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New Department of German for University of Malta
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  * On Race and Racialization
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* 2007
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The University of Malta’s Faculty of Arts has been offering the teaching of German since 1980, and a constant stream of students has graduated since then. The external examiner’s report for the B.A. (General) in German Studies attests that the qualifications reached are equal to the top 10% of non-native students reading German. Moreover, since only a limited number of students graduate in German, their studies make them immediately employable.

However, the teaching of German at the University of Malta had to be limited. The small nucleus of part-time staff within the Faculty of Arts provides services also to students registered for German within the Faculty of Education. Due to these and other limitations such as the lack of qualified full-time staff, the Faculty of Arts has not been in a position to offer an Honours Degree or any post-graduate degrees in German until now.

In view of the fact that the Maltese economy is intimately linked with the German one, particularly since Malta became an EU member, and since similar developments are currently being witnessed also in respect of Austria, the University sought to address the need for furthering German studies.

At its meeting of the 25th October 2007, Senate decided to recommend to Council that the University of Malta should take all the steps necessary to set up a Department of German within the Faculty of Arts and to bring German at par with other languages such as Italian and French.

The Department of German was set up towards the end of 2007, with the University of Malta funding one full-time post, and DAAD - the German Academic Exchange Services - supporting a second full-time member of staff and committing itself to support the Department through exchange visits and through the provision of technical materials.

The tasks of the new Department are to provide teaching in German at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, to service those faculties that require teaching in German, to provide basic language courses in German within the DegreePlus programme and to carry out research as is standard in all University departments. The staff of the Department will also be providing advisory services to the education authorities for the consolidation of German throughout the educational system.

Already in October 2008 a group of ten students will be joining the new M.A. programme in German.

Speaking at the Press Conference held at the Old University Building in Valletta, University Rector Prof. Juanito Camilleri said that knowledge of languages had always been essential to the Maltese. “International trade, interactions in the Arts and political exigencies required knowledge of other languages so that the Maltese could survive; the setting up of the German Department now seeks to fill an important gap,” he said.

To inaugurate the launch of the Department, Herr Günter Gloser, a Member of the German Bundestag, who is also Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, as well as Federal Government Commissioner for Franco-German Co-operation also addressed the press conference. (full speech attached)

Prof. Camilleri thanked Herr Günter Gloser for his presence and support adding that the Maltese people would surely benefit from the ripples created through this Department. The Rector expressed his sincere hope that this would be the first step in a continuing and lasting relationship between DAAD and the University of Malta, in joint efforts to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, for which command of the language was a necessary prelude.

New Department of German for University of Malta
from left: Pro Rector Prof. Alfred Vella, H.E. the German Ambassador to Malta, Karl Andreas Freiherr von Stenglin (an interpreter), The German Minister, the Hon. Herr Günter Gloser, Rector, Prof. Juanito Camilleri, Prof. Mario Vassallo Head of Department of German and  Pro Rector Dr Mary Anne Lauri


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