University of Malta

The University of Malta is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. The University's structures are in line with the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area. Conscious of its public role, the University strives to create courses which are relevant and timely in response to the needs of the country. The supreme governing bodies of the University are the Council and the Senate.


There are some 11,500 students including over 1000 international students (450 are visiting students) from 92 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system. The University regularly hosts a large number of Erasmus and other exchange students. A basic Foundation Studies Course enables international high school students who have completed their secondary or high school education overseas but who do not have the necessary entry requirements, to qualify for admission to an undergraduate degree course at the University of Malta.




Planning Authority

The New Planning Authority will secure a balanced and sustainable environment for our community and provide a better quality of life through a sustainable land use planning system.

Through the introduction of new legislation we have simplified the planning application process and procedures, ensuring more efficiency and timeliness through an integrated approach, bringing together all consultees, for the first time.

The Authority will ensure integrity, fairness and transparency across all operations through an Independent appeal and review process.

The new Authority is to give greater emphasis to the quality design of new developments and has even setup a design advisory committee to assist the Planning Directorate when evaluating development projects in Urban Conservation Areas and for Major projects.

The New Planning Authority is giving a voice to residents by having a local council representative sitting on the new Planning Board, for major development applications.




The PA CloudIsle GeoServer:


The Author

Professor Saviour Formosa is the Head of Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. He has a Ph.D. in spatio-temporal environmental criminology, a MSc in GIS and a BA(Hons) in Sociology. His main area of research is spatio-temporal analysis of the social and physical relationships using spatial information systems.

His expertise lies in the implementation of developmental cross-thematic approaches and uses to the data cycle and management with emphasis on the thematic and spatial data structures, visualisation, modelling, web-mapping, analysis and dataflow management and reporting. He is a Member of the Applied Criminology Centre at the University of Huddersfield. ProfessorFormosa has developed the website which covers ongoing crime-related research and statistics in Malta.

Involved in various research projects, he serves as Malta’s National contact for ESPON, GEO, GEOSS and EEA NFP.

Prof. Formosa is a reviewer of a number of international journals and publishers: SAGE, Springer, ScienceDomain, ICCSA, IIIS and ECS.


Latest Project Awarded: €7million through ERDF Funding for a Spatial Information project entitled "SIntegraM: Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands: Developing Integrated National Spatial Information Capacity".


Latest Books Published:
Formosa S., (Ed), (2017), Emergent Realities for Social Wellbeing: Environmental, Spatial and Social Pathways, University of Malta, Msida and Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Floriana, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-908-1-3
Formosa Pace, J., Formosa, S., Azzopardi, J., Calafato, T., Calafato Testa, S., Caruana, P., Darmanin, B., Gauci, D., Lewis, O. & Scicluna, S. 2015, SeCollege: Researching the Potential for the Establishment of a Secure College in the Maltese Islands, Department of Criminology, University of Malta, Msida.
Formosa S., (Ed), (2014), Future Preparedness: Thematic & Spatial Issues for the Environment & Sustainability, University of Malta, Msida and Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Floriana, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-834-6-4
Formosa, S., Scicluna, S., and Azzopardi J., (Eds.) (2013). Realities of Crime, Society and Landuse in the Mediterranean: JANUS I, University of Malta, Msida, Malta ISBN: 978-99957-834-0-2
Scicluna, S., Formosa, S., and Azzopardi J., (Eds.) (2013). Indicators for Crime Prevention in the Mediterranean: JANUS II, University of Malta, Msida, Malta, ISBN: 978-99957-834-2-6
Azzopardi J., Formosa, S., Scicluna, S., and Willis, A., (Eds.) (2013). Key Issues in Criminology: JANUS III, University of Malta, Msida, Malta ISBN: 978-99957-834-4-0


An updated publications list can be found at:
Faculty for Social Wellbeing
University of Malta
Tel: 00356 2340 2042



The concept of virtualisation as a launching pad for the future immersion of society.

Thanks goes to the following persons who have given advise, help and expert input over the past years in this publication. These include Prof. Louis Cassar, Perit Vincent Cassar, Stephen Conchin, Edward Duca, Ashley Hili, Omar Hili, Dr Elaine Sciberras.

Thanks also goes to Brian Borg for the js tweaking, Maria Refalo for the conversion process and Dr Timmy Gambin for the patience attributed to the bathymetric analysis. Thanks goes to Professor Godfrey Baldacchino for the continuous insight.

Acknowledgements go to the UoM ICT Services for the provision of webspace and expert advice, particularly Dorian Borg, to Pierre Cassar and James Moffett for the excellent communications process and the media clip and to Angela Xuereb for the Newspoint articles.

Acknowledgements are also due to the Planning Authority for the data and support (Information Resources), particularly to Mr Johann Buttigieg (PA Executive Chairman) and Professor Alfred J. Vella (UoM Rector).


Finally, Special Thanks goes to Markus Schuetz who authored the Potree tool as developed at the Vienna University of Technology and Martin Isenburg, author of the LAStools application.

The Next Years: Spatial Data Integration Project

An idea that started off in 1995 and which required a mentality shift to ensure readiness in data and information sharing, the abolition of data hoarding and the creation of collaborative protocols that ensure a gather-one/use-many scenario within a spatial construct, is coming to fruition.

A €7million ERDF project has been announced as conceptualised and driven by Professor Saviour Formosa (Faculty for Social Wellbeing) who initiated a process whereby data is built around a spatial-core and which resultant information could be used by both policy makers and academics to create knowledge and in turn action. Interestingly, this project was not simply based on a dream but on years of hard-work, entailing a process took 22-years to achieve fruition, Such was required due to the need to ensure the elimination of barriers created through lack of access to data, the transposition of the INSPIRE Directive and a collaborative approach across all government entities. The process was aided through the successful conclusion of a Professor Formosa’s previous €5 million ERDF project that enabled the creation and dissemination of environmental and 3D terrestrial and bathymetric data.

The SIntegraM (Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands Spatial Data Integration for the Maltese Islands: Developing Integrated National Spatial Information Capacity) project, is being part-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund and will be led by the Planning Authority with full partnership from all Ministries and their relative entities. Professor Formosa was instrumental in conceptualising and now driving the project, which was given a boost through the championing of Perit Vincent Cassar (PA Board Chairperson) and Mr Johann Buttigieg (PA Executive Chairperson) as well as the designated project leader Ms Ashley Hili.

The project will benefit the University of Malta due to its cross-thematic approach that spans all Faculties and Institutes both through access to data, access to data capture and analytical technologies as well as access to expertise. The project will deliver a strategic approach to spatial data, integration of vital base datasets, new legislation as well as training, The main concept built around the creation of data creation protocols, information exchange, access to data, and inherently data protection and privacy, In terms of infrastructure, the project will acquire systems, equipment, data capture devices using aerial, terrestrial and marine technologies, in addition to analytical and dissemination tools that will ensure inter-governmental data dissemination, and national preparedness.

Examples of integrated research that span disciplines could include the analysis of air pollution as carried by air currents as affecting the health of children who live close to an amenity site or the investigation of potential development as it affects landscapes and skylines through a euclidean or viewshed approach, in turn resulting in the calculation of flooding that in turn alerts the Civil Protection and Transport entities to close off areas at risk. There are 22 years’ worth of ideas in the pipeline.


The project is set to change the way information is viewed, accessed and given academic value - added in turn enhancing the University's role in bringing about social change.


Reference: Newspoint, 08 Feb 2017. Artcle entitled: Pushing the spatial information envelope: a €7 million project for the Maltese Islands.