In late-February, the British Council Cyprus organised a high-level delegation from the UK HE sector to visit Cyprus to discuss concerns around bilateral collaboration post-Brexit. A major issue that the visit brought to light was the risk posed to TNE collaboration with UK institutions in relation to a law that allows franchise collaboration between EU member state institutions. The concern centred on the possibility that, if the UK were to leave the EU in a no-deal scenario, its institutions would not be covered by this agreement.
Following the lobbying of key Cypriot contacts during and immediately after the visit, we were able to highlight the imminent risk inherent in this situation. Within a matter of a couple of weeks following the February visit, an amendment was passed in the Cypriot parliament covering franchise collaboration with UK institutions specifically, removing the risk and paving the way for closer and broader collaboration between the UK and Cyprus HE sectors going forward. Cyprus currently ranks fourth among EU countries in terms of the number of TNE students it has registered on UK programmes, and judging by the positive discussions during February’s visit this will likely grow in the future.