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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Cyprus University of Technology, based in the southern coastal town of Limassol, was inaugurated by President of the Republic of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, during an official opening ceremony, thus marking a new academic era in the country.

    In his speech during the opening ceremony in Limassol, President Papadopoulos noted that Cyprus is one of the five countries worldwide with the highest percentage of university degree holders in proportion to its population.

    The government and the people of Cyprus welcome the official opening of the third state University in our country. What remains now, is to proceed to the next necessary step, which is to upgrade our academic studies and degrees with the ultimate goal of excellence», the President underlined.

    According to its website, the Cyprus University of Technology aspires to become a modern and pioneering University capable of offering high level training and research in popular fields, which today offer great economic, technical, and scientific output. The first stage of the new University will last five to six years and the second stage provides for the construction of new premises throughout Limassol which will gradually be handed over to the University.

    In his speech, President Papadopoulos noted that education and cultural development are among the highest priorities of the government and added that the state budget for 2008 provides for more than 554 million Cyprus pounds to be spent for the Ministry of Education and Culture.

    One of our main goals in the field of education and culture is the development of academic education and quality education for Cypriot as well as foreign students. We also aspire to promote life learning, skill learning, innovation and research, he added.

    Furthermore, the President said that the new University in Limassol will contribute to creating added infrastructure projects in the city center, such as parking areas, pedestrian precincts, public transportation and bicycle routes, which will upgrade the city.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Education and Culture Akis Cleanthous referred to the Universitys faculties.

    He said that five faculties are operating in the new University, namely Geotechnical Sciences and Environmental Management, Economics and Management, Applied Arts and Communications, Engineering and Technology and Health Sciences.

    These five faculties are divided into eight departments one of which includes 200 students who are studying in the Nursing School which is based in Nicosia. The remaining 250 students will be studying in Limassol in the other seven departments.

    The Minister added that the Cyprus University of Technology is part of the overall government plan to reform and improve its educational system.

    Chairman of the Interim Governing Board, Professor Andreas Demetriou said that this University, along with the University of Cyprus and the Open University of Cyprus, together with the other Universities that will be established in the future, will further enhance the society of Cyprus, but also Cyprus as a state.

    The Cyprus University of Technology also changes one of the most important towns of Cyprus, Limassol, which now becomes a university town. The University will change Limassols scientific, academic, cultural, social and economic areas, since these fields will interact, day by day, with our University, he noted.

    The opening ceremony was also addressed by EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik.

    In a televised message, Potocnik noted the importance of the new Cyprus University in Limassol and expressed certainty that the university would offer new opportunities for education to the wider area of the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Limassol Mayor, Andreas Christou, says hosting the Cyprus University of Technology is a great honor for the town of Limassol.

    No other event united our city as much as the idea of this University. Our citizens have welcomed the opening of the University in our town and have set it as their priority. It was a matter of prestige, the Mayor said.

    The opening ceremony ended with the official hymn of the Cyprus University of Technology.


    The Third European Ecumenical Assembly, currently underway in Romania, is set to debate a petition on the situation in Cyprus, as the only European country with European citizens who are war refugees and occupation forces on its territory. A Church of Cyprus delegation is participating in the meeting, attended by more than two thousand delegates, which brings together Christian leaders from across Europe and its central theme is The light of Christ enlightens everybody! Hope for renewal and unity in Europe. The Cypriot participants will have the right to vote in the joint decisions the Assembly will take.

    The petition, put forward for discussion at the forum dealing with refugee issues in Europe, notes that Turkey invaded Cyprus in July 1974 in violation of the UN Charter and as a result approximately 40 per cent of the total territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish occupation and about 40 per cent of the Greek Cypriots were displaced. That Turkey committed atrocities in the course of its invasion is not surprising at all in view of its record in the Balkans, Syria, Armenia and in Anatolia and its long standing policies of population expulsion and transfer and of discrimination against non Turkish ethnic groups, the petition says.


    The office automation system, applied in Cyprus for the past several years, has been awarded the FileNet EMEAN Innovation Award, in addition to the Cyprus Innovation Prize, given by the Employers and Industrialists Federation. The system, as Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has told a press conference, has been operating at the ministries of finance and foreign affairs, the House of Representatives, the Central Information Service, the state archives, the Public Administration and Personnel Department and other government agencies and departments.

    The objective is to have the system operate in the entire public service. This is one of the most important infrastructure projects to put into effect electronic governance and it should reduce bureaucracy and improve services, thus offering better service to the public, Sarris said.

    He also said that Cyprus, in specific electronic services, ranks very high in the overall position among European Union members. The estimated cost of applying the system is two million Cyprus pounds.


    The Republic of Cyprus, through its agency, CYPRUSAID, and in cooperation with the UN-HABITAT organisation, has agreed to provide 684,000 US dollars as part of the post conflict reconstruction programme in Lebanon. According to the Planning Bureau, the assistance will be given in two installments and will be used mainly to strengthen the administrative structure of the local authorities in South Lebanon and for infrastructure projects, following the Israeli attacks against Lebanon in July 2006.

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