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Latest QS World University Rankings put Cyprus first in its region with the highest number of ranked institutions per 1m population

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Cyprus has singled out as having the most universities in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia region ranked by the QS World University Rankings for its size of population, according to newly published figures.

Regional university rankings by the think-tank Quacquarelli Symonds, the compiler of the influential QS World University Rankings, show how universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia (EECA) are performing.

Although universities in the area are often overlooked in favour of those in America, the UK and in eastern Europe, four universities in Cyprus appear in the rankings, the largest number of ranked institutions per 1 million population.

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When ranking the universities, QS considers ten indicators: academic reputation (30%) and employer reputation (20%), faculty-student ratio (10%), papers per faculty (10%), citations per paper (5%), international faculty and international students (2.5% each), academic staff with a PhD (5%), web impact (10%) and international research network (10%).

The 2021 report, published on December 16, examined more than 3,300 universities in the EECA region, ranking over 400. 124 were in the EU countries, 121 in Russia, 106 in non-EU countries in Eastern Europe and 48 in Caucasus and Central Asia. Two universities in Cyprus made it into the top 300 overall for the first time.

The University of Cyprus (UCY) is ranked 55th in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Emerging Europe and Central Asia, with the Cyprus University of Technology at 110, the University of Nicosia at 126 and the European University Cyprus ranked at 201. The top universities in EECA are the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia, the University of Tartu, in Estonia, and Saint Petersburg University, also in Russia.

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In the QS World University Rankings published in June, UCY was comfortably among the world’s top 500 universities, ranked at 477.

George Campanellas, Chief Executive of Invest Cyprus, said: “Cyprus has a long history of providing outstanding higher education, and attracts tens of thousands of international students each year.  It is very encouraging that the latest QS World University Rankings by Region also reflect the increasing reputation of universities in the region among employers.

“The main higher education policy objectives in Cyprus are focused on establishing Cyprus as a regional hub for education and research, and we have an abundance of highly educated and skilled individuals, ready to serve the needs of any business.”

Earlier this year, Cyprus was named as having the most higher education graduates per head of population in the EU, with more than 58.2% of people aged 30-34 having higher education qualifications.

The QS World University Rankings by Region 2021 can be found here.

Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

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The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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Commission approves €1 billion Cypriot scheme to support enterprises and self-employed individuals in context of coronavirus outbreak

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The European Commission has approved a €1 billion Cypriot scheme to support enterprises and self-employed individuals in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The support will take the form of state guarantees on new loans. The measure will be open to companies active in all sectors (except the financial sector). The aim of the scheme is to provide liquidity for viable companies which experienced business disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Commission found that the Cypriot measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the scheme (i) relates to new loans with a minimum maturity of three months and a maximum maturity of six years; (ii) foresees a  coverage of the guarantee limited to 70% of the loan principal; (iii) provides for minimum remuneration of the guarantee; (iv) contains adequate safeguards to ensure that the aid is channelled effectively by the financial intermediaries to the  beneficiaries in need; and (v) ensures that support will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU state aid rules.

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Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager (pictured), in charge of competition policy, said: “This €1bn scheme will enable Cyprus to support companies and self-employed persons affected by the coronavirus pandemic through the provision of state guarantees on loans. The scheme will help these companies address the liquidity shortages they face due to the ongoing crisis. We will keep working together with member states to find the best solutions to support companies during these difficult times, in line with EU rules.”

A press release is available online.

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Croatia

Commission welcomes next step on the approval of the recovery and resilience plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia

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The European Commission has welcomed the positive exchange of views on the Council implementing decisions on the approval of national recovery and resilience plans for Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia held on 26 July, at the informal videoconference of EU Economy and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN). These plans set out the measures that will be supported by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU, which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across the EU. The Council implementing decisions will be formally adopted by written procedure shortly.

This formal adoption will pave the way for the payment of up to 13% of the total allocated amount for each of these member states in pre-financing. The Commission aims to disburse the first pre-financing as quickly as possible, following the signing of the bilateral financing agreements and, where relevant, loan agreements. The Commission will then authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in each of the Council Implementing Decisions, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms covered in the plans.

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