12° Nicosia,
19 June, 2024
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Andreas Polemitis has died at the age of 80

The co-founder of the University of Nicosia dies tonight after a four-week battle with COVID


The academic world is saddened tonight over the death of Dr. Andreas Polemitis who died after a four-week battle with COVID.  Dr. Polemitis was not only the co-founder of the University of Cyprus, but he also served as Chairman and Academic Dean of the University since its founding in the early 80s.

Besides his family, the University of Nicosia was the great love of his life. In 1981, Dr. Polemitis had a vision that Cyprus needed a domestic university. Cyprus almost uniquely in the world did not have any universities at that time. In 1981, he started the “American College of the Middle East,” with six students and a 2+2 program with the University of Indianapolis. From that day on, Dr. Polemitis dedicated his life to building the academic architecture that, in time, and through an extraordinary series of events, underlies UNIC today.

UNIC is now one of the top-ranked research universities in the world, the largest university in Cyprus, and one of the fastest-ascending universities in history. Beyond our institutional success, the theory that Cyprus needed universities turned out to be extremely correct. The Cyprus universities, in aggregate, now teach nearly 40,000 students, produce significant research output and account for about 5% of the GDP. It is accurate to say that the vision and determination of a very small group of people in Cyprus, of which Dr. Polemitis was one, have changed the course of our country.

He was very proud of UNIC.  For the many of you who knew him personally, you know that he was an unusual combination of absurdly smart and very kind. 

Andreas remained active in his other two passions – he was writing a book about the Orthodox Church at the time of his death and, of course, continuing to cook. 

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.


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