European University Cyprus

university organisation

The European University Cyprus has been a member of Galileo Global Education since 2017. It forms the largest European University organisation with a network of 45 institutions across countries. The European University enrolled as a university in 2007 when the state paved the way for private university education, but its history goes back to the early 1960s. Dr.Christoforos Hadjikyprianou, University Board President, spoke to us about those beginnings, the here and now, but mostly the future.

A history of pioneers and firsts

The European University Cyprus, now running in its third 21st century decade, set off 60 years ago, right on the footsteps of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, as teacher Ioannis Grigoriou founded Cyprus College.

Grigoriou was born in Flasou in 1930 and completed his secondary education at the Evryhou gymnasium and the American Academy of Larnaca. He then travelled to the United States where he graduated with degrees in Political Science, Economics and Business Administration.

He returned to Cyprus in 1952 and started working as a teacher. The Cyprus College, established in 1961 was the first tertiary education institution in the country.

In 2017, European University Cyprus joined the Galileo Global Education, the biggest European University Organisation, with a network of 45 foundations in 13 countries.

A pioneer of private education in Cyprus, two years later Grigoriou founded The Grammar School, a secondary education school. Following the Turkish invasion of 1974, the school’s facilities drop into the so called buffer zone, near the Nicosia Airport and the school closes.

Grigoriou did not give up however and within a short period of time managed to get the Grammar School up and running again. In 1983, Dr.Andreas Eleftheriades essentially took over the management and active reestablishment of Cyprus College, which after losing its facilities in occupied territory, was operating on just one programme/department with 15 evening students in a single Grammar School class.

He was a visionary, forging an academic high quality foundation, an innovative college with a thousand students and 26 programmes of study, certified by the Cyprus Certification and Education Evaluation Council.

Thousands of University graduates make up the most important ambassadors of excellence and the quality of studies offered at the educational institution.

First step to internationalisation

It takes place in 2005, when the Laureate International Universities global network joins the ownership status and further strengthened two years later, when the European University Cyprus becomes officially enrolled in the Education and Culture Ministry’s Universities Register.

With Laureate International taking full ownership in 2011 under a new administration, a renewed dedication by the academic and management leadership as well as the professionalism of academic and administrative staff, the University goes into a new period of drive, a rapid development in line with the pace of innovation and fast track advancements in the field of new professions.

The University becomes a leader in promoting the Economy of Knowledge and particularly post-2013 financial crisis, it steps forward to support society and moving against the wave, it records unprecedented growth rates.

The distinguishing characteristic of the University and in fact, its DNA, is clearly credibility, as noted by the institution’s management.

Laureate International Universities continues to invest in the University, funding construction of facilities and technological upgrades, opening up a host of new horizons in the institutions’ internationalisation. The Laureate’s head, former US President Bill Clinton, visited the University and spoke with officials, academics as well as students about the future and the significance of education in achieving global progress and development.

Five QS Stars

In 2015, the European University is graded by QS TOP UNIVERSITIES (QS STARS) with five stars, the highest of the index, in the fields of Teaching, Infrastructure, Social Responsibility and student Accessibility/Support, while the same year also sees the creation of the only Microsoft Innovation Centre in Cyprus, one of 110 operating internationally.

The Microsoft Innovation Center promotes a closer relationship between knowledge and research through entrepreneurship and innovation, thus becoming a modern source of start-ups.

There have been major steps over the past four years in the field of education.

Τhe partnership between the University and Microsoft provides endless opportunities for innovation, with 120 start-ups forged in a very short period of time. Today, a renewed cooperation for the creation of a start-ups center calls for a brand new, even more focused approach and aims at supporting new business ideas from the Cyprus business sector research community and of course, the synergies between them.

At the top

2017 sees the establishment of the first Dentistry programme in Cyprus, while U-Multirank places the European University Cyprus amongst the top 150 in Europe for Applied Knowledge Partnership and the first 300 in Research and Research Linkages. At a later stage, the University is also placed in the top 100 globally for ‘Energy and Climate Change’ by the U1 GreenMetric World Ranking Universities.

The University is evaluated with 5 stars by the Business Excellence Model (EFQM). The European University is also approved by the Magna Charta Observatory Council as a signatory to Magna Charta Universitatum.

