Established in 1989 and accepting its first students in 1992, the University of Cyprus (UCY) is the first state university in Cyprus. It has 6 Faculties/Schools (Humanities, Pure and Applied Sciences, Social Sciences and Education, Economics and Management, Engineering, Letters) and 21 Departments. A School for Graduate Studies was also recently established (in 2012). Currently, the UCY offers 32 programs of studies at the undergraduate level and 95 programs at the postgraduate level and enrolls about 6500 students, aspiring to increase this number to 10000 students by 2020.
Over the past two decades, the UCY has recruited several distinguished scholars (including the Nobel-prize winner in Economics, Professor Christoforos Pissarides), aiming to become and remain a pioneer research institution that will distinguish itself internationally through the promotion of scholarship and that will be recognized as a centre of excellence in the Mediterranean region. Currently, approximately 300 faculty members are part of the academic community of the UCY.
The main objectives of the UCY are twofold: the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and with respect to social service, the enhancement of the cultural, social, and economic development of Cyprus. In this context, the UCY believes that education must provide more than simply accumulation of knowledge; it must also encourage students’ active participation in the process of learning and acquisition of those values necessary for responsible involvement in the community.
Currently, the UCY has 8 Research Units (Banking and Finance, Archaeological, Economics, Nanotechnology, KIOS Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks, Gender Studies, Oceanographic Centre, and NIREAS-International Water Research Center). In 2008, the UCY received the EFQM “Committed to Excellence” Award, while in May 2009, it was one of the 52 European universities awarded the DS Label by the European Commission.
Research is promoted and funded in all departments of the UCY for its contribution to scholarship in general and for its local and international applications. The UCY has also a significant involvement in the implementation of European grants. In the last report of the European research ranking for 2010, the UCY was ranked first among all Cypriot research institutions in the number of FP7 grants received. Currently, the UCY is implementing 98 programs funded by European and international funding, including three frontier research grants of ERC and another 231 programs funded by the National Research Promotion Foundation.
As a proof of its dedication in European integration teaching, the UCY also has a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and three Jean Monnet Chairs—in European Political Integration, in European Economic Integration and in European Foreign and Security Policy. Moreover, it has an UNESCO Chair for Equality and Gender Empowerment. The UCY is also member to many European and International Networks and Associations, including EUA, IAU, UNICA, ACU, Santander Group, AEUA, UNIMED, and EAEC.
With respect to the operational and financial management of projects funded either at the national or the international level, two office units at the UCY—the Research and International Relationships office and the Financial Services office—have significant experience in providing specialized support and expertise. The Financial Services office, in particular, with its professional and dedicated personnel has undertook the financial support and has provided its expertise for implementing several European grants, ensuring prompt delivery of high quality service, and accuracy and transparency in transactions.