A new Eurydice report shows that while many European countries lag behind, Cyprus has made preventing students from dropping out a priority.
According to the ‘Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Access, Retention and Employability’ report released yesterday, Cyprus is one of a small number of countries that tries to decrease the number of students that fail repeatedly.
“With the objective of decreasing the number of students that fail to complete their studies within six years of studies.
“Italy, with a general open access policy but with limitations to some study fields, and Cyprus, which has open access in universities and limited access to the professional higher education sector also stipulate a need to reduce drop-outs and present this as one of their main higher education objectives,” the report said.
It found higher education institutions in several countries, including Cyprus, target students and try to implement processes helping them to finish studies successfully and thus avoid drop-out.
“Students in Cyprus who fail repeatedly are identified by the higher education institution and provided with further academic guidance,” the report said.
“It also noted the majority of education systems included in the study—from all EU Member States, with the exception of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway and Turkey--do not systematically measure drop-out rates.
However, Cyprus was amongst five countries, along with Belgium, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Austria, which may do so in ad-hoc cases and upon request.
In other notes on Cyprus, the report said it was amongst the few countries or regions within countries (Flemish Community of Belgium, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Sweden and Norway) where part-time students are not expected to pay higher fees for the same amount of study while remaining eligible for the same amount of support.
The report said Cyprus, through its Open University, was amongst the few European countries where higher education institutions provide degree programmes through distance learning and e-learning. These types of courses are rare across Europe, the report said.
“They currently exist only in a dozen of higher education systems, including Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.” The report pointed out that, in Cyprus, the Open University counted “among the key players in the system” after being founded in 2006 and since serving 4,300 students.