

In most schools and colleges, the main language of instruction is Greek, although English is the second language in almost all schools. Typically, expatriates send their children to private or international schools and colleges, where English is the primary language.

Expatriates can enroll their children in free state schools, although foreign colleges that accept teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 may charge tuition fees.

There are numerous private education options for expatriates, at both primary and secondary levels, and many follow the British curriculum or the International Baccalaureate. Tuition fees vary, but usually average around €7,000 per year. Some private schools require an entrance exam, as do British grammar schools.

If you're researching schools for foreigners, be aware that the minimum entry level is B1. The academic year begins on September 1.

Is homeschooling legal in Cyprus?

Homeschooling in Cyprus is legal, but regulations and procedures are stringent. The law requires parents to apply for permission and adhere to specific criteria set by the Ministry of Education and Culture. While homeschooling is an option, it might present challenges, especially for families with special needs kids. Parents of children with special educational needs often find it difficult to meet the diverse requirements and resources necessary to ensure comprehensive and tailored education at home. Consequently, for those navigating the homeschooling special needs kids, Cyprus can be intricate due to the stringent regulations and specialized support these children might require.

Higher education

The most suitable higher education in Cyprus is also the possibility to study in English. The process includes several stages:

  1. Bachelor's degree. The minimum age of students is 17 years. The average duration of the programme is 4 years. The cost is approximately €8,700 per year, but prices may vary depending on the specialization chosen and the institution itself. A high level of English is required for admission (IELTS 5.5).
  2. Master's degree. Students should be at least 20 years old. The duration of the programme is 1 to 2 years. The programme costs approximately €8,000 per year. Minimum English proficiency required (IELTS 5.5).
  3. MBA. The programme is designed for those who already have work experience. The minimum age is 20. The length of the programme is the same as the Master's programme. The cost is €12,000 per year. English language proficiency of IELTS 5.5 is required.
  4. Doctorate. Age requirement is 20 years and above. The duration of study is 3 years or more. The average cost is €7,000 per year, depending on the specialization. English language proficiency of IELTS 5.5 is required.

Cypriot universities are very popular among foreigners due to their high quality programmes and globally recognized diplomas. The country is home to universities with comprehensive programmes, which offer a wide range of humanities, technical, and scientific disciplines. There are also institutions that focus on specific sciences, such as the Technological University.

A visa is required for foreigners residing outside the EU and in non-visa-free countries. It is granted only to students who plan to study full-time. A visa can be obtained on the basis of a letter of invitation from the institution.

Education in Cyprus: Pre-school, secondary, higher education

Tuition and fees

Children over the age of 6 also have the opportunity to attend secondary schools in Cyprus of varying durations. Some of the most popular are:

  • Educational camps. Programmes range from one week to the entire summer season. The average cost is between €900 and €1,000. A minimum English level of A1 is required to participate.
  • English Schools. Specialized language schools offer programmes lasting up to 3 months. The average tuition fee is €550. A basic knowledge of English is also required.
  • University Preparation Programmes. Students should be at least 16 years old. The programme lasts one year and costs an average of €5,500–6,000. To enroll, students must have an IELTS level of 4.0.

In addition, there are educational centers in all Cypriot cities where you can learn English and Greek in a natural environment. These programmes are also designed for adults. It's a good solution for those who are buying property in Cyprus and moving with their families, but don't have sufficient language skills to communicate in their new environment. The minimum cost for a week's tuition is €150.

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