2017 has been a year of improving foreign relations for Cyprus, and judging by the latest developments, this will only serve to make all-round improvements for the island country.

Making a move to further educational cooperation between Cyprus and Oman, the former country recently hosted a meeting where strategies and plans in this regard were discussed. Presided over by the House President of Cyprus Demetris Syllouris and Higher Education Minister of Oman Rawiyah bint Saud Al Busaidiyah on Wednesday morning, the meeting concluded with several plans to increase educational relations, including (but not limited to) special study programmes and student and academic exchange schemes. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the two countries.

Demetris Syllouris, who is currently in Oman on an official, added that they have plans to introduce a student exchange plan similar to Erasmus, which will help the educational sector of both countries. He also said that students from Oman who would attend Cyprus universities will have the added advantage of obtaining a European degree.

Syllouris, who seemed to be in high spirits also explained that Brexit might inspire universities in the UK to cooperate with their Cypriot counterparts. He cited Bristol university’s latest developments as a prime example in this regard, explaining that similar kind of cooperation from countries like Oman (and others in the Middle East) and also from European universities will help the island country become a bridge of cooperation between the two otherwise alienated regions (as far as education is concerned).

Oman’s higher education minister Rawiyah bint Saud Al Busaidiyah affirmed the good words of her Cypriot counterpart, expressing both hers and the country’s openness to such partnerships, and adding Memorandum of Understanding in these areas would be signed in the near future.