The Department of French and European Studies is part of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cyprus. The Department’s mission is to promote the intellectual development of its students by enriching their knowledge, raising their awareness of multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue, and training them in critical thinking. In this way, students will be prepared to play an active and fruitful role in the society in which they will live. Implicit in these objectives is the Department’s responsibility, which includes but is not limited to, its academic goals and providing continuing education while committing to the advancement of service to the public and society.
For reasons related to colonial history, Cypriot society was for a long time deeply oriented towards the Anglo-Saxon world. Recently, however, Cypriot society has gradually discovered the European world of which it has been a political part since 2004. The Department has contributed decisively and continues to play an active role in this opening up, offering a Jean Monnet module since 2003 and a programme in European Studies since 2009. Since 2014, the Department has been offering a new undergraduate programme leading to two Diplomas: a Diploma in French Language and Literature and a Diploma in Modern Languages and European Studies. All programmes of study are evaluated and accredited by The Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA). It is notable that the Department offers the only Degree at the University of Cyprus which requires the mastery of several foreign languages.
Service to the University of Cyprus and to the general public amplifies the role of the Department in the local community and in society. The Department holds that openness is a core value and this commitment provides a rich educational experience that promotes collaboration and partnerships with local institutions, professional organisations and French-speaking communities. In particular, the Department collaborates closely with the French Institute of Cyprus, the Association of Secondary School Teachers of French, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Tourist Office, the Representation of the European Union in Cyprus and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The first component of the Department's name ("French Studies") reflects both the French specificity and the multidisciplinary nature of the French Studies programme offered to students. The training has a dual orientation: language studies and literary/cultural studies. In addition to the quality teaching on site, students are strongly encouraged to spend one or two semesters in a French-speaking university abroad. At the end of this training, the Diploma in French Language and Literature (Bac+4) allows its holders to embark on a variety of careers or to continue their studies in Cyprus or abroad. Within this framework, the Department has offered since 2014 a Master's programme in Didactics of French as a Foreign Language (FLE) and since 2010 a PhD programme in French Studies.
Under its second component ("European Studies") the Department has created a multilingual and multidisciplinary programme in European Studies, leading to a Diploma in Modern Languages and European Studies (Bac+4). The courses in this programme are taught in French, English or German, and cover the Humanities as well as Social and Political Sciences, Economics and Law. Students with this Diploma can start a career in different sectors in Cyprus or in the countries and institutions of the European Union; they can also continue their studies. The Department has offered a Master's programme in European Studies and a PhD in European Studies since 2015.
Research is a fundamental aspect of the Department's activity. Research activities are carried out individually or in collaboration with other professors at the University of Cyprus, as well as with colleagues in Greece, France, Germany, Switzerland, and other European and non-European countries. They are also carried out in the framework of bilateral teaching and research collaboration agreements.