Disy MP Nicos Tornaritis says his party is in favour of making state universities more accessible to the graduates of local private schools.
Speaking after a meeting with the Cyprus Federation of Private School Parent and Guardian Associations yesterday, Tornaritis said modifying regulations could open the way for 18% of the pupils in Cyprus - the percentage currently attending private schools.
Currently, pupils in Cyprus enter state universities here and in Greece through joint school-leaving and university exams. Private school pupils usually graduate with the International Baccalaureate, A-Levels or other international accreditation and so would have to take the state entrance tests in addition to these exams.
Tornaritis said a change would be timely, given the current financial conditions forcing families to re-think their children's further studies options.
He also said it was a matter of treating all Cypriot students equally and suggested the Education Ministry, in cooperation with the University of Cyprus, immediately begin drawing up new regulations.
"The higher educational institutions of Cyprus cannot continue to produce the unemployed," Tornaritis also said, calling on students and their parents to be made more aware of studying opportunities based on the needs of the local economy.
Also speaking after the meeting yesterday, federation chairman Stella Kamitsi noted the House had in June 2009 voted in a law providing admission to 3% of the places offered at the University of Cyprus to candidates who had taken internationally-recognised exams other than the state schools leaving tests.
What remained now, she continued, was for the necessary regulations to be created and voted in to allow the change in law to be enforced.
She also offered up the solution of a number of additional places being created which candidates could compete for by taking exams based on the curriculum of their school. To ensure the process was fair, she said, the special exams could also be open to pupils of state schools.