Cyprus International University (CIU) is growing in size and aspiration, with ambitious plans to increase student numbers from 17,000 to 24,000 by 2022. We were invited to develop a masterplan to guide and deliver growth for their future academic and social needs.

We have worked with CIU since 2017 to develop and advise on how to realise their vision. Throughout the process we engaged with the wider University community to shape the campus to deliver the vision. We are currently making the first changes on the ground.

The masterplan used our Urban Design, Landscape and City Economics teams to lay out 3 key principles:

  • build on the strengths of the University and find new ways of learning beyond the classroom
  • recognise its location and setting as a Mediterranean campus
  • enhance relationships with the wider community.

Designing a coordinated campus

The brief included developing new buildings to home a range of faculties varying from Medicine to Fine Arts & Architecture. We highlighted the need to look at the development in distinct clusters, with a new Central Library, Convention Center and Innovation Center (the Ideas Nest) to unlock synergies in the campus. We considered campus-wide initiatives such as new amenities, open spaces and services for students, as well as retrofitting the existing infrastructure. Our aim was to lay the foundations for growth by delivering a cohesive campus that enhances the student experience.

Finding new ways of learning

Outside the formal classroom walls, the campus setting itself provides unique opportunities for informal learning. With the help of our Digital Studio we designed modular units to support new ways of learning, with light-touch designs including pop-up podiums, study nooks, student-run shops and a live feed wall to bring different parts of the campus together as a whole.

Accentuating the Mediterranean influence

The campus links natural and semi-urban landscapes with beautiful views of mountains to the north and water to the west. The hot and arid climate makes microclimate engineering and the conscious management of resources a necessity across the campus.

CIU already has sustainable systems for water, energy and waste management, making it a model for clean energy and circular economy initiatives and enabling students to take part in sustainability initiatives. CIU generates 35% of its electricity on site with a planned biofuel plant increasing this to over 60%. Our assessment of these systems produced guidelines and initiatives to ensure a sustainable future for the University.

Arup was very instrumental in looking at CIU in a completely different light, not only in ways that affect the quality of education delivered inside and outside the classroom but also the overall student experience. The vision Arup put forward, once implemented, will not only enable us to stay relevant but also put us ahead so we can become a preferred higher education institution in the region.

Mete Boyaci

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cyprus International University (CIU)

Delivering the vision

Our masterplan delivers real value for students, academics and staff in the University, and realises benefits for the whole region. Our plan allows the University to: 

  • engage with the wider community on campus
  • attract visitors through better pedestrian, parking, and public transport strategies
  • celebrate the Mediterranean landscape and the opportunities for learning beyond the classroom
  • reinforce the campus as central hub for academic disciplines.

The CIU Campus Masterplan has been embraced by the University, and we continue to work to deliver it as we add to our growing knowledge portfolio of environmental build projects which include: Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridgeshire; Imperial College White City, London; and Coventry University.

Cyprus International University
In terms of sustainability, Cyprus International University ranks 220th worldwide and 66th among suburban campuses according to UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2019. It is the first University in Northern Cyprus that participated in the ranking.