There will be repercussions for Cyprus universities that maintain collaborations with universities in Ukraine and it will certainly take some time for things to go back to normal, according to the Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), Professor Panayiotis Zaphiris, who is also the president of the Rector’s Council.
Asked if the war in Ukraine is affecting Cyprus universities, the rector told CNA that surely the war is affecting Cyprus universities as long as there are Ukrainian students in our universities or have origins from areas affected or family in the war-torn areas. These students, he added, need our support.
There are also Cypriot students studying in Ukraine and we must find ways for them to continue their studies, he added.
He also said student mobility and exchanges through Erasmus+ are also affected.
As far as universities that have research and other collaborations with Ukraine and Russia, surely there will be repercussions due to the crisis and it may take enough time for normality to return. These are very difficult times and we express our support to the academic and research community of Ukraine and hope that soon they will return to conditions of normality and security, he noted.
Asked what are the goals of the new Rectors` Council, Zaphiris said that “over time the vision for which we are all working, not only the new Council, is the transformation of Cyprus into a regional centre of academic education and research.”
The international orientation, he added, is implemented by attracting foreign students and researchers, offering attractive programmes of study in cutting-edge subjects as well as through their participation in European and international networks to enhance collaborations and synergies at academic, educational and research level.
Certainly, he said, there are challenges with the continued changes due to the pandemic. During 2020-2021 we saw the need for adaptability and flexibility on the part of academic institutions to continue fulfilling their mission in new conditions.
Regarding Cypriot universities, he said the most fundamental challenge is the current legislative framework that needs to be updated the soonest.
Zaphiris also said that one of the main aims of the Council is to promote the quality of research.
Regarding the educational part, Zaphiris said that Cypriot universities continued to operate based on academic excellence, quality, with respect to the state health protocols.
“The situation has helped to highlight the crucial role of scientific research in offering practical solutions in resolving modern challenges, like in the case of the pandemic,” he said and praised universities in Cyprus for the contribution of their scientific community and the trust shown by the State in the results of the research and in the scientific opinion for decision-making.
Responding to their social mission, all the academic institutions of our country managed to complement the efforts of the state to handle the repercussions from the pandemic, he added.