It is via this Cyprus Mail article that I’ve learned that not only Cyprus has an official Open Data portal, but that it’s also the best in Europe:
Cyprus is one of the top five European Union countries in the field of Open Data for 2018, while the new National Open Data Portal data.gov.cy scored highest among 31 open data portals in Europe, a special honour and recognition for the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) that developed and implemented the National Open Data Portal in collaboration with the public administration and personnel department of the finance ministry.
So far I’ve only had a quick look around, and I have to say that it’s quite impressive! Even though most of it is in Greek, Google Chrome translation handles it nicely. Here are a couple of interesting bits to get you started:
The Global Airport Database is a collection of data about all (???) airports in the world, big and small. It covers a total of 9,300 airports worldwide.
That’s pretty interesting. For example, how many airports do you think there are in Cyprus? Obviously, there is the Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport. Then, there is one in Nicosia, which is not functioning since the island was divided. And there is one in Acrotiri on the British military base. Four, right? Well, the Global Airport Database has a total of 7 (!!!) entries for the country of Cyprus:
CONSTRUCTION of a modern €53 million campus has begun in Pyla to accommodate the first British university on the island, University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, (UCLan Cyprus).
UCLan Cyprus will open in October this year and students will have the option of studying their programme entirely in Cyprus or transferring for part of their studies to the UK. They expect to have 5,000 students initially. All courses will be taught in English.
These are some interesting news. Of course, we have quite a few universities here in Cyprus, but most of them, with the exception of maybe University of Cyprus, were speed-track-converted from a bunch of colleges. It’ll be interesting to see how different a “real” university is going to be, and if it will create any worthy competition to push the educational institutions a bit. The level of local schools wasn’t all that high back when I was a student, and judging by the younger candidates that I interviewed for jobs in the last few years, the situation isn’t getting any better. Hopefully, the UCLan Cyprus arrival can change this.