[MGSA-L] UCY secures €80m more for expansion

June Samaras june.samaras at gmail.com
Sun Dec 14 18:17:35 PST 2014

December 13, 2014


UCY secures €80m more for expansion

By Jean Christou

AM €80m loan signed yesterday with the European Investment Bank (EIB) was
the first step towards building a university for 10,000 students, 600
academics, 2,000 young researchers and 400 administrative personnel by
2020, University of Cyprus Rector Constantinos Christofides said.

“Why not dream of creating a university that will be a bridge for peace and
co-operation in a reunited Cyprus? Why not dream of establishing a centre
of cooperation between all the communities of Cyprus, all the students of
Cyprus? A place to meet, create, exchange ideas and help rebuild the island
we share; a place where scholars and scientists meet and break new ground,
across disciplines,” he said at the signing ceremony.

Christofides said education was the key to understanding and that after
independence in 1960, Cyprus did not create an educational system that
encouraged constructive dialogue and cultural exchanges between the
communities in a way that would have fostered shared values and a common

Now, the opportunity existed to create an education institution with a
strong reputation for academic excellence and pioneering research that
would bring together all the island’s creative forces.

Christofides said the EIB loan would be channelled to expand and develop
the university campus with more labs to encourage research and attract
young scholars, and an infrastructure to create a ‘green’ university that
will include energy-efficient buildings with renewable energy resources.

It would also substantially increase the number of students visiting the
University of Cyprus through the EU’s Erasmus and other student exchange
programmes, and to help UCY attract more foreign students.

“Education, culture and research can bring people together; through
structuring the ‘City of Knowledge’ we are confident we can create a
platform for constructive dialogue with all Cypriots and the rest of the
world,” said Christofides.

Finance minister Harris Georgiades also underlined the importance of the
agreement for the university and for society in general. “The
implementation of this project will have as an immediate result… new job
openings and a significant increase on the economic activity,” he said. It
was also an investment in the island’s human capital and its young people,
he added, and this is the “greatest investment a country can make”.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said hundreds of jobs would be created through
the UCY expansion and it would also enable more young Cypriots to remain on
the island to pursue their higher education. “It will also expand the
research facilities and the capacity of the university to attract and
retain high quality teaching staff,” he added.

The projects to be funded include the construction of new infrastructure on
the Athalassa campus including the Faculty of Engineering, the Department
of Biological Sciences, the Medical School, the second phase of the
students’ halls, the Apollo photovoltaic park, the Centre of Energy, as
well as the buildings for Humanitarian Studies and Philosophy, and the
Department of Architecture. The work will also include the renovation and
upgrading of existing, off-campus, facilities such as Shacolio educational
health centre.

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June Samaras
2020 Old Station Rd
Canada L5M 2V1
Tel : 905-542-1877
E-mail : june.samaras at gmail.com
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