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Vocational education and training in Cyprus: tell me more about it

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People in Cyprus are positive about vocational education and training (VET), but most are not attracted to it as a learning option. According to Cedefop’s survey about EU citizens’ opinions on VET for those aged 16-18, 67% of Cyprus respondents believe that VET has a positive image. Some 88% believe that it strengthens the economy and 81% that it helps reduce unemployment.

VET students in Cyprus are also, generally, more satisfied than participants in general education. Some 78% of upper-secondary VET participants said they were totally satisfied overall with the quality of teaching they received, the general and work-related skills they acquired and the equipment available; this compares with only 44% of general education participants (see Figure).

Source: Cedefop’s VET opinion survey.

Further, 94% of Cyprus respondents agree that VET students acquire skills needed by employers. VET in Cyprus is not seen as a dead end; 71% of respondents, well above the EU average of 54%, agree that it is easy to continue into higher education, including university, after upper secondary VET.

Despite these positive views, participation in upper secondary VET in Cyprus is low. According to Eurostat, only around 16% of upper secondary students follow VET; the EU figure is around 47%. In Cyprus, 83% of Cedefop’s survey respondents agree that general education has a more positive image than VET. Some 79% think that young people with low grades are directed towards VET; 63% believe that VET qualifications are easier to obtain. VET is linked with manual work by 65% of respondents but, despite this connection, 62% believe that it always or often takes place in higher education such as university.

The survey findings imply that, in Cyprus, VET at upper secondary level, although seen as being of high quality, suffers from a negative bias compared to general education. The survey suggests that part of this bias may be due to misunderstandings about VET as not enough people in Cyprus know about it. While 7 in 10 European citizens had heard about and know what VET is before the survey interview, the figure in Cyprus was less than half (46%).

The general opinion in Cyprus is that VET supports the economy, provides skills in demand and helps young people into work. In a changing labour market, upper secondary VET may provide a suitable path to a job for many more 16-18 year olds. More and better information about VET for young people thinking about their education may encourage more of them to choose it.

Notes

  • More in Cedefop opinion survey on vocational education and training in Europe: Cyprus (in English only)
  • Cedefop’s opinion survey, published in 2017, provides new insights into what Europeans think of vocational education and training (VET), its ability to give people the right skills and to help VET graduates to find a job. The survey aims to inform policies to make VET a more attractive and effective learning option. It was conducted in June 2016 and examined EU citizens’ awareness and opinions on VET’s attractiveness and effectiveness, and personal experiences of VET at upper secondary level (typically age 16 to 18). The survey comprised more than 35 000 interviews of a representative sample of Europeans across all EU Member States.
  • Watch a new Cedefop video on Finland’s VET system published on the occasion of the current Finnish EU Presidency.