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Opening of the University of Malta Academic Year 2009-2010

This University which has formed us....gives birth to what will become of us

  • Rector reminds students and staff that the University’s 400 year old heritage is the cornerstone of Malta’s identity, its society and its economy
  • University seeks to maintain an equilibrium in the areas of teaching, research and service provision in the interest of society and the economy

The University of Malta campus today welcomed new students at the opening ceremony of academic year 2009-2010. Rector, Professor Juanito Camilleri, and Mr Carl Grech, President of the Kunsill Studenti Universitarji KSU, delivered the traditional speeches, followed by the Inauguration Mass by University Chaplain Fr. Michael Bugeja, at Sir Temi Zammit Hall. This year's theme is 'This University which has formed us....gives birth to what will become of us'.

In his address to the Maltese and International students, the Rector said that the theme he chose for this year highlighted the need for Malta to remember the crucial role the University of Malta  has played through history to make this country what it is, “but more importantly it invites us all to commit unreservedly and wholeheartedly to this institution to ensure that it retains its position at the heart of the social and economic development of Malta in its European, Mediterranean, and global context,” Professor Juanito Camilleri added.

The Rector said that in the past year the University made significant steps forward to strengthen its research infrastructure. An agreement had been reached with academic staff, which provided a framework to encourage individual research but which also allowed for the creation of a corporate research programme, in response to the needs of industry and the country at large, as well as to exploit opportunities for collaboration with European and global counterparts.
 
Prof. Camilleri said that the University managed to secure in excess of €20 million, being used to purchase equipment to strengthen the facilities for research mainly in the fields of medicine, science and engineering.

A €50 million investment by Government and the European Union covers  infrustructural projects that have already started and that will continue over the next two years.

Excavation work for the building of the Computer Services Centre and for the Faculty of ICT is complete and the construction phase is to start soon.
 
The extensive work on the Library facade is almost complete and work is now being carried out on the construction of the new main Data Centre next to carpark 5. This will ensure continued operations and safeguard data, resources and research should a major fault develop. In the meantime, work on the Junior College expansion continues  at a steady pace.

Another project consisting of the building of an integrated administrative information system started a few months ago. This will help ensure better and more efficient use of resources, and a better quality of service to students and academics by the University.

An office for Corporate Research and Technology Transfer has been set up and a director recruited to help the University build the administrative capacity to manage its corporate research portfolio and to exploit it and disseminate it as broadly as possible. Rector said that the University continues to forge international collaborations, mainly through participation in European Framework and Interregional programmes.  “The University of Malta must continue to identify strategic partners of repute,” Rector added, “I am pleased to announce the launch of two dual International Masters Programmes which have commenced classes at our Valletta campus. The first, in tandem with James Madison University, is on Sustainable Environmental Resource Management. The second, in tandem with San Diego State University, is on Integrated Marketing Communications,” he said.

Prof. Camilleri said the University was also in advanced stages of preparation to launch another two dual international masters programmes in the next academic year. The first is in tandem with Western Michigan University on Criminology and Criminal Justice while the second is with George Mason University on Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security. 

Rector announced that there are also several other very promising prospects being explored with an eye to extending the growing profile of bilateral or multilateral dual and joint degree programmes.  He highlighted another two major achievements last year in the University’s internationalisation strategy - an agreement reached with the Government of Kuwait which has secured a significant steady influx of Kuwaiti students to pursue their studies in a range of subjects, and another concerning the Confucius Institute to be located in Binja Guże Cassar Pullicino which is soon to be up and running.

The University Chaplain, Fr Michael Bugeja, who has recently returned from what he termed as a powerful experience lived in Ethiopia, chose the theme "What you did to the least of my brothers and sisters you have done it to Me' for the religious service. He said that life on campus offered not only academic advancement but also a whole gamut of opportunities to help others. “In fact we have tried to involve as many as possible in this opening ceremony. The choir and band is made up of students from all faculties under the guidance of Ms Michelle Paris from DegreePlus Music. During the celebration we have asked international students to take part and also look forward to integrating other faiths so as to make this moment as holistic as possible," he concluded.

Click here to download the Rector's speech [PDF].

Opening of the Academic Year 2009-2010

Opening of the Academic Year 2009-2010

Opening of the Academic Year 2009-2010

30 Sept. 2009
 

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