University Academic Year 2002-2003
The 30th September marks the beginning of the University of Malta Academic Year 2002-2003. Towards Internationalisation is the theme chosen for this year. It underlines the University's focus on the various activities that enhance its links with other Universities and with students from other countries.
Most faculties have registered a steady increase in course applications. Although the final figures are still being processed, it is evident that there are more applications listed as first preference choices, than there were at the same period last year. This had totalled 3509 in 2001, while the number for this year currently stands at close to 3950. The Faculty of Science has received 110 first preference applications as against 69 for last year. There were 350 applications for the Faculty of Arts, up from 251 last year. The Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy has attracted 1094 applications, up from 950, while the number for Laws increased from 292 to 341 and that for Medicine and Surgery from 121 to 168. Some 1,700 students will be joining first year Junior College.
The University strives to create courses which are relevant and timely in response to the needs of the country. The following are some of the courses, which have been introduced at various levels, in order to widen the areas of expertise offered by the University: Master of Arts in Public Policy; in Economics of Competition Law; in Integrated Marketing Communications and in Journalism; Diploma in Journalism; Bachelor of Planning (Hons); Diploma in Baroque Architecture and the Pre-tertiary Institute Certificate in Baroque Architecture. A Certificate in Technology Education is being offered to participants nominated by the Education Division.
There are currently over 500 full-time international students from some 78 countries. In addition, around 100 international students come to the University on semester exchanges. The International Office assists international students by providing the required information and services both at the initial enquiry stage, as well as during the course programme. An orientation programme for international students is held prior to the beginning of the semester to help international students get accustomed to life in Malta and at University.
The International Office also develops and monitors the ever-increasing links between the University and other institutions overseas. The University has several student and faculty staff exchange schemes through university bilateral agreements and cooperation programmes between Malta and other countries such as the USA, the UK, France, Italy, and Australia.
2002/3 marks the University's third year of participation in the Socrates/Erasmus Programme. The number of bilateral agreements signed with different partner universities for the academic year 2002/3, provides placements for 314 outgoing students, in a very wide range of locations and subject areas. The academic staff will be able to benefit from 62 teaching placements and participation in the coordination of various Intensive Programmes, Curriculum Development Programmes at Masters Level and Thematic Networks. Since the Erasmus Programme works on the basis of reciprocal mobility, a similar number of students and lecturers will be received on the University campus between October and May.
Enhancing the Infrastructure
The increasing student population calls for an enhanced infrastructure that can better fulfil demands. Various building projects are under way. After the completion of the international standard University Multi Purpose Sports Hall, and the completion of the shell structure of the Maths and Physics Building extension and the Chemistry Building extension, work is progressing on the finishes and installation of electrical and mechanical services. Other building extensions and infrastructural projects, such as those for Junior College, are expected to commence within the coming months.
A new state-of-the-art digital PABX system has been installed to enhance available lines efficiency in and out of the University.
The Computing Services Centre (CSC) has continued to develop the campus network infrastructure, upgrade connectivity from staff offices, improve availability of computer facilities on campus for students, and expand the support services offered to University departments, staff and students. New networking equipment has also been installed and the University will shortly be connected to GEANT, the European high speed research and education network.