Distinguished professors make up the academic team.

The Utrecht Network

In a historic 2020 decision, following a long process of institutional examination, the University is accepted as a full member of the Utrecht Network.

This development was a major achievement in the history of the University, as the Utrecht Network had always been a point of reference for academic excellence both in Europe and globally. It is a clear marker of the trust that the international university community shows the European University Cyprus and the credibility which that very fact provides.

Following the Galileo acquisition, European University Cyprus placed greater importance to connecting the institution with the wider society and entrepreneurship.

Promoting Cyprus as an educational centre

Almost 60 years from the establishment of the first Business Administration School in the country, the School, now a part of the University, signs a research agreement with the Cambridge Alternative Funding Center, aimed at speeding up technological financial innovation and exchange of knowledge in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the wider Mediterranean region.

Both the research and the University’s cooperation with the Cambridge Center will contribute to developing digital tools for decision making both in terms of regulation as well as purchasing level in the countries involved.

With Cyprus considered as an important strategic connection between the Mediterranean and Northern Africa in traditional sectors, the Business Administration School is a leader in the FinTech sector.

In addition, the European University Cyprus is in the front line when it comes to promoting Cyprus as an international center of comprehensive quality education, offering growth and long term viability for the Cyprus economy.

On the cusp of the 4th industrial revolution and the new digital age

Beyond its sheer history, the excellence of its academic and scientific staff and the long list of academic distinctions and research work, perhaps the University’s greatest achievement is a dynamic community of thousands of graduates, who are the best ambassadors of the excellence and quality of European University Cyprus studies.

The European University Cyprus imprint both at local and international level, reflects the institution’s great successes, but also its massive contribution in social and financial life.

At a time of fast-paced intense globalisation, competitiveness and rapid technological advancement, the European University Cyprus is prepared to face the major challenges and new developments in technology and science. As Dr.Christoforos Hadjikyprianou, Managing Director and University Board President put it, ‘The European University Cyprus has the knowhow, the personnel, both academic and administrative and the foundations for viable development and focusing on an academic level that will respond to the requirements of the 4th industrial revolution and the new digital age’.

The University’s modern facilities

2013, a landmark year

2013 sees the establishment of the Distance Learning Unit, coupled with an innovative technological platform that lead to a new teaching culture for professionals seeking to continue their studies or further their training.

The Medical School is established in the same year. Along with the rest of its schools, namely Business Administration, Applied Sciences, Law Humanitarian and Social Sciences and Ηealth Science, the University evolves into a major center of excellence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It becomes the first private university that is recognised by the organisation of interdisciplinary scientific titles of Greece, while its Law school becomes the first to offer a Greek Law programme, with more than 2 thousand Greek students attending.

Distinguished professors make up the academic team.

In a very short space of time, the Medical School attracts academics and scientists from all over the world and a major source of interest who apply from both central and northern Europe.

It’s facilities are awards with two top prizes at Crestron International Awards in the Best Medical Solution and Best Medical Installation categories.

2009 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, biochemist Ada E.Yonath and 1988 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, biochemist Robert Huber are declared Emeritus Professors of the Medical School and are integrated in University staff as visiting professors.

The Medical School created a network of connected hospitals in Cyprus, including the state general hospital in Larnaca and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

Furthermore, it signs a 10-year deal with the ‘Ygeia’ group in Greece and secures exclusive cooperation with the American Medical Center and the German Oncology Center, for the clinical practice of its students.

150 million investment by Galileo Global Education

In 2017 the University changed ownership status, as it became a member of Galileo Global Education, the biggest European University organisation with a network of 45 foundations in more than 85 university campuses across 13 countries, hosting over 120 thousand registered students.

The Galileo Global Education 150 million investment attracts academics and researchers of a high university standard, facilitates the evolution into a ‘smart campus’ and bolsters international cooperation in the introduction of joint academic and research programmes, as well as the development of innovative programmes in fields such as Biomedicine and Artificial Intelligence.

The University’s modern facilities

In 2019, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Timothy John Berners Lee was declared emeritus professor of the Applied Sciences School at the Information Technology and Engineering Department, while Laurent Fabius, former prime minister of France and President of the country’s Constitutional Council, was declared emeritus professor of the Law School.

