Google Workspace

The University of Malta has partnered with Google to offer Google Workspace for Education (formerly known as G Suite for Education) to all students and staff. Google Workspace should only be used for UM-related purposes.

Information about Google services

As indicated previously, Google has revised its storage policy for Google Workspace for Education, which has limited the storage available to the University of Malta. As a result of this change, the following Google Workspace storage quotas have been rolled out for UM/JC student and staff accounts:

  • UM/JC Students: 5 GB
  • Council-appointed staff and Senate-appointed Affiliate staff: 25 GB
  • Research Support Officers: 25 GB
  • Casual staff: 5 GB

Users who require additional storage for UM/JC-related purposes can request an increase to their Google Workspace quota.

We would like to remind all staff and students that the UM Google Workspace for Education is being provided for UM/JC-related purposes. Any files that are not related to one's work or studies at UM/JC (e.g. personal photos, documents, and other files in My Drive and Shared drives) stored on the UM Google account should be removed. Any unnecessary files should also be deleted periodically.

Google Drive offers two online file storage and collaboration services: My Drive (available for all students and staff) and Shared drives (available only to staff). These drives serve different purposes.

Screenshot of Google Drive highlighting My Drive, Shared drives and Shared with me

My Drive

My Drive is widely used as personal storage for UM-related files you have created or uploaded. The folders/files in My Drive can be shared with other users. However, the folders/files shared through My Drive can no longer be accessed by the other users when the original creator of the folders/files leaves UM. This creates continuity problems for recipients of shared files.

Staff are strongly advised to review their team files to identify files in My Drive they are sharing with others and files shared with them through My Drive (listed under Shared with me). Staff should then coordinate to move these files to a Shared drive .

Shared drives

Shared drives (available only to staff) should be used instead of My Drive for team collaboration to avoid access problems when the creator of the shared folders/files leaves UM. Unlike files in My Drive, the files in Shared drives belong to the team instead of an individual. This means that folders/files will not disappear if the original creator of the folders/files leaves UM.

All members belonging to the Shared drive can see all the files and folders, but there are five distinct role memberships that can be assigned: Manager, Content manager, Contributor, Commenter and Viewer. External users (non-UM accounts) can also be added for collaboration purposes, provided they have a Google account.

Shared drives can also be synchronised to a desktop using Google Drive for desktop.

More information about Shared drives is available:

When to use Shared drives

You may consider using a Shared drive in these situations:

  • You are working with a group of people who all need access to the same files (e.g. projects, events, Departmental teams, etc.)
  • Your files are relevant to most members of your team
  • Your files are related to a specific project, event, task etc. You may wish to create a separate Shared drive for each project, event, task, etc.
  • The content you want to store is not personal and is of interest to a specific team.

When to create files in My Drive instead of Shared drives

You should create files in My Drive if:

  • You are working on personal files that nobody else should have access to
  • You want to draft the document privately before moving it to a Shared drive. After you move it to the Shared drive, ownership of the document transfers from you to the team.

Google Drive for desktop

Google Drive for desktop allows you to access Drive files and Shared drives on-demand from your PC. You can choose to either stream the files so they are accessible online without having to download the files on your PC, or to mirror files, which downloads an offline copy of all your Drive files on your PC. You can also back up files from your PC onto Drive.

Google Chat is a messaging platform designed for team collaboration. In addition to the standard chat facility, which allows you to directly communicate with one or more users, you can also create dedicated spaces for your team with threaded conversations, helping you communicate and collaborate better when working across locations.

Chat allows you to:

  • Collaborate in spaces with group discussions with separate conversation threads
  • Message people directly for private conversations with a colleague or a small group of people
  • Share content by uploading items from Drive, collaborate on Docs, Sheets, or Slides, join online meetings with Meet, or search in spaces, past conversations, and shared files.

Ways to access Chat

More information regarding Google Chat is available.

Google Meet is a Google Workspace for Education service that can be used for online meetings.

All staff and students can use Meet to organise and join virtual meetings. Individuals outside of the University can join Meet sessions if they are provided with a link URL. If someone tries to join without being signed in to the UM IT Account, the meeting host/creator will be notified and can allow or deny the user from joining the meeting.

