University of Malta Statement 

Many, often conflicting, statements have appeared in the press with regard to the University of Malta and the European Union. The University would like to make the following facts known:

1. The University has long been working on concrete plans to expand its links and to operate effectively within Europe's higher education area and in line with Malta's European vocation. This work has continued uninterruptedly throughout the last ten years.   The University's efforts took greater impetus and a more tangible form when the Government of Malta re-activated its bid for full membership in 1998.

2. The University of Malta (UOM) was amongst the first local institutions to set up a committee of experts  to chart the University's policy vis-à-vis Malta's EU membership. The Committee's report (aka the Lauri Report) spoke unequivocally in favour of the benefits that the University of Malta would derive from full membership.  The report also identified potential challenges and suggested immediate actions that the UOM could take to meet them.

3. The Report mentioned the possible influx of a number of European students as an area of concern.  It has been  the University's policy to increase its student numbers and to internationalise its campus. It therefore welcomes the advent of European and other international students, especially as the former, through mobility programmes, allow Maltese students to study abroad through EU funds and support.  Maltese University students stand to gain from the presence on campus of foreign students as the majority of students in any University do not go to study abroad.

4. It is definitely not the UOM's policy to counter an influx of students with the re-introduction of a numerus clausus.

5. Following the Lauri Committee's report, the UOM took further steps to operate effectively within an enlarged European Union by upgrading its services in a number of key areas namely:

Enhancing Quality Assurance
Expanding Information and Communication Technologies
Aligning the European Credit Transfer System
Developing Training of Administrative Staff
Encouraging Student and Staff mobility
Participating in EU projects as a University of a Candidate Country
Networking with other European Union universities
Endorsing and contributing towards the Bologna Process
Upgrading its research capability in order to attract EU funding

In addition the University has established an increasingly successful  European Unit specifically to ensure that it would benefit from the many advantages that will be derived from Malta's full accession in the European Union.

13th February 2003

Communications Office