North Cyprus education is compulsory and is free from the Cyprus government from the ages of 5 -17 years. Many foreigners in Cyprus prefer to send their children to one of the many private schools in North Cyprus, which cater for all ages, from Nursery to Pre School taking you up to University.

 North Cyprus Education

Educational system is divided into two sections:
– Government based schools and colleges
– Private fee-paying schools and colleges

 Government schools and colleges 

The Government schools and colleges operate predominantly in the Turkish language, English language is taught as a second language and there is also the option of German or French. After the entrance examination at the age of eleven, selected students are attending one of four “Marif Kolegi” secondary schools, where the language of the class is English. Expatriate children can enter without examination on condition that they have been living on the island for no more than two years. In comparison the private sector uses English or Turkish as a medium of instruction. A third option is one of the modern foreign languages.

Government schools and colleges are run in accordance with a curriculum ordered by the Ministry of Education and embrace children aged 5 to 17. A significant component of education is Turkish and Cypriot history. Progress through stages such as kindergarten, primary, middle school, and senior high school is regarded as a great milestone and are celebrated with Government certificates, speeches and ceremony.

 Private schools and college

Private schools and colleges operate with fees and usually charge between $1,500 and $2,500 per academic year, depending on the age of the student and the establishment itself. Even they are considered “private” institutions, they are monitored and approved by the Ministry of Education and must follow the principles relating to the basic curriculum, assessment, disciplinary issues and standards of teachers and teaching. 

As the private schools provide longer hours and terms, they are able to extend the curriculum and some follow the UK Key Stages, IGCSE, and a limited number of AS levels, The Cambridge Young Learners Scheme, SATs and TEFOL. An important part of the curriculum is Information Technology. All students are also expected to learn Turkish. Extra-curricular activities are a hallmark of the private school system with the emphasis on the natural gifts of children who are encouraged to build their confidence in dancing, music, sport, and other types of performance. 

School uniforms are worn by every student in North Cyprus. The day in Government schools and colleges normally starts at around 8.30 a.m. and finishes at lunchtime for three days a week, and at around 3.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on other days. In private schools the day usually finishes at around 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Schools and colleges normally break for the summer holiday starting in the middle of June and lasting until early September. Private colleges often provide summer schools and organize a wide choice of activities and trips. 


The number of universities in North Cyprus is ever increasing as more and more institutions emerge. North Cyprus has been discovered to be one of the prime destinations for higher education institutions because the North Cyprus government subsidizes education-related activities. In 2018 already more than 80.000 students are on the Mediterranean Sea Island.

In large parts, those students come from an international background e.g. from African and Asian countries like Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Pakistan to name just a few.

Universities in North Cyprus are offering Bachelors, Masters, PhDs and also summer schools. All of those degrees are internationally accountable and can be used to pursue further education paths.

Accommodation is offered On-Campus by most Universities but can also be pursued Off-Campus if desired.


A wide range of kindergardens and creches provide pre-school education for the children between the ages of 3 and 6 in North Cyprus. Most of these institutions accept children from different nationalities, making it easier for the child to pick up the languages more easily and adapt to the new environment. To see the list of Pre-School institutions in North Cyprus, please visit Pre-School Institutions in North Cyprus.