The Medical School has also seen quite a number of investments and the University has turned more towards research.

In 2020, the Doctor of Medicine programme was evaluated through the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) process, the most important institution in medical education globally. In the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact rankings, the European University Cyprus ranks amongst the top 201+ universities internationally in the fields of Innovation, Ιndustry and Ιnfrastructure, Decent Work and Economic Growth και Actions on Climate Change.

Following the Galileo acquisition, the European University has witnessed significant investment in many new sectors, such as Dentistry.

An international university organisation

The European University Cyprus has been a member of Galileo Global Education since 2017. It forms the largest European University organisation with a network of 45 institutions across countries. The European University enrolled as a university in 2007 when the state paved the way for private university education, but its history goes back to the early 1960s. Dr.Christoforos Hadjikyprianou, University Board President, spoke to us about those beginnings, the here and now, but mostly the future.

Mr.Hadjikyprianou you’re here now thanks to the efforts of a pioneer in education Ioannis Grigoriou, that Cyprus was blessed enough to have. That was some 60 years ago. How do you feel today?

I think that beyond the University’s decades long history, it’s also important to say that our field has to do with the exploits of young people, the greatest investment of parents for their children. We are responsible in forging a view on issues concerning society, the state and the economy.

Major innovation and research investment has taken place, said University Board President, Dr. Chr.Hadjikyprianou.

On the other hand, it is also of significance to be aware and recognise how the institution that we serve today, started out, all the difficulties it’s been through, its evolution from a college to a University. The dearly departed founder of Cyprus College Ioannis Grigoriou was a very perceptive man, who had a vision beyond his generation. In tough circumstances he managed to create today’s European University Cyprus.

The University has been through two major crises, in 2013 and today’s pandemic, also changing ownership in 2011 and 2017. It’s important to note at this point, the great realisation of the first owners that the University needed to become a member of an international educational network and their support of this goal.

This is a clear indication of how far ahead their vision always was. If I also may be allowed to express our respect, praise and appreciation as a European University Cyprus community to Dr.Andreas Eleftheriades, for the fact that he took over Cyprus College in 1983, with 15 students and raised it to a modern university organisation and also supported the University’s transition to a new ownership status, serving its long term interest.

So given all that, I will say that the responsibility carries a lot of weight and is multi-faceted. And it also involves employees, in securing job positions through the organisations’ viability. We also have social responsibility, as universities shape views about issues and through their academic and research work have a relevant impact on society, culture and the economy.

In 2017, European University Cyprus joined the Galileo Global Education, the biggest European University Organisation, with a network of 45 foundations in 13 countries.

Credibility is our DNA

Every organisation forges its own culture and DNA over time. What is yours?

The greatest characteristic of our University, essentially its DNA, is credibility. Τhe credibility and trust shown by academics and personnel to the University, the trust every family place in us when they sign as contract for its children, trust shown by students, graduates, our associates both in Cyprus and abroad, those that share joint programmes and initiatives with us, as well as society’s trust. That is indeed the European University DNA. Anyone that cooperates with us knows that the ‘contract’ we co-sign is a ‘contract’ the University will honour over time.

The Laureate network

Ηow much has the University changed from its participation in the Laureate International Universities Network? What are the benefits?

In 2011, Laureate acquired full ownership of the University, having participated through a small percentage since 2007. The University’s participation in the Laurate had internationalised the institution, brought in investments and innovative programmes, introduced the University to the field of medicine in a ground-breaking way, brought cooperation with Microsoft and strengthened our academic model. These were major benefits stemming from the University’s Laureate participation; internationalisation, innovative e programmes and ideas and investments in technology. The University’s timely investment in technology was of great help in dealing with today’s crises and challenges. We are now a more innovative and international organisation.

Member of Galileo

The University changes ownership again in 2017, becoming a member of Galileo Global Education, the biggest European university organisation with a network of 45 foundations across more than 85 campuses in 13 countries with over 120 thousand students. What does that mean for you?

Galileo Global Education, based out of France, forms the largest university organisation in Europe. Following Galileo’s acquisition, there’ve been major investments to European University Cyprus in many new fields, such as dentistry, a lot more funds have gone into research, which is quite important for a university, programmes have been modernised and innovative ones introduced, responding to challenges.

