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Private education gets the wind up its sails in Cyprus. The current government recently introduced incentives for private universities and, at the same time, the public universities want to secure places for students coming from private secondary education. Students from private high schools are offered to enter public higher education through a “back-door”, without being required to take the state exam.
The Cabinet has approved significant incentives for private universities in Cyprus to promote the island as an “educational centre of excellence”. These include tax incentives such as the extension of a 20% discount annually on all machinery and facilities, a 7% discount annually on buildings bought by tertiary level institutions between 2019-2021 and VAT exemptions for practical training services provided mainly in the fields of medicine and education. The Cabinet has also approved the granting of scholarships to top students from other countries to come and study in Cyprus to enhance the island’s research outputs.
At the same time, public universities in Cyprus offering places to private school students causes disputes among elementary and tertiary teachers’ unions, along with high school and university student unions. The traditional route to state-funded universities is via the state exam, but the Cyprus University and the Cyprus University of Technology want to widen the entry field, especially for the places which have not been filled.