You can have a maximum of 100 participants per meeting. For classes or meetings larger than 100 participants, we recommend that you use Zoom.

Meet no longer has a recording feature. If you need to record meetings, we recommend that you use Zoom.

Ways to access Meet

  • Meet is available within Gmail, including the Gmail mobile app
  • Visit the Google Meet website from your web browser
  • Install the Google Meet mobile app on your Android or iOS device.

Scheduling a meeting

You can schedule a virtual meeting using any one of these methods:

Joining a meeting

There are a number of ways to join a Meet session, including:

Managing a meeting

As a meeting host, there are a number of features available to make use of during the meeting:

Other helpful Meet resources (provided by Google).

Keep is a note-taking tool and offers the following features:

  • To-do lists and notes, including checklists
  • Colour code your notes for better sorting and organisation
  • Add time-based reminders and location-based reminders
  • Add notes with audio
  • Add images to your notes
  • Add drawings to your notes
  • OCR - read text from images
  • Share notes with other people and add collaborators to edit notes in real-time
  • Quickly search for notes
  • Add labels to your notes for better filtering
  • Recover deleted notes and reminders (deleted items remain available for seven days).

Ways to access Keep

More information regarding Google Keep is available.

You can still access Gmail and Drive when your computer cannot connect to the Internet. Before you proceed with setting up offline access to Google Workspace for Education, it is important to read the following notes:

  • You will need to use the Chrome browser to set up offline access to Gmail and Drive.
  • You will need to configure offline access on each computer from which you access Google Workspace. If you want to enable offline access on both your laptop and desktop computer, you will need to set it up twice - once on each computer.
  • Once you configure offline access, your data will be available on the computer's local hard drive. It is therefore important that you do NOT set up offline access on a public or shared computer.
  • If you have other Google accounts in addition to the University Google Workspace account, you can set up Chrome with multiple profiles and then enable offline access for each account.

Setting up Gmail offline

Gmail offline allows you to read past emails and compose new emails when you are not connected to the Internet. Any messages that are composed when offline will be automatically sent as soon as you connect to the Internet.

Your data will synchronise in the background while you are working online, so that when you go offline you will be able to access the latest emails from Gmail. If you close Google Chrome while you are online, the sync will stop at that time.

Follow these instructions to configure Gmail offline.

Setting up Drive offline

You can set up offline access for Drive in Google Chrome, which enables you to access your files whenever you have no Internet connectivity. You will also be able to view and edit your Google Docs as if you were still connected to the Internet. If you lose connectivity while working on a Google document, you will automatically be able to continue working uninterrupted.

Please note that any changes you make while offline will only be visible to you, until you reconnect to the Internet.

Follow these instructions to configure Drive offline.

More information about offline editing in Google Docs is available.

Calendar offline

Currently it is not possible to set up Calendar offline on a desktop computer. Calendar offline is only available on the Google Calendar mobile app.

When you use the Google Calendar mobile app while you are offline, you will automatically be able to:

  • view and make changes to events
  • create, edit, or respond to events.

Any changes you make will not sync with your computer or other people's calendars until you are online again.

Data access

The University of Malta is the controller of all data within the University of Malta domain. Google employees only access the domain when given express permission to do so by the University for purposes, such as in the event of troubleshooting.

Google will only scan emails for the purpose of virus and spam protection. The scanning procedures are automated and involve no human interaction.

Data protection

Data held by Google can be located at any of Google's globally spread data centres.

The University of Malta has a GDPR compliant contract in place with Google to ensure data is handled in accordance with data protection legislation. Where data is transferred internationally, EU Model Clauses are used.

Data is processed by Google in accordance with the Google Privacy Policy.


Unlike the consumer version of Google services, there is no advertising to staff or students within Google Workspace for Education. Advertising will only be visible by staff and students when using the Google search engine and other consumer services.

Intellectual Property Rights

Google shall not acquire any right, title, or interest in any Intellectual Property Rights belonging to the University of Malta or its students, staff and alumni.