We have also strengthened distance learning with highly innovative programmes such as Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Blockchain. We have also invested heavily in the Medical School and changed our culture, focusing more on research and connecting with the wider society and entrepreneurship. Through Galileo many other modernisations have come about, such as administrative services and their effectiveness.

The distinguishing characteristic of the University and in fact, its DNA, is clearly credibility, as noted by the institution’s management.

The Utrecht Network

You became a full member of the Utrecht network in 2020. What is the practical value of this academic success?

The Utrecht network is not about the University’s ownership, as Laureate and Galileo, but academic excellence and connecting with major universities in the world. 30 universities participate from all over Europe, being at the top nationally. Across Greece and Cyprus only the Aristoteleion University and European University are part of the network. All universities in the network promote educational and research excellence. Our own participation allows us to join more university European networks as well as more research programmes and forge further academic cooperation. We also have the opportunity to be compared but also learn things from the best universities in Europe, both in practices and culture, as well as establishing academic excellence.

High level academics

Can a Cyprus university, restricted in size, attract high quality academics?

In our case, the connection with Galileo provides this possibility. Over the past few years, the colleagues hired are of high academic and research status. We also have our philosophy, a principle if you will ‘hiring people that are better than the existing ones’. We have attracted professors from abroad that distinguish themselves in major universities internationally, building an excellent academic and research imprint.

Following the Galileo acquisition, European University Cyprus placed greater importance to connecting the institution with the wider society and entrepreneurship.

The principles for timeless success

What are the principles of your success over time?

The European University Cyprus focuses on excellence, innovation, research, adaptability and connecting theory to the practical aspect and the strategy of the Economy of Knowledge. Our goal is to pass on to the new generation, the power of independent thinking, criticism, new practical and viable ideas that can be implemented and actually contribute and improve society, and by extension, the economy that makes up the social system.

At a time of crisis, both in institutions and principles, where austerity, pessimism and scandals are in the frontline and institutions are falling by the wayside, the European University Cyprus responds with growth, innovation and prospects. Αs a counter to challenges, we put forward a strategic vision and long term planning. I am convinced that the European University Cyprus has a unique comparative advantage, namely its 850 academics, researchers and administrative staff. They are characterised by professionalism, knowhow and passion, towards a model University.


State support

Does the state need to strengthen University research and utilise knowledge at these institutions?

I have to say that the state has stepped forward and offered support over the past few years. One example is the pandemic, where the state has actually listened and supported its actions on University knowledge. And I think that the results of that, at least in terms of the pandemic, indicate how this cooperation has actually helped the state and society.

This support could expand to other sectors too. There could be better coordination and effort in promoting Cyprus as a center of university education excellence. A previous effort had not been coordinated, it wasn’t strategic, it needed to be serious and include all private and public universities.

If Cyprus had been established as a quality education brand, we could have attracted quality professors and students.

To make this reality it takes hard work, strategic and long term planning in order to achieve other developed states in university education.

The University focuses on an academic model responding to the needs of the 4th industrial revolution and the new digital age

Major research and investment

University and research should be one and the same. What steps have you taken?

I would say that rapid steps have been taken over the past four years at the European University and this has been one of the major benefits of the Galileo investment and connection, taking research to another dimension. We have invested in research, provided major incentives to colleagues, created infrastructure, quadrupled publications in scientific magazines over the past few years and secured major European investment programmes.

There have been major steps over the past four years in the field of education.

We also keep upgrading our research centers, such as the Cerides Center for Excellence, which has expanded our prospects.

This research build up is a natural progression. There was an inequality between teaching and research that needed amending. We invest in research because we believe in research. It will also bring greater prestige to the University, better evaluation, more quality, more investments and research funds.

How important is the connection between the academic community with society and entrepreneurship?

A basic pillar of our strategy is connecting research and education with entrepreneurship effectively. Across Cyprus universities and research centers, the connection between knowledge bearers and the business community is quite restricted. Businesses should utilise scientific research to develop innovative products, methods and services.


6, Diogenous Str, 2404
Engomi, Nicosia

Nicosia, Cyprus


+357 22 713000