Situated in the capital Nicosia, the University of Cyprus (UCY) is a public academic institution that has been admitting students since 1992. Besides the high-quality education they receive, students enrolled at UCY can enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, breathtaking beaches and delicious cuisine.
Making the most of this stunning location are about 7,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, including a growing number of international learners. In fact, the number of international students –from both EU and non-EU countries – at higher education institutions across Cyprus has been increasing in the past few years. Located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, Cyprus is well placed to attract learners from all over the world.
Despite the advantages offered by the UCY, enrolling remains an intimidating task for international students. The Times Higher Education Chat to Students function, designed in partnership with The Ambassador Platform, provides a valuable resource for prospective students. It allows universities to reach and engage with their target audiences through student-generated content, build authentic connections and supercharge recruitment.
Ambassadors such as Owolabi Emmanuel Sokefun, one of UCY’s biomedical sciences PhD students, play an important role in engaging with prospective students. “Some of the most common questions I get asked on the platform are about admission requirements at the university,” Owolabi says. “I also receive questions about travel and the logistical realities of travelling from the students’ home countries to Cyprus.”
One aspect of this reality involves the immigration documents required to study in the country. “I always advise students to get all their documents ready as early as possible because these will be essential wherever they decide to study, whether it’s at UCY or elsewhere.”
As well as providing advice regarding enrolment at the university, Owolabi shares insights on higher education in Cyprus more generally. “Cyprus is not like the US or the UK, where there is an abundance of scholarships for students to apply for,” Owolabi admits. “Anyone from abroad that wants to study in Cyprus needs to have thought carefully about their financial situation. How will they fund their time at university?”
Owolabi has found that being able to speak to people from a similar background has been one of the platform’s most useful features. “When I was looking to apply to UCY, I wanted to speak to a fellow Nigerian who could relate to my questions,” Owolabi says. “This proved difficult, since there are not many Nigerian students studying at UCY. I’m pleased that I can now help prospective students by conveying to them what life is like as a Nigerian student at the university.”
Times Higher Education’s Chat to Students function gives prospects the opportunity to speak with current international students about topics such as finance, travel and culture