University of Nicosia once again achieves 5 QS Stars in Distance Learning Education

The QS Intelligence Unit reaffirmed the University’s exemplary standing, following its 2017 success as the first university in the EU to achieve a 5-Star rating in Online/Distance Learning

In 2017, the University of Nicosia (UNIC) became the first university in the European Union to be recognised with 5 QS Stars (the highest possible rating) for Online/Distance Learning. The results of the 2020 re-audit by the QS Intelligence Unit, a leading, independent, global university-rating agency, reaffirmed the University’s exemplary standing in this domain, awarding UNIC 5 QS Stars once again. This makes UNIC one of the 14 universities in the world to date that have been awarded a 5-Star rating.

The recognition underscores the University’s unique triple certification status, with UNIC having previously been awarded the premier European quality assessment awards in this domain. This includes being labelled as an E-xcellence Associate in Quality, by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), Europe’s leading body in lifelong open and flexible learning. UNIC had also achieved the UNIQUe Certification for Quality in e-Learning and Excellence in use of ICT in Higher Education, awarded by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (EFQUEL).

Commenting on the result of the re-audit, the Vice Rector for Faculty and Research, Professor Demetris Vrontis, said that this was indicative of UNIC’s pioneering work in Online/Distance Learning Education over the years, supporting both its own degree programmes, as well as those of its joint degree partners. UNIC currently offers 34 innovative distance learning programmes at the Bachelor and Master level, deploying the most up-to-date technologies and state-of-the-art learning design theory to deliver courses.

“These include globally unique programmes of study such as our MSc in Digital Currency, the MSc in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication, offered in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck and, more recently, our MSc in Data Science”, added Professor Vrontis.

On his part, the Rector of the University of Nicosia, Professor Philippos Pouyioutas, spoke more broadly of the University’s digital educational environment, which enabled the University to fully adopt and implement the distance learning mode of delivery during the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring the successful completion of the current semester and the unfettered academic progression of the conventional/face-to-face students.

“The QS Stars rating is a testament to the University’s commitment to delivering quality distance learning/online programmes, by investing heavily in the requisite personnel and infrastructure for a world-class offering”, noted Professor Pouyioutas.

“I would like to sincerely thank the entire University community (the teaching, research, and administrative personnel, as well as the students and alumni), who is the driving force behind this achievement but also behind all of our other ranking milestones, including the QS World University Rankings – EECA and the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings. The THE and QS World University Rankings, along with the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) or Shanghai Ranking, represent the top rankings systems in the world”, concluded Rector Pouyioutas.