Republic of Cyprus commits $8.8 million to the Harvard School of Public Health to strengthen public health partnership in Cyprus

For immediate release: Monday, October 5, 2009

Boston, MA – The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) signed an agreement on October 2, 2009, to strengthen and streamline the existing collaboration between HSPH and the Government of Cyprus, which will provide $8.8 million to HSPH toward a five-year extension of their public health partnership.  Since June 2004, HSPH and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus have worked together to build public health capacity in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region through educational, research and outreach activities.

Under this new agreement, the Cyprus University of Technology has incorporated the Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health (the CII) into its Faculty of Health Sciences in Limassol, Cyprus.  The CII was established in 2005 as part of the original agreement with the Republic of Cyprus to train a new generation of environmental and public health scientists.  All current CII programs will become part of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and students will be awarded CUT degrees.

HSPH faculty will work with the CUT to realize an ambitious vision of expanding the partnership to continue the existing master’s program in environmental health.  The first master’s degrees in environmental health at the CUT will be awarded in 2010.  In addition, plans include the development of two new master’s degree programs in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as health economics and policy, over the next five years. Further, doctoral programs will be initiated at CII in these same areas of study.  In the event that the partnership is expanded for an additional 5 years from 2014-2019, there are plans to establish a master’s degree in public health, as well.

This new framework establishes the CII within a local academic institution, thus providing it with the necessary supporting infrastructure to ensure its continued success.  The partnership also fosters collaboration between HSPH and a university within the European Union, enabling HSPH to take advantage of possible EU support for joint research projects.   Additionally, the new framework gives the CUT the opportunity to collaborate with a leading, world-class university to develop an array of educational programs related to environmental and public health.

“We were delighted to enter into this new phase of collaboration in Cyprus,” said HSPH Dean Julio Frenk.  “We are confident that it will result in a substantial increase in the production of critical public health knowledge in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Scientific evidence coupled with capable leadership, strong health communications, and an effective infrastructure will empower the region’s ability to address major current and future public health threats.”