Education pioneer, Frederick University founder dies

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Michalis Frederikou, educational pioneer, founder and president of Frederick University, has died aged 83.

The university issued an announcement saying, “his funeral will be held on Monday 24 August at Agias Varvaras church in Kaimakli. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures, the family will not be accepting condolences and the funeral protocol will be strictly followed at the church.”

The university’s Department of Business Administration posted an announcement on social media, saying Frederikou “was a great man, with vision and a love for education.”

“His principles and his vision will guide us and will accompany us with every step we take.”

Democratic Party (Diko) leader Nicholas Papadopoulos, whose father, former Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos had a close relationship with Frederikou, said, “he belongs to the select group of Cypriots who with vision, hard work and determination developed and promoted Cyprus in the sectors of education, research and technology.”

Frederikou had been involved in education his entire life.

He started his career in the 1970s as the founder of the Technical and Economics School of Nicosia, that later evolved to become the Frederick Institute of Technology, the leading vocational school in Cyprus, based in Nicosia’s Pallouriotissa area with a satellite school in Limassol.

He established the Frederick Research Centre and later set up Fred-TV and Radio Frederick while the technical school was among the first to get academic recognition as it transformed to the present-day Frederick University in 2008.

The university, only one of the three new private universities in 2008 to boast six academic schools, started with a budget of €18.8 mln and planned to expand its student body from 3,000 and 250 staff to about 4,500-5,000 students at the end of the four-year probation period.

Due to its strong presence in engineering and technical education, Frederick was quick to secure grants (through research), incubator programmes and joint ventures.

One of the strongest features of FIT was research, with many EU-funded programmes financed from the 5th and 6th Framework Protocol as well as the Institute of Research Development of Cyprus.

Frederikou served as a Nicosia municipal councillor and was actively involved in local community affairs, especially with ‘Achilleas’ sports club in his native suburb of Kaimakli.