The Department of Higher and Tertiary Education (DAAE) aims at the creation of the appropriate conditions for the provision of tertiary education and training in academic and professional programmes of studies to the larger possible number of people. With the reshaping of the economies of almost all countries as a result of globalisation and the rapid development of technology, participation in higher education is now an essential qualification for the personal, economic and social development of individuals, groups and states. Thus, it constitutes the most significant level of education because it is directly linked to employment and contributes significantly to development and social coherence. Higher and Tertiary Education is also directly linked to the European membership of Cyprus since matters such as the recognition of academic qualifications and student and academic staff mobility are dominant among the issues handled by the DAAE
Higher and Tertiary Education is provided through a wide range of means and methods in public or in private institutions, through full-time, part-time, distance and other forms of attendance. EU intention to promote “Lifelong Learning” has extended the role of Higher and Tertiary Education and created new needs such as the creation of the Open University of Cyprus. At the same time, the state policy for the substantial increase of expenditure on research and the establishment of Cyprus as a regional educational and research centre, creates new prospects for the development of tertiary education and indicates that there are great possibilities for tertiary education to contribute to the economic development of the country.
Measures to promote HE in Cyprus
During the past twenty nine years of the operation of the Department of Higher and Tertiary Education, a series of measures have been promoted which aim at the expansion of Higher Education and especially at University-level:
The establishment and operation of the University of Cyprus in 1992. This measure contributed to the upgrading of tertiary education and laid the foundations for the involvement of the University in the social and economic life of Cyprus. The efforts continued and were intensified in the following years with the improvement of the graduate and postgraduate programmes of studies of the University of Cyprus as well as
The establishment of another two state universities
The Open University of Cyprus
Cyprus University of Technology
The establishment of five Private Universities
The creation of suitable institutional framework for the operation of Private Institutions of Tertiary Education (PITE).
The establishment of the Council of Educational Evaluation-Accreditation, the competent authority responsible for the educational evaluation-accreditation of programmes of studies offered by PITE. The first programmes of studies were evaluated in January 2000, an event which proved to be a milestone for the development of PITE. The result of this evaluation was the institutions’ significant effort to improve their infrastructure, which contributed positively to the increase of the number of students both Cypriot and international attending these institutions.
Approval of the Law which regulates the establishment and operation of Private Universities in June 2005 by the House of Representatives for further upgrading the private tertiary education
The DAAE is the competent authority within the Ministry of Education and Culture for Higher Education as regards to the following sectors:
State Universities of Cyprus (economic budget, legal matters, international cooperation).
Administrative support for the implementation of the work of the Cyprus Council of Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KYSATS). Support for the work of the Council of Educational Evaluation – Accreditation (SEKAP) and support to the Evaluation Committee of private universities (ECPU).
Entrance Examinations for the Higher and Tertiary Educational Institutions of Cyprus and Greece and for appointments in public and semi-governmental organisations.
European Programmes on Higher and Tertiary Education Issues.
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