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MJHS December 2014 Issue

The December 2014 issue of the Malta Journal of Health Sciences (Volume 1 Issue 2) is now available online here. The Malta Journal of Health Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open access publication that promotes the sharing and exchange of knowledge in Health Sciences. It provides a platform for novice and established researchers to share their findings, insights and views within an inter-professional context. The Journal originates within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta. With content covering a range of health science topics, the December issue should make interesting reading for academics and students having various research backgrounds.   

The review paper by Velliou and colleagues looks at mechanisms that influence the evolution of leukaemia under stress. Agius and Formosa compare the occupational burnout reported by Maltese podiatrists working in public and private settings. The outcomes of a ten-week social communication group programme for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are evaluated by Baldacchino and Agius. Grech and Farrugia Debono explore the lived experience of four individuals with an amputation. Finally, Galdes and Gatt evaluate the speech and language skills of three children with bilateral cochlear implants in relation to normative data for Maltese children.  

The Editorial Board welcomes feedback and suggestions. Any comments are to be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief on


18 December 2014

Marie Briguglio Awarded Best PhD Applied Impact Statement Prize

During the 6th Annual Research Conference of the Stirling Management School held on Tuesday 9th December 2014, Marie Briguglio was awarded the prize for the best PhD Applied Impact Statement on why the research matters for business, policy or society. The research deals with household cooperation with government initiatives. Ms Briguglio's research focuses on waste management and specifically addresses the role of political preferences, promotion and price incentives. 

Ms Marie Briguglio is a doctoral candidate at the Behavioural Science Centre of the University of Stirling and an academic member of staff at the Department of Economics, University of Malta. 


18 December 2014

Putting Malta at the forefront of sea floating solar panels research

The aim of the SolAqua project is to study and test the technical and financial feasibility of floating solar panels. This innovative project is led by Prof. Luciano Mule’ Stagno of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Malta, while the industrial partners are Pandia Energy Ltd. and General Membrane Ltd.. The EUR 200,000 project is a 3-year MCST (Malta Council for Science and Technology) funded research project that started in 2013.   

In countries such as Malta, the scarcity of land makes it very difficult to find adequate parcels of land to build large solar farms. Moreover land prices in Malta are expensive. This makes the prospect of putting such solar farms at sea attractive. If the system is durable and able to withstand all kinds of weather and the cost of the system is comparable to what it would cost to build a system on land, it can make a floating solar farm viable. In addition to small densely populated islands, this situation also exists in big coastal cities, where it is also often difficult to find large parcels of land within the city, and building a solar farm far in the periphery adds substantial costs due to power transmission.

Moreover, putting photovoltaics on water might have some advantages. The reflection of the water surface and the cooling effect of the sea can increase the yield. A well designed system might also reduce some of the costs of equivalent land based systems by simplifying the mounting of the panels. 

SolAqua is a three-phase project. In phase one, launched on 17 December 2014, the project will be testing a prototype consisting of rafts with flexible panels on top of them. This system was largely designed by one of the industrial partners (General Membrane) and makes use of their patented technology in the way the panels are attached to the raft. In phase 2 and 3 the project will be testing propriety designs proposed by the University of Malta. Some of these ideas are currently in the process of being patented and prototypes will be launched in 2015. While there are several floating photovoltaic systems currently around the world, the one just launched is possibly the first in open sea putting Malta at the forefront of this area of research.

The power generated from the sea-based systems will be compared to a similar system on land. Factors that are being studied include sea-worthiness, the effect of salt drying on the panels on their output, cooling and reflection effects and corrosion. Moreover the project is also performing extensive modelling on the best design and lowest cost for a floating system. Should the results prove promising, funding and partnerships to commercialize the idea will be sought. 

This project is one of several research projects currently being undertaken by the Institute for Sustainable Energy which is also in the process of building a state of the Art Solar Research lab using ERDF funds. The Institute also holds an MSc Sustainable Energy evening course and training courses for PV and Solar Water heater installers.




