Meeting between the University of Malta and the Malta Labour Party Today, the Rector of the University of Malta, Prof. Juanito Camilleri, and the Pro-Rectors Dr Mary-Anne Lauri, Prof. Richard Muscat, and Prof. Alfred Vella paid a courtesy visit to the Hon. Dr Alfred Sant, the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Mr Carmelo Abela, the spokesman for Education and other senior officials of the Malta Labour Party.

This visit also took place in response to the invitation by the Malta Labour Party to the University to provide feedback on the Labour Party’s Political Plan for the Education Sector for Malta and Gozo.

Prof. Camilleri stated that he is indeed encouraged to see a national consensus emerge confirming the importance of Education at all levels, starting from the earliest days of childhood development, in a process of life-long learning. “It is clear that Education is being placed at the centre of Malta’s socio-economic development and the challenge ahead for all stakeholders is to make sure that the systems we introduce or employ today will yield the best results to help our country refine its identity, enhance its competitiveness, and emerge stronger through the legacy we leave our children.”

Focusing particularly on the tertiary education sector, Prof. Camilleri and his team expressed their commitment to continue to strengthen the University particularly in its research and postgraduate programmes. “In the past decade the University has seen a massive expansion in the range of undergraduate programmes and it has had to cope with a rapid growth in the undergraduate student population. This said, we cannot allow the increasing numbers of students at undergraduate level to lower our standards or to detract us from strengthening our research portfolio and from extending our postgraduate programmes.”

The Rector emphasised that the University must continue to forge links with other stakeholders in the Education sector, with industry, and with civil society at large. He stressed the importance of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and the need for the University to work in tandem with the College to ensure that students find the vocational or academic programmes that best address their aptitude.

“We must ensure that our tertiary education system equips our youth with analytical and problem-solving skills, with versatility and creativity, with the urge to discover and learn and with a first-class attitude that always seeks to do things better. We must extend the range of educational experiences from the more scholarly to those that are intrinsically “hands on” to provide students with the means of self-expression and fulfilment that suits them best individually.”

The University team also discussed a range of issues that are covered in the Labour Party’s plan including the need for the further expansion of Sixth Forms and the role of the Junior College, the SEC and MATSEC examination systems, the need for the modernisation of the systems of administration of the University, the importance of Science and Technology, ways of improving Malta’s performance vis-à-vis the Lisbon targets and the financial requirements of the University.

For the Maltese version click here

Communications Office
11 July 2006