Yangos Hadjiyannis: The higher education sector is being saturated with institutions, not students
Marios Roussos 07:13 - 29 January 2024
Although the higher education sector in Cyprus has flourished in the last ten years contributing to the development of the Cypriot economy to a high degree, in recent years there has also been saturation, where although the number of institutions is rising, the number of students is not increasing at the same rate.
In an interview with InBusinessNews, in the context of "IN Business Forecasting 2024," the CEO of CIM-Cyprus Business School, Yangos Hadjiyannis, shares the above finding, indicating that looking forward, there should be more focus on the quality than the quantity of students, so that the high academic level is ensured, and also so that there is a connection between the institutions and the labour market.
Hadjiyannis also asks the state for more autonomy for institutions that, as he points out, are plagued by bureaucracy, and also for the granting of state land for the development of academic institutions, as has been done in the cases of industrial zones.
As far as CIM is concerned, it continues to hold a strong position in higher education as the leading Cypriot business school, with 45 years of leadership.
In this context, Hadjiyannis emphasises that the institution's priority is to further upgrade the quality of the programmess it offers, ensuring the professional success of its graduates.
According to Yangos Hadjiyannis, CIM continues to build on its highly successful partnership with the University of West London, and has big plans to develop its recent partnership with the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, in terms of providing training programmes, both in Cyprus and in the region, from one of the leading universities in the world.
"This collaboration is a special honor, both for our instuition and for Cyprus more broadly," he underlines.
How do you see the economic environment shaping up in 2024, in light of inflationary pressures, high interest rates and unpredictable ever-changing geopolitical developments?
2024 will be another year of significant challenges and many question marks. Certainly, any business leader should by now be aware of the need to display resilience and adaptability in a rapidly changing environment. Inflation was at a satisfactory level at the close of 2023 and no significant increase is expected in 2024.
But the ECB's target of 2% inflation will be quite difficult to achieve in the coming months and only when it is achieved will we see a gradual reduction in interest rates. Although there are forecasts for a small rate cut around the end of 2024, we will most likely see cuts in 2025 if inflation falls to around 2%.
The ongoing war in Ukraine and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict creates a geopolitical environment of instability and no definitive solution is in sight in 2024. In particular, with regard to the conflict in the Middle East, we should see the economic impact in 2024 in relation to tourism and investments since Israel is an extremely important trading partner.
The Cypriot economy is expected to continue to fluctuate in growth rates but the growth rate will depend on geopolitical developments.
What do you consider to be the biggest and most difficult challenges that the Cypriot economy will have to face?
In addition to geopolitical developments, a huge problem for both the economy and society in general is immigration since the possible increase in flows will entail unaffordable costs as well as a possible increase in social reactions.
Furthermore, labour shortages plague many occupations and limit growth, especially for technical occupations.
Would you say that, taking into account the latest upgrades, the Cyprus economy is now well on its way to growth?
The recent upgrades are extremely important for the credibility of the Cypriot economy and will lead to a further strengthening of investment interest.
On the other hand, we should aim for further upgrades and under no circumstances should we be complacent.
Saturation in higher education
What do you think will be the course of the sector in which you operate in 2024?
The higher education sector in Cyprus has flourished in the last ten years thus contributing as much as possible to the development of the Cypriot economy.
In recent years, however, a saturation can be seen, where while the number of institutions is rising, the number of students is not increasing at the same rate.
In addition, there should be more focus on the quality rather than the quantity of students, so as to ensure the high academic level, but also to connect the Institutions with the labour market.
What are the biggest industry trends/changes you anticipate in 2024?
Digital transformation and the rapid development of technology with artificial intelligence systems offer many solutions for institutions, but at the same time many challenges arise for quality assurance.
A balance should be found between the further integration of technology in the programmes and the development of students' skills so that they can meet the future needs of the labour market both in Cyprus and globally.
What are the most important problems plaguing the industry today, the solving of which you consider a priority for the new year?
Our institution holds a strong position in higher education as the leading Cypriot Business School, with 45 years of leadership.
As an institution focused on the Cypriot market, the reduction in the purchasing power of citizens as well as businesses is a problem, but we have learned the hard way as we have successfully gone through many crises.
If you could ask the Government to take specific measures or formulate policies to support/strengthen your sector, what would they be?
I would give more autonomy to institutions plagued by bureaucracy and allocate state land for the development of academic Institutions, as is done in the cases of Industrial Zones.
Further upgrading of quality
What are your organisation's plans/strategy for 2024? Should we expect new products/services/developments and your further consolidation in the market? Will it be a year of growth/expansion or maintaining your existing market position? Can you tell us about any of your plans in more detail?
Our institution has as its priority the further upgrading of the quality of the programmes provided, ensuring the professional success of our graduates.
Furthermore, we are continuing to develop our highly successful collaboration with the University of West London, the No1 British University in Cyprus.
Finally, we have big plans for the development of our recent partnership with the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge in terms of providing training programmes, both in Cyprus and in the region, from one of the leading universities in the world.
This collaboration is a special honor, both for our institution and for Cyprus more broadly.