University Strategic Plan 2022-2025
'Enterprise and Industry Impact' is one of the Strategic Themes of the Strategic Plan 2020-2025, which sets out the goals and priorities for the University, its faculties, departments, centres, institutes and schools. The University of Malta is investing to increase its capacity for collaborative activity with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry, and other social and economic stakeholders. Enterprise and innovation are the strategic foundations of the ongoing development of knowledge and research programmes as vehicles to achieve a positive impact on society and the economy. We will endeavour to move forward with priorities concerning work-based learning, outreach and education programmes for life-long learning and economic development.
Malta currently benefits from near to full employment that has created a wide choice of careers and job opportunities for our graduates. Nonetheless, there are a number of knowledge and skills gaps resulting from high demand in various sectors. Periodic research and reporting of these gaps would provide the foundations for decision-making on the development of curriculum and employment planning.
We will encourage the engagement of industry in the development of learning programmes by improving dialogue with industry through strategic advisory groups, focus groups and surveys, and active involvement in curriculum development.
Malta has a rich variety of local firms that have flourished and thrived. Our student community would benefit from the knowledge of the underpinnings of these success stories, which could be made accessible through case study catalogues of local entrepreneurship.
We will encourage a higher uptake of the Industry Speaker Series which brings corporate and public speakers of the highest calibre from the worlds of business, the arts, academia and civil society to our campus, to share their experiences and ideas. We will also seek to promote the Distinguished Lecturer Series, whereby specialists in their respective areas are invited to interact with students and academics as part of the curriculum.
We will strive to enhance the learning experience of students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses through enterprise projects, assignments and other activities that facilitate practical interaction with industry. Study programmes can be designed to ensure undergraduate students have the chance to engage in project-based activities during their time at the University of Malta. The learning experience is improved if students gain experience in solving real-world problems, learn how to address critical questions, manage uncertainty, and engage in practical solutions with expert academic supervisors and industry advisors.
Based on feedback received from industry, there is a need to better equip students with the knowledge and skills that are relevant and vital in today’s interconnected world. The skills in demand by employers include problem-solving, interpersonal skills, visual communication and professional conduct. As the complexity and internationalisation of business increases, graduates are under increased pressure to be effective at collaboration and teamwork in environments of globalisation and digitisation. We will endeavour to focus on such skills and also include elements of good citizenship in the curriculum, concern and empathy for the welfare of co-workers and clients, as well as traditional organisational and leadership skills. We will deploy traditional and innovative learning methods including sport and physical activity to develop students’ capacity for effective problem solving and resilience.
Based on feedback from SMEs and larger industrial corporations, the University recognises there is a need for training in commercial skills, which can be provided through University-wide programmes accessible to all disciplines.
Self-employment, cooperative and entrepreneurial skills are essential for the stability and resilience of the economy. Therefore, we will commit to increase the provision of teaching which encourages the development of business ideas and the setting up of commercial units and organisations, supported by the knowledge of governance and financial literacy.
The University is upgrading its resources for the provision of continuing professional development for executive practitioners and professionals. The infrastructure required for a wider reach of life-long learning programmes includes the provision of expert trainers, learning environments and administrative support systems for educators and learners. The programmes aim to keep participants abreast of the continuing advances in their field and the use of related technologies.
Online education remains an efficient platform to increase the accessibility of education for adult learners that have career and family commitments. We will seek to collaborate with world-class publishers to make use of their expertise and curriculum content for the development of digital-learning platforms.
The Maltese economy and its gross domestic product are increasing at a considerable rate. The country is moving up the league tables in terms of economic wealth, which brings with it not just added prosperity but also a higher level of responsibility regarding management and administration. For this reason, we will contribute through a more intensive delivery of education on regulation and compliance in collaboration with the national regulatory authorities and with international institutions specialising in the respective regulatory fields.
The University will increase its engagement with enterprise and industry associations as external stakeholders and social partners. Our objective is to nurture an environment of dialogue and knowledge sharing with this important group of employers which makes up the majority of the graduate population. There is scope to increase the dissemination of internal knowledge in specific fields with industry partners. There is the need to promote academic experts with the commercial community and to showcase student projects and dissertations with the relevant external partners. We will continue to promote the wide breadth and depth of the University’s short courses, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes with students and employers.
The University of Malta’s Strategy Forum for Enterprise, Government and Social Partners, which attracted a wide audience at the beginning of 2019, is proposed to become an ongoing event to be held at least every two years. The University will host colloquia for industry sectors that are the highest contributors to the Maltese economy. We will organise seminars on emerging areas of public interest and contemporary topics to disseminate new knowledge within the University community of 15,750 members as well as the wider public. The University can act as a catalyst to give a higher level of importance to local products and services, including those generated by SMEs in the field of agriculture, food production, tourism accommodation, entertainment and the leisure industry.