Description of the VET System in Cyprus
In Cyprus, the Ministry of Education and Culture, MoEC (Ypourgeio Paideias kai Politismou, YPP) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, MLSI (Ypourgeio Ergasias kai Koinonikon Asfaliseon, YEKA) are among the main bodies responsible for VET. The responsibilities of the Ministry of Education and Culture refer to the development and implementation of educational policy whilst those of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance relate to the apprenticeship system. Other ministries and bodies also play a role including the following:
- The Planning Bureau, PB (Grafeio Programmatismou, GP), whose main responsibilities relate to policy-making;
- The Human Resource Development Authority, HRDA, (Archi Anaptyxis Anthropinou Dynamikou, AnAD), which is a semi-governmental organisation that refers to the Government through the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance.
The main laws regulating the provision of VET in Cyprus can be summarised in several categories as follows:
- Those relating to secondary education pre-primary, primary, secondary general and secondary technical and vocational institutions are Nos: 5/71, 56/83, 123/85 and 154 (I)/99.
- Those relating to the establishment of post-secondary institutes of vocational education and training (Metalykeiaka Institouta Epaggelmatikis Ekpaidefsis kai Katartisis) as of the academic year 2012-13.
- Those relating to higher education include Law 67 (I) 1997, Law 234 (?)/2002 relating to the establishment of the Open University, Law No 198 (?)/2003 to creation of the Technological University of Cyprus and law No 109 (I)/2005 to the formation of the Council for Educational Assessment and Accreditation for overseeing quality and the establishment of private universities.
- The establishment of various VET entities such as:
- the Cyprus Productivity Centre, CPC (Kentro Paragogikotitas Kyprou, KEPA to provide initial and continuing technical and vocational training to adults
- the creation of Cyprus Academy of Public Administration, CAPA (Kypriaki Akademia Demosias Dioikisis, KADD), to offer courses for civil servants
- the Pedagogical Institute, PI (Pedagogiko Instituto, PI) to provide training to educators of all levels of education.
In terms, of its policy, the current measures relating to the VET system are set in the context of the National Reform Programme of Cyprus on EU2020 . This programme follows on from the previous National Reform Programmes, the country’s Strategic Development Plan 2007-2013 , as well as other strategies such as the National Productivity Strategy and the Lifelong Learning Strategy, CyLLS (Ethniki Stratigiki dia Viou Mathisis) for 2007-13.
The major challenges of the education system, as outlined in the National Reform Programme of Cyprus on EU2020, is to further encourage the participation in lifelong learning activities and to increase the participation in vocational education and training. The main actions designed to achieve the objectives of the strategies mentioned above, include enhancement of lifelong guidance and counselling services, development of a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and promotion of actions outlined in the education reform (ekpaideftiki metarithmisi) that have a specific impact on VET such as creating new VET pathways and facilitating horizontal and vertical movement within education.
In Cyprus, Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) includes Upper Secondary Technical and Vocational Education, STVE (Defterovathmia Techniki kai Epangelmatiki Ekpaidefsi, DTEE), the Apprenticeship System (Systima Mathiteias, SM), the Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training, the initial training programmes subsidised by the Human Resource Development Authority and the public institutions of tertiary education. Thus, IVET begins at the upper secondary school level and at this point students have the option to choose technical and vocational schools (technikes kai epangelmatikes scholes).
STVE is offered as a three year programme with practical and theoretical variants, leading to the Secondary School Leaving Certificate.
The apprenticeship system is directed at young people (between 14-25) who left the education system early and is provided as a two year programme that includes time spent in industry. The Apprenticeship System will be gradually replaced by the New Modern Apprenticeship, which started to operate in October 2012 and aims to improve basic skills and address youth unemployment by providing an alternative pathway for the education, training and development of young people between 14 and 21 years of age who withdraw from the formal education system at two apprenticeship levels (preparatory and core).
The Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training, which started operating in November 2012, offer learners, free of charge, courses at post secondary level, an intermediate level between upper secondary and tertiary education. Both these initiatives are co-financed by the ESF (85%) and the Cyprus government (15%).
The specific schemes implemented by the HRDA include: Building of Employment Pathways for Young People; Schemes co-financed by the ESF (for the Improvement of the Employability of the Unemployed and of Inactive Women) and Programmes for the Reinforcement of Female and Youth Entrepreneurship . At tertiary level, there are four public institutes/colleges that provide training.
In Cyprus, CVET is offered by a number of different actors of public and private nature. The Human Resource Development Authority, HRDA (Archi Anaptyxis Anthropinou Dynamikou, AnAD) plays a significant role in this area, by encouraging and strengthening public and private provision through the approval and subsidisation of training activities.
In addition to private colleges and training institutions and enterprises, CVET is provided through 40 state institutions for further education, evening technical schools, adult education centres and the Pedagogical Institute, PI (Paidagogiko Institouto) under the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC), tertiary level education under the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance,MLSI (Ypourgeio Ergasias kai Koinonikon Asfaliseon, YEKA) such as the CPC and the Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus, HHIC (Anotero Xenodocheiako Institouto Kyprou, AXIK). There are also single and multi-company programmes subsidised by the HRDA and schemes to support training in enterprises.
From information gathered in the VET in Europe Cyprus report provided by the Human Resource Development Authority, the National Coordinator of the Cyprus ReferNet Consortium , it is evident that quality assurance practice in Cyprus uses inspection as a monitoring method in most cases. For example, these inspections are carried out in Technical Schools, in the apprenticeship system, and in the HRDA’s process of monitoring in addition to quality assessment at program approval stage and subsidy payment.
At the tertiary level a number of measures have been put in place including the Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation (SEKAP), the Evaluation Committee for Private Universities, and the National Quality Assurance Agency.
Quality is being continually addressed in the current education reform process. An example of this was the review of the STVE curricula and the setting up of a comprehensive system for evaluating the HRDA´s impact on the Cyprus economy. Cyprus has also developed a national system for the assessment and certification of training providers, which aims to contribute to the improvement of the quality and the effectiveness of vocational training provided in Cyprus. The system was developed by the HRDA and it addresses all training providers in Cyprus, i.e. Vocational Training Centres (Kentra Epangelmatikis Katartisis, KEK), Vocational Training Structures (Domes Epangelmatikis Katartisis, DEK) and Trainers of Vocational Training (Ekpaideftes Epangelmatikis Katartisis, EEK).
Furthermore, HRDA is responsible for the establishment and implementation of a competence based System of Vocational Qualifications, which will constitute an integral part of a future National Qualifications Framework. The Vocational Qualifications System is designed for the assessment and certification of the competence of a person to carry out a specific job in real or/and accepted simulated working conditions. At the same time, the Standards of Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) define the framework for the training and development of a person to reach the appropriate competence level.
Cyprus participates in the EQAVET Network and promotes through the National Reference Point various activities at national level, including support to the implementation of the EQAVET recommendation and provision of information to national stakeholders.
The following PDF attachment summarises evidence identified that relates any indicators used at national level to the ten indicators proposed in the EQAVET recommendation: Cyprus indicators
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