Establishment and Operation of Private Tertiary Education Institutions
In order to establish and operate a Private Institution of Tertiary Education in the Republic of Cyprus, individuals and legal entities need to obtain a Licence for the operation of such an establishment from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
The term “institution of tertiary education” means an educational institution in which: (a) individuals admitted are only those who have graduated from a six-year school of secondary education or who possess another equivalent qualification. (b) the programmes of study at the institution have at least one academic year of full attendance or, in the case of part-time attendance, a duration equivalent to a full academic year and lead to academic or professional qualifications higher than those awarded by the schools of secondary education.
Who is Eligible
A licence to establish and operate a Private Institution of Tertiary Education in Cyprus can be granted only to individuals and legal entities who satisfy the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth that the following criteria are met:
- residents in the Republic of Cyprus or citizen of another E.U. member state;
- the director of each private institution must possess an accredited diploma or a university degree or equivalent qualification depending on the type of the institution;
- the teaching staff of each private institution, by a percentage not less than 70%, must possess an academic degree one level higher than the level of the programme it teaches. The remaining 30% may possess an equivalent degree or a relevant professional qualification of the same level of the programme they teach;
- in addition to the above qualifications the teaching staff in a postgraduate programme of study must have publications of scientific articles and books;
- the teaching staff of each programme of study shall include persons who possess a doctorate degree awarded by an accredited university. If this is not the case the Minister may exempt programmes of study;
- the classrooms of the private institutions, as well as their laboratories and equipment must fulfill the conditions prescribed by Regulations, depending on the type of the private institution;
- adequate financial means to cover the costs of its operation are available.
Where to Apply
In order to obtain a Licence to establish and operate a Private Institution of Tertiary Education the owner must submit, at least one year before the establishment and operation of a Private Institution, to the Minister of Education and Culture a declaration accompanied by the prescribed fee for the perusal of the declaration, concerning the proposed establishment and operation of the institution. The Minster forwards the “Declaration” to the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education. The declaration can be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or you can contact directly the competent authority:
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth
Department of Higher Education
Kimonos & Thoukydides Corner
Tel.: +357 22800616, +357 22800617
Fax : +357 22427560
For more information and policy decisions regarding quality assurance and accreditation in higher education please contact the:
Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education
Lemesou Avenue, 5
Tel.: +357 22504340
Fax : +357 22504392
Which Certificates must be Submitted
The declaration concerning the establishment and operation of the tertiary education institution should be accompanied by the following documents:
- survey plan for the institution;
- architectural plan of the buildings;
- detailed list of the buildings;
- Town Planning Consent;
- Building Permission;
- program study;
- curriculum vitaes;
- internal regulation;
- brief description of the financial resources;
- development plan for the institution.
For the establishment of a branch of a private institution a separate Declaration must be submitted which must include all the particulars described above.
In case the applicant is a legal entity (private limited company) the following documents must be enclosed with the application:
- a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation;
- a copy of the Certificate of Directors and Secretary;
- a copy of the Certificate of the Shareholders;
- a copy of the Certificate of the Registered Office.
The following forms of the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA), should be submitted as annexes of the “Declaration on the Establishment and Operation of a Private Higher Education Institutions”:
- Form Num. 220.2 – “Application for Institutional Evaluation-Accreditation”;
- Form Num. 200.1 – “Application for Programmatic Evaluation –Accreditation” (for each programme of study that will operate at the institution).
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
For both institutional and programmatic evaluations, relevant fees are paid, as provided by the Annex of the relevant Legislation.
The fees prescribed are the following:
- Institutional Accreditation of a Private Institution of Tertiary Education, €10.000;
- For programmes of study that last one (1) academic year full time or equivalent part time at a Certificate Level, €1.800;
- For programmes of study that last two (2) academic years full time or equivalent part time at a Diploma Level, €2.500;
- For programmes of study that last three (3) academic years full time or equivalent part time at a Higher Diploma Level, €4.000;
- For programmes of study that last four (4) academic years full time or equivalent part time at a Bachelors Level, €5.500;
- For post-graduate programmes of study at a Masters Level, €7.000;
- For post-graduate programmes of study at a Doctorate Level, €8.500;
- Registration to the Registry of PITE €170.87;
- Registration to the Registry of PITE of an accredited-evaluated programme of study €170.87;
- €341,72 for every programme of study operating at the time of inspection.
The fees are payable either by cash or a personal cheque handed to the Accounts Department at the time of submission of the application which requires a signature.
Whenever a declaration for the establishment and operation of a private institution is submitted, the Minister shall refer the Declaration to the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education, along with any other particulars and information he shall deem necessary for the submission of a relevant recommendation.
Before submitting its recommendation, the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education, can ask the owner of the institution or any other person to provide any particulars, information or clarifications, which it may deem necessary, relating to the proposed establishment and operation of the private institution.
Upon the submission of the recommendation of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education, the Minister shall, if satisfied that the declaration complies with the provisions of this Law, enter the name, after the payment of the prescribed by the Regulations registration fee, in the Register of Private Institutions of Tertiary Education kept in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth for this purpose and issue to the owner a certificate of such entry, in the prescribed by the competent authority form.
Upon the issue of the above certificate, the private institution is considered to be registered and the presentation of the certificate is proof of its establishment. No private institution shall operate before the issue of the relevant certificate. The notification for the entry of a private institution in the Register is published in the Official Gazette of the Republic.
Licence Validity Period
A registered institution, which is not in operation for one academic year is deleted from the Register of Private Institutions of Tertiary Education. For the registration of the institution, the appropriate Laws and Regulations concerning private institutions of tertiary education, which are in force at each time of the application for re-registration, must be followed.
Dispute with the Competent Authority's Decision
How to File an Administrative Action
Administrative Action against a Competent Authority’s Decision
Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative Court against a decision, act, or omission of any competent authority or body.
Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.
The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action
After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.
How to Appeal
An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such a decision was given.
At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated. However, such a revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.
The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.
Legislation & Obligations
Which Laws and Regulations Apply
What are my Obligations
Every private institution of tertiary education is obliged to comply with the provisions of the Laws that Regulate the Establishment, Control and Operation of Tertiary Education Institutions and Regulations, as periodically amended or replaced, and specifically, among others, to:
- the owner of each private institution shall publish, every academic year, an annual prospectus;
- the owner of each private institution submits to the Minister, for approval, the amount of tuition fees and other financial burdens for every student, at least three months before the beginning of the academic year;
- the owner or the director of a private institution shall keep students’ registration record, record of enrollments by programme and year of study, a record of the teaching staff, a record of the certificates of studies, a record of general reports, and any other particulars that are considered to be necessary by the Minister;
- the owner, the director and the members of the teaching staff of a private institution shall be bound to permit, at the time the institution is operating, the authorized officers of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth to enter the institution and the classrooms for an official inspection.
According to Article 5(5) of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education and the Establishment and Operation of an Agency on Related Matters Laws, 2015”
“[….] in the event of adverse observations arising from the inspection of a private institution, under the provisions of section 30 of the Institutions of Tertiary Education Laws, 1996, the observations may lead to the withdrawal of the Institutional or Programmatic Evaluation and Accreditation:”
Additionally, the names of the institutions for which adverse observations will be recorded, after an audit carried out by the Agency on the basis of Article 17 (3) (g) the relevant legislation, will be published. The Legislation duly states the following:
“During the period of validity of the positive Accreditation decision, the Board of the Agency acting of its own motion or upon the recommendation of the Minister, may examine whether the Accreditation criteria continue to be met and if they are not met, then the Board of the Agency shall revoke the Accreditation decision and immediately inform the institution concerned and the Minister.”