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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ No agreement on GCE university places ]

No agreement on GCE university places

THE COUNCIL of primary, secondary and higher education has failed to reach an agreement on the Ministry of Education’s proposal to accept students at state universities based on their international examination results.

The proposal provides that 3.0 per cent of positions should be assigned to students based on their GCE and other international qualifications, sparking a strong reaction by state teachers’ organisations which insist that entrance to state universities should depend exclusively on the national curriculum entrance exams.

Cyprus’ two state universities, however, continue to support the Ministry’s proposal. The University of Cyprus and TEPAK initially asked for 7.0 per cent of positions to be assigned for students with international qualifications, but as a show of good will accepted the Ministry’s proposal for 3.0 per cent.

“Our initial position was for 7.0 per cent of students to be accepted based on their GCEs, but we accepted to go down to 3.0 per cent. We expected the other stakeholders to also display the willingness to be flexible. We cannot have dialogue when one side stays firm in its position and refuses to fledge. We want this discussion to end and a solution to be found, as the application period has started and we want to start accepting students based on their international examination qualifications,” Vassilis Protopapas, Director of Studies and Current Affairs Department, TEPAK told the Cyprus Mail.

The dialogue on the issue has been going on for a year and a half, but is still in deadlock due to the refusal of teachers’ organisations to allow the proposal to go through. The last meeting which took place on Tuesday ended without any agreement being reached and the issue is scheduled to be discussed at the House Education Committee after the Easter holidays.

The Ministry aims for a consensus to be reached as soon as possible so that the proposal is taken to the Council of Ministers for approval and to parliament for ratification. The initial aim was for the new system to be applied in the next academic year.

“The Ministry of Education’s proposal is consensual and based on the view that both sides must make compromises. The proposal also provides for the passing of a regulation at Parliament for all the ‘special categories’ of candidates, which ensures that once we decide on the system to follow we will not get further changes easily,’ Protopapas said.

In addition to the 3.0 per cent assigned to students with international qualifications, the proposal provides for the entrance conditions for other ‘special categories’ of students. These categories include: 5.0 per cent to Cypriot students from disadvantaged families such as those with financial needs or orphans, 4.0 per cent to Cypriot students with serious health problems and other problems, and 3.0 per cent to Cypriot minority students, mature students and individuals with international achievements.










(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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