17 December 2014

SEL Tools for Teachers

The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta has just published a game on emotional literacy in English and Maltese. The original game, Growing Up Emotionally: The Chameleon’s Game, has been developed by a group of educationalists at the Department of Education and Learning at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUSPI) and published in Italian, German, French and Roman. This educational tool has the goal of encouraging the development of social and emotional skills such as self-awareness, managing emotions, social awareness, making responsible decisions and interpersonal skills. It makes use of a story on Camy the Chameleon and his journey to the discovery of emotions. It can be played at home with the family, or in the classroom. The game may be downloaded and printed free of charge with instructions on how to play.  

The Centre has also recently published an online Self Esteem Enhancement Programme by Stephanie Farrugia. The online interactive programme is designed to enhance the self esteem of primary school children and consists of 10 experiential sessions on knowing oneself, appreciating one’s strengths, being one’s best friend, making friends, responding to and learning from change, and sticking up for oneself.  It makes use of Mona Monkey, the programme mascot in every session, who also introduces her friends from The Kingdom of Self-Esteem. The multimedia, animated programme is self-explanatory and easy to use.  

Both resources may be downloaded free of charge from the Centre’s webpage at



17 December 2014

New Issue of the Malta Review of Educational Research

Vol.8 No.2 of the Malta Review of Educational Research (MRER) has just been uploaded (

Vol.8 no.2 is the biggest ever issue in MRER's history. It's a special issue on Art Practice as Research at University (guest edited by Raphael Vella). The issue also includes four commentaries and two book reviews.

The Malta Review of Educational Research (MRER) is a joint venture between Forum on Learning and the University of Malta’s Faculty of Education.  It is a fully refereed, international, electronic journal.  The journal provides established and emerging scholars and practitioners with a space for critical and empirical analysis of issues in education. In broader terms, the journal sets out to contribute to educational theory as well as policy, leadership, curriculum development, support services and pedagogy.

MRER is published twice yearly in one of the following formats: general issue; special issue; or supplement issue. General issues contain papers that cover a range of areas in education. Special issues focus on one particular education-related theme. Supplement issues are published intermittently, when the volume of accepted submissions warrants the publication of extra numbers in a particular year.

MRER should be of interest to scholars and practitioners working in different sectors in education such as: preschool education; compulsory schooling; adult and continuing education; vocational training; post-secondary and tertiary education; popular education; education for leisure; museum education; media education; distance learning; open learning; education administration and management; history of education; education studies; and ICT in education.

The philosophy of the editorial board of MRER is to distribute this journal freely, thereby providing open access to all.


10 December 2014

Raphael Vella at Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw

Artist and academic Dr Raphael Vella, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta, has been invited to show his work at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.  

Entitled 'Raising a Revolutionary', this solo exhibition brings together a large selection of recent drawings and sculpture by the Maltese artist, many of which have never been shown elsewhere.

The large Galeria Salon Academii within the fine arts academy has been newly restored for the occasion, and the exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue that has been specially-designed by a Polish design team.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 2 December until 9 January, 2015, and has been made possible with the generous help of the Malta Embassy in Warsaw and the Cultural Diplomacy Fund. 



20 November 2014

Europe's World

Europe’s World is the only independent Europe-wide policy journal, produced in association with some 100-plus leading European think tanks and academic institutions. Since its launch in 2005 it has become the premier ideas platform for new thinking on political, economic and social issues, read by over 100,000 of the most influential decision makers and opinion formers across Europe.

Published every 4 months, Europe’s World’s objective is to stimulate the much needed debate over topical policy issues by encouraging citizens and stakeholders within civil society, media, academia, business and government, to engage in a series of genuine and informed political debates which reach beyond the Brussels village.

To date over 300 authors, including Heads of State, corporate chiefs, top academics, leading NGO activists or policymakers, have contributed articles, firmly cementing Europe’s World’s reputation as a platform for new thinking and ground-breaking ideas.

Europe’s World’s newly extended website,, is designed to further promote debate on the policy challenges facing Europe. It spans articles and reactions to articles published in Europe’s World, but is not limited to the journal since it also features studies and reports from think tanks throughout Europe.

Its aim is to give readers direct access to the latest in policy thinking across the EU, and encourage visitors to submit their own reports and comment on any of the contributions featured on the website. 


06 November 2009


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