Frederick University (FU) is an energetic and vibrant private university operating in the Republic of Cyprus. Despite the recent (2007) establishment, the organisation has a long history of more than 40 years in higher education. In this period, FU has become established in the society and the academic community as a modern university offering teaching and research work of the highest calibre. Since its establishment, FU managed to achieve significant growth, both in terms of student population, faculty members, and academic infrastructure. FU employs about 250 (fte) faculty, with 3500 students enrolled annually on average and operates from two campuses (Nicosia and Limassol). FU is recognized as the university that offers novel and innovative programs of study that address societal needs and, primarily, as the university that exhibits high social sensitivity and responsibility. The University offers a broad range of academic programs of study (more than 60) in the areas of Science, Engineering, Business, Arts, Architecture, Media, Humanities, Health, and Education.
Frederick University functions from two locations; one in Nicosia and another in Limassol. Both campuses provide modern facilities designed to meet the academic, research, social and recreational needs of the University community that, in spite of the growing number of students and faculty, remains focused on the individual, its needs and aspirations. The Nicosia campus is the largest one and comprises of several buildings, all within walking distance from one another. State of the art equipment is available in specialised laboratories, as well as an array of computer labs, to facilitate the teaching/training as well as research needs for all disciplines of study offered at the University. The Limassol campus consists of a unitary building which contains lecture halls, conference rooms, and computer laboratories.
The University’s library (in Nicosia with a branch in Limassol campus) houses more than 3000 books, journals and other educational and academic resources. These resources are continuously replenished and updated (bibliography, journals, audio-visual aids). FU’s Library is linked to GALEGROUP Academic Search Engine, which offers access to an extensive variety of international academic journals and other research material. Currently the library is connected to 5 data bases of INFOTRAC and has access to EBSCO databases.
FU's academic staff, either organized in multidisciplinary teams or individually, is involved in a wide range of research, educational and cultural activities relevant to their specializations. The research initiatives and activities that are being carried out by its faculty, place the University among the most successful organizations in Cyprus with respect to the level of financial support received for projects from external sources through competitive national and European programs, including LLP, LIFE, FP7 and from Regional Funds. Besides the self-funded creative and other projects, the University staff has implemented or currently running more than a hundred R&D and consulting projects, the majority of which are coordinated by FU faculty and researchers.
The Nature Conservation Unit (NCU) was established under Frederick University in 2005 and it specialises on biodiversity conservation, environmental education and natural resources management in Cyprus. More specifically, the Unit focuses on the study, monitoring and conservation of the flora, fauna and habitats of Cyprus and the management of ecologically important areas of the island. It also focuses on the assessment of genetic diversity and population structure of wild species. Moreover, it aims at the promotion of awareness among the people of Cyprus about major environmental issues.
The NCU has developed a wide range of research and educational activities, through the implementation of several research projects. These projects focus on two main thematic areas:
Biodiversity conservation. NCU projects in this area aim at the implementation of the Natura 2000 Network, the conservation of endemic, rare and threatened species, the impacts of climate change on nature and biodiversity, the management of ecosystems and the rehabilitation of ecologically degraded areas.
Environmental education and education for sustainable development. Projects in this area aim on enhancing education and raising awareness about the rich biodiversity of Cyprus and the importance of nature conservation. Moreover, they aim at promoting favourable environmental attitudes among the people. Some activities also focus on training and awareness of young educators on issues relating to conservation and sustainable development.
NCU has established two contemporary laboratories; the Plant Ecophysiology Lab and the Genetics Lab. Both Labs are equipped with modern research infrastructure. This infrastructure has been acquired through the participation of the Unit in several research projects, and the support of Frederick University. The Unit's infrastructure includes equipment for both laboratory and fieldwork as well as the necessary information technology equipment.
NCU members have acquired a wide experience in carrying out research projects. Since its establishment, the NCU has carried out more than 35 research projects that have been secured in a competitive environment and funded by several organisations, such as the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus, the European Commission, the United Nations and the Government of Cyprus. In many of these projects, the Unit has been the Host Organisation and has been responsible for their scientific coordination.
Nowadays, NCU has evolved into a multidisciplinary research group consisting of experts on plant biology and ecophysiology, forestry, habitats and wildlife conservation and management, natural resources management and environmental education.