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MPs probe impact of Brexit on education sector

March 7, 2019 at 4:01pm
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The House Education Committee is preparing a draft bill to safeguard ‘franchises’ of British Universities in Cyprus before Brexit on March 29.

The issue was discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the committee today during which MPs were briefed on the impact of Brexit on education issues and what should be done as regards existing agreements between Cypriot and UK educational institutions.

The committee will continue its discussion tomorrow.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said a series of draft bills have been prepared in the event of a no deal Brexit and these are currently at the Law Office of the Republic.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the plenary will have to hold an emergency meeting to adopt them.

There are currently some 10,500 Cypriot students at UK higher education institutions.

A representative from the University of Nicosia, which operates a branch of a British medical school, said that the number of students from Australia and the US was down by 24% because of the confusion over Brexit.

Committee chairman Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis said that the situation was very liquid not only for Cyprus and Cypriots but all countries given that the shape of Brexit was still pending.

As regards franchise universities, he said that about 5500 students were affected. “Our understanding is that we must act both as regards the transitional period and after, depending on the form of Brexit,” he said.

Parliament would move to safeguard these institutions through the accreditation council for tertiary educational institutions and minor amendments to the current law on tertiary education.

Asked about Cypriot students in the UK, he said that a number of issues remained open, for example as regards fees.