Cyprus secondary education begins at the age of 12 and can continue to the age of 18. However, it is only compulsory to stay in secondary school up to the age of 15.
Secondary education from age 12 to 15 (Lower secondary school) is known as Gymnasium, while schooling from age 15 to 18 (Upper secondary school) is known as Lyceum.
Cost of Secondary Education
All public school secondary education is provided by the state free of charge, but private school secondary education is not, and the cost of private education will vary depending on the chosen private school.
Independence of Private Schools
Private secondary schools maintain a considerable degree of independence in their operation and curricula. However, the majority of them are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture and comply with specific curriculum and facility requirements mandated by law.
Students at public Gymnasium are taught foreign languages of English and French. All students take written exams in June. Upon completion of Gymnasium level, a school leaving certificate is awarded.
Lyceum level is open to all pupils who have successfully completed the Gymnasium level.
If the student chooses to continue their education to the Lyceum level, they can choose between Unified Lyceum or Technical and Vocational Education (TVE).
At the Lyceum level students have more flexibility to form their own programs according to their aptitude and interests. Unified Lyceum students can select which 2 out of 7 languages they wish to study, those being; English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Turkish.
TVE Lyceum students choose from faculties in theoretical and practical streams of Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Civil engineering – Architecture, Design, Woodwork – Furniture manufacture, Artistic studies, Clothing, Hairdressing, Agronomy or Hotel and Catering services.
Private secondary schools that teach in English will offer education based on a modified English National Curriculum. Subjects offered will vary depending on the school, but as a guideline, they would include:
- Information Communication Technology
- Physical Education
- Religious Education
These courses prepare the student for the GCSE/IGCSE and O-Level examinations, and a school leaving certificate approved by the Ministry of Education, and recognized by universities worldwide.
Further Information on Secondary Education
Further information and contact details for pre-primary, primary, secondary and special education schools, can be found at the Ministry of Education and Culture website.
Alternatively, you can download the English Guide to Education in Cyprus provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture in pdf format (may be incompatible with mobile devices). Please note this is a significant file of 29 MB in size.