Open University of Cyprus (OUC) is a public university, and the country’s only university devoted entirely to open and distance education and lifelong learning. It offers multi-disciplinary, career-oriented and accredited undergraduate and postgraduate (Master & PhD) programmes in both “classical” and “cutting-edge” scientific areas. OUC aims to offer knowledge and skills of high academic standards, and provide every student with a first-class, inspiring learning experience based on its flexible educational methodology, supported by the very latest technology applications and a variety of eLearning tools.
OUC’s philosophy is simple: there is no “one size fits all” approach to higher education. Open University of Cyprus places students at the heart of education, and responds to their diverse needs, allowing them to study in their own time, place and pace, breaking down the rigid barriers of traditional education. Specifically, OUC a) provides cutting-edge knowledge and employment-ready skills of high calibre, b) stimulates personalized, active learning, supported by quality teaching from highly experienced and trained academic staff, and c) leads students to become specialists in their chosen field, regardless of their age, time availability, residence or life circumstances, and fulfil their personal or professional aspirations.
With approximately 4,000 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year, 25 programmes of study and about 6,600 alumni since 2006 (enrolment of its first students), Open University of Cyprus is developing into a leading institution in promoting open and distance education. As a research institution, OUC boasts a significant number of research units and centers, which operate within the university with national and European funding.
Open University of Cyprus is committed to opening up education to all, and strives for an outstanding, challenging and transformative teaching and learning experience of high academic standards and unrivalled links with the business world and society.
Studies at OUC
Organized by its three Faculties, namely Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences and Faculty of Economics and Management, Open University of Cyprus offers a wide range of multi-disciplinary and popular undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
For the academic year 2019-2020, OUC offers four (4) Undergraduate and 21 Masters programmes, as well as Ph.D positions in its faculty’s areas of expertise.
OUC Programmes focus in the following areas:
- cultural policy & development, Hellenic culture, theatre studies·
- communications & new journalism·
- educational sciences, adult education & lifelong learning·
- literature & linguistics·
- healthcare management, policy & administration, health informatics·
- business administration, economics, banking & finance, risk management·
- environmental studies, energy systems·
- information & communication technologies, social information systems, artificial intelligence, telecommunications·
- European law, police studies.
The following five (5) Masters are offered in English:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Cognitive Systems (jointly degree with University of Cyprus)
- Enterprise Risk Management (jointly degree with Hellenic Open University)
- Sustainable Energy Systems (joint degree with Frederick University)
- Adult Education for Social Change (Erasmus Mundus International Master)
For the upcoming academic year, OUC is planning to offer five (5) new postgraduate programmes, which currently are under evaluation for accreditation by the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education.
In addition to programmes of study, OUC, aiming to promote lifelong learning and vocational training, offers distance learning training programmes of short duration and lifelong learning Thematic Units, designed to meet participants educational and/or professional needs.
Distance education differs from conventional classroom-based education, mainly because it allows students to complete their studies without physically attending to scheduled lectures. OUC students are only required to attend in person the University’s examination centres in Cyprus and Greece or –under certain conditions– in third countries, to undertake their final written exams.
The main educational tool is the OUC’s eLearning Platform – eClass – that supports the educational process at all its phases and facilitates online teaching and learning, allowing the establishment of virtual classrooms.
Despite being “distance” in essence, learning experience at OUC is complemented by academics-students group tutorials and lectures. Those are scheduled throughout the academic semester, and while not mandatory, they play a key supporting role in educational processes. More precisely, eClass supports live lectures and lecture capture for students’ offline viewing of all tutorials. Self-assessment exercises provided on eClass, allow students to test their knowledge and understanding, and progress or seek additional academic support. In a true collaborative environment, eClass also supports live interaction and direct contact with academics, peers and fellow students. The synchronous collaboration (virtual classrooms, live streaming) and asynchronous (forums, instant messaging) communication tools are fully utilised by experienced and dedicated academic staff, offering effective and interactive academic support, guidance and advice.
Concisely, students use eClass to:
- access their course materials, which are multi-format (book chapters, e-books, journal articles, videos, podcasts, etc).
- organize their study calendars.
- communicate with their tutors and fellow students.
- submit their formative assignments and course work.
- receive feedback on their progress.
Aspiring to constantly improve OUC students’ learning experience by incorporating cutting-edge technologies in the educational process, some programmes of study, in particular those of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, use 3D virtual labs simulations that students use to put to practice the knowledge they have acquired. This adoption of state-of-the-art educational methods has led to the Gold Award for ‘Best Learning Experience’ at the 2019 Cyprus Education Leaders Awards. The OUC won this award for a natural environment simulation application, which uses gamification and Internet of Things elements in distance learning, allowing the enhancement of students’ interaction and participation in the learning process.
Research at OUC is wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, and focuses on the advancement and transfer of knowledge through the creative output of its faculty and researchers. The University develops strong and effective partnerships with foreign research teams, which provide opportunities for international collaboration and active involvement in multidisciplinary projects, covering emerging developments in various fields. Research activities are funded by various national, European and international programmes, such as Horizon2020, Erasmus+, LIFE+ and Interreg.
In addition, OUC’s six (6) Research Labs – Chemical Engineering & Engineering Sustainability Lab, Computational Cognition Lab, Cybersecurity and Telecommunications Lab, Educational Technology Lab, Terrestrial Ecosystems Management Lab, and Cyprus Center for Algorithmic Transparency – support collaborative research and engage faculty and students from across the University and with partner research centers.
Open University of Cyprus has taken a holistic approach to internationalisation through a range of measures, including: a) forging strategic international alliances with universities, research centres and public & private institutions, b) participating in European and international educational and research programmes and offering joint degrees, c) promoting transnational delivery of degrees via open and distance education, fostering an international dimension of curricula, and d) supporting mobility of its students and staff.
Why choose Open University of Cyprus
- For the opportunity to study in a European public university, devoted to open and distance education.
- For its affordable, high quality undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which meet the needs of the business world, upskill graduates and enable students to fulfil their personal and professional aspirations.
- For its flexibility, which allows students to adjust their studies to fit in with job, family and other personal commitments.
- For its modern educational methodology and its integrated & user-friendly eLearning Platform supporting real-time and asynchronous tutors-students interaction, combined with multi-format educational material.
- For the academic support provided by experienced and influential staff (faculty and adjunct tutors, all PhD holders), making effective use of OUC’s eLearning tools and methods.
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