Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
France and Cyprus have been linked by a cultural agreement since 1969. The cultural network is composed of a cultural centre in Nicosia, two Alliances françaises in Limassol and Paphos, an educational institution, which will develop a new Franco-Cypriot curriculum through the baccalaureate, and a cultural association in the northern part of the island.
Our cooperation priorities are based on several areas:
University cooperation: Nearly half of Cyprus’ students are abroad. With 350 Cypriot students in France, France is the fourth-leading host country (third Erasmus country). The appeal of studying in France is promoted and reinforced by the participation of French Universities in the “Student Trade Show” in Nicosia, and the Bureau des Etudes in France. In addition, the Embassy supports putting French universities in contact with the University of Cyprus to increase the signing of agreements on student and teacher exchanges. Similarly, the political desire of former President Papadopoulos to join the OIF and to encourage the best students by means of scholarships to study in France created a very favourable context for strengthening our cooperation. A Franco-Cypriot agreement was signed on 9 February 2005 between Cyprus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNOUS to manage a fund for 12 merit scholarships per year (for three years), financed entirely by the government of Cyprus. In 2007-2008, 36 students benefited from this fund. Finally, after the Arthur Rimbaud French School (in 2008-2009, it had 148 students, 27 of whom were in preschool, 55 in elementary school, 45 in junior high school 29 in high school (CNED). Of these students, 67.5% were French, 12.8% were Cypriots and 19.7% were third country nationals), the French and Cypriot governments are considering the creation of a trilingual Franco-Cypriot educational institution. This project aims to welcome between 300 and 360 students from nursery school through the final year of secondary school. It is scheduled to open for the 2010 school year.
Scientific cooperation: public support for Cyprus’ research and technological development is very recent. Cyprus’ RD expenditure accounts for less than 0.5% of the GDP, 2/3 of which come from the public sector. Research is carried out primarily at the University of Cyprus and the Higher Technical Institute.
Chypre welcomed the Hubert Curien “Zenon” Partnership, set up by France in February 2004, and plays a sustantial financial role in it. This programme, which enables the financing of the mobility of young researchers and the diversification of Cypriot scientific exchanges, is the main aspect of our scientific cooperation.
Linguistic cooperation: French is second, with 54,000 French learners in Cyprus’ school system. The opening of bilingual French sections is also being considered. In addition, a “Memorandum on the implementation of a multi-year French training plan in the Cyprus government” was signed on 2 March 2007 between the OIF, Cyprus, France, the French community of Belgium and Luxembourg. Approximately 200 Cypriot civil servants responsible for community issues are being trained progressively to use French.
Cultural cooperation: The Centre Culturel et de Coopération Linguistique (CCCL, linguistic cooperation and cultural centre) of Nicosia is the Post’s main operator of cultural and artistic actions, in close partnership with local institutions. The Alliances françaises (AF) in Limassol and Paphos are dynamic relays of the cultural activities of the CCCL of Nicosia.
Our cultural and linguistic actions are also growing with the Turkish Cypriot community (French technical assistant).
Updated on 29.03.10
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