Κυπριακη Δημοκρατια/Kibris Cumhuriyeti (The Republic of Cyprus) is an island in the Mediterranean north of Egypt, southeast of Greece, and south
of Turkey. Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean. The population is 788,457 with 77% Greek, 18% Turkish, and 5% other. The literacy rate is 97.6%
The island has a long history of invaders and settlers from all over. On June 18, 1878, the island of Cyprus came under British administration, became a British colony in 1925, and gained independence in 1960. During the 1960s and 1970s, tension and violence
occurred between the majority Greeks and the minority Turks. In 1974, Greece attempted to seize control of Cyprus, the Turkish military responded and gained control of 1/3 of the island. On February 13, 1975, the Turkish Cypriots declared self-rule,
and the Turkish-controlled area claimed independence and called itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey.
In April 2004, Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan which aimed to reunite the island. On May 1, 2004, the entire island joined the European Union, but EU membership was not extended to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Due to the division of the island, there are 2 educational systems. One mirrors the educational systems of Greece and the other mirrors the educational system of Turkey.
Primary and Secondary Education, Southern Cyprus
Education in Southern Cyprus is free and compulsory from ages 5-15. Primary school is 6 years, and students are awarded a Leaving Certificate upon completion.
Gymnasium/Γυμνασιο (Lower secondary school) is 3 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Apolyterion/Απολντηριο. Lykion/Λυκειο (Upper secondary) is 3 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Apolyterion/Απολντηριο.
Vocational and technical secondary school is 3 years. The vocational stream focuses on practical, technical and industrial training. The technical stream focuses on the sciences. Upon successful completion of either stream, students are awarded a Apolyterion/Απολντηριο from a lykion/Λυκειο.
In the future, primary and upper secondary will be combined.
Post-Secondary Education, Southern Cyprus
Post-secondary education is offered at higher technical institutes, and state and private colleges and universities. Higher technical institutes offer 3-year (180 ECTS credits) diploma programs, as well as 1-year certificate programs. Private higher education
institutes offer 1-year certificate, 2-year diploma, and 3-year higher diploma programs. Admission to any of these programs requires a Apolyterion/Απολντηριο from a lykion/Λυκειο or a vocational or technical secondary school.
There are 3 state universities (University of Cyprus, Open University of Cyprus, and Cyprus University of Technology), state higher education institutions, and several private universities, colleges and higher education institutions. Admission to any
of these institutions requires a Certificate of Completion (apolyterion / Απολντηριο) from a lykion / Λυκειο or a vocational or technical secondary
The first degree offered is the 4-year (240 ECTS credits) ptychio/Πτυχιο. Graduate programs are 1.5-2 years and awarded the magister artium or the magister scientae (master of science). Admission to
graduate programs requires the ptychio/Πτυχιο. Doctoral programs are only offered at the University of Cyprus. They are 3 years, require a magister artium or magister scientae for admission, and
upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).
Primary and Secondary Education, Northern Cyprus
Education in Northern Cyprus is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. Ilkokul (Primary school) begins at 6 and is 5 years. Students are awarded a Ilkokul Diplomasi upon completion.
Ortaokul (Middle school) is 3 years, and students are awarded a Ortaokul Diplomasi upon successful completion. Some schools award the IlköÄŸretim Diplomasi after completion of 8 years of primary and middle school.
Upper secondary is 3 years. There are 2 types of upper secondary schools: lise (secondary school) which has open admissions, and the Turk Maarif Kolleji (TMK) (Turkish Education Colleges) which have entrance examinations and are competitive.
The lise has 2 streams: arts and sciences. The first year of the lise provides a general academic curriculum and students choose their streams at the end of the 1st year. Students are permitted to transfer to a vocational or technical
lise after their 1st year, but the transfer is final and they cannot transfer back to a general academic lise. TMKs prepare students for university admission, particularly the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations
and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Upon successful completion of a lise or TMK program, students are awarded a lise diplomasi.
Vocational and technical lise are 3 years, and include commercial, agricultural, and hotel and catering programs. Upon successful completion, students are awarded a diplomasi.
Post-Secondary Education, Northern Cyprus
Post-secondary education is offered at 6 universities. Many students go to Turkey or other countries to complete their post-secondary education. Admission to post-secondary programs requires any type of diplomasi.
Two-year university programs award the Önlisans Diplomasi. Students in two-year technical programs are awarded a technician diplomasi. Bachelor's degree programs are 4 years and students are awarded the Lisans Diplomasi.
Second and Third Cycles
Master's degree programs are 1.5 - 2 years and students are awarded a Yüksek Lisans Diplomasi. There are no doctoral programs in northern Cyprus.