The University of Malta traces its origins to the founding of the Collegium Melitense in 1592. Situated at Tal-Qroqq, it is the highest teaching institution of the State by which it is mainly financed and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are over 11,000 students including some 600 international students from 78 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, most of them run on the modular or credit system. Some 3,000 students graduate in various disciplines annually. The degree courses at the University are designed to produce highly qualified professionals with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general. There are a further nearly 3,500 pre-tertiary students at the Junior College which is also managed by the University.
The University today has fourteen faculties: Arts; Built Environment; Dental Surgery; Economics, Management & Accountancy; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Information & Communication Technology; Laws; Media & Knowledge Sciences; Medicine & Surgery; Science, Social Wellbeing and Theology. A number of interdisciplinary institutes and centres have been set up in various fields. These include Anglo-Italian Studies, Baroque Studies, Digital Games, Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking, European Studies, Sustainable Energy, Linguistics, Maltese Studies, Physical Education and Sport, Public Administration and Management, the Mediterranean Institute, Earth Systems (which incorporates the former International Environment Institute, Institute of Agriculture and the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics), the Institute for Islands and Small States Studies, the Institute for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture. The centres comprise: the European Centre of Gerontology, the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research, European Centre for Educational Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health, Centre for Environmental Education and Research, Centre for Labour Studies, Centre for Literacy and the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics.
A campus on Malta's sister-island, Gozo, offers a part-time evening degree course and facilitates short courses and seminars. There is another campus in Valletta, the administrative seat of the International Masters Programmes and also houses the conference and events unit. Associated with the University is the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies which was established by special agreement with the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. The main campus is also home to the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) and the International Ocean Institute Malta Operational Centre. The public response to the University of the Third Age has been very encouraging with membership constantly on the increase and all activities being well attended.
There are a number of fields which the University has identified as priority areas. Chief among these, are relations with industry and the strengthening of the Engineering departments; the further development of information technology, computer science and artificial intelligence; the University's contribution to the improvement of primary and secondary education and the forging of inter-university links to stimulate international educational exchange.
The University of Malta is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association (EUA), the Utrecht Network, the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), the European Access Network (EAN) as well as the Santander Network and the Compostela Group. Through its International and EU Office, University of Malta students participate in programmes such as Erasmus, Leonardo and Comenius. Over the years, the University has participated in various EU Programmes and has won several projects under the Framework Programmes in collaboration with a number of partner universities.
The University is geared towards the infrastructural and industrial needs of the country so as to provide expertise in crucial fields. There is ongoing collaboration with the public and private sectors whilst various services are offered to industry.
The Malta University Holding Company Ltd (MUHC) embodies the commercial interests of the University of Malta. The companies comprised in the Holding Company serve as the commercial interface between the University of Malta and the business community, brokering the resources and assets of the University to provide added value through commercial activity. The Malta University Holding Company Ltd provides strategic direction and corporate support to the companies within the Group.