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Faculty of Arts Dean’s List 2008

The Faculty of Arts Dean’s List award ceremony was held on Friday 25 April 2008. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. D. Fenech presented the awards to the following students:
Ms Charelle Debattista [B.A. Arabic & Maltese]
Mr Marvin Demicoli [B.A. Archaeology & Psychology]
Ms Aldith Gauci [B.A. (Hons) Theatre]
Mr Samuel Scicluna [B.A. (Hons) International Relations]
Ms Jana Tsoneva.  [B.A. (Hons) Anthropology]

Prof. Fenech congratulated the five students and explained how the very stringent conditions of the Dean’s List allows only the very best to feature in this prestigious list. In fact, only students who achieve 'A' grades in at least 80 credits during the first two years of their course, without any fails or re-sits, can be included in the List. The students must also be recommended by the Head of Department in consultation with other tutors for inclusion in the Dean's list.

These students will be graduating in November 2008.

The Faculty of Arts would like to publicly thank the Bank of Valletta for sponsoring the event.


19 May 2010

Physical Oceanography Unit launches an Atmospheric Alert System...

Physical Oceanography Unit launches an Atmospheric Alert System for the Central Mediterranean and the Maltese Islands

It is well known that our society is vulnerable to severe weather events, including heavy rainfall, lightning strokes, strong winds and high waves (especially in coastal areas) as well as extreme high and low temperatures, which tend to have an adverse impact on property, resources, humans as well as on a large number of social and economic activities. The Mediterranean is an area notorious for such extreme events, mainly due to the formation of Mediterranean storms in autumn and winter, and the occurrence of high surface temperatures (heat waves) during summer. At sea, extreme meteorological conditions trigger harsh sea conditions that are dangerous for navigation both to crew and cargoes.  With climate change such events are becoming more frequent, and are expected to become wilder in the future.  

Regional authorities and civil protection agencies are being provided with tools for the protection of life and property from adverse weather conditions. A prototype atmospheric alert system for severe weather events for the Maltese Islands and the Central Mediterranean area has been set up by the Physical Oceanography Unit (PO-Unit) of the International Ocean Institute-Malta Operational Centre (IOI-MOC) at the University of Malta. This work was coordinated by Dr Aldo Drago, Director of this research institute.  Through a dedicated website, this system provides alerts to end users well in advance of any extreme weather event, giving responsible authorities the opportunity for timely response and mitigation. The prediction of adverse weather events in advance and the dissemination of alerts to the relevant authorities, mariners, end-users and to the public is an important service, but also a demanding task.

This service is part of a project called Weather Risk Reduction in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean (RISKMED) and is partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg III Community Initiative, which forms part of the Structural Funds Programme for Malta (2004-2006).  The project is led by the Greek University of Ioannina, and brings together a consortium of eight partners from Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Malta with interests and expertise in the subject.  

The atmospheric alert system makes extensive use of satellite observations, the optimization of high resolution meteorological forecasting models, the combined use of wave models for forecasting hazardous sea conditions, and also the use of meteo-marine observations targeting to provide useful information in key areas to the end-users.

The web interface developed for the alerting system is mainly dedicated to furnish early warnings at sea and allows remote users to view predicted alerts of extreme weather and sea conditions within nine sub-areas within the Central Mediterranean (see Figure 1). The alerts are issued on the basis of high resolution meteorological forecast fields prepared by the MARIA/Eta Atmospheric Model and the wave WAM model, both developed and running operationally at the Physical Oceanography Unit (PO-Unit).  Alerts are categorized as yellow, orange or red depending on the severity of the event. The graphical end-user system as well as the thresholds used for the Malta land and surrounding sea areas can be accessed directly from or from the project website after following the ‘RISKMED MALTA’ link.  Similar interfaces developed by the other project partners can be reached through the other links available.

The PO-Unit is the local entity engaged in research covering coastal meteorology, hydrography and physical oceanography with a main emphasis on the study of the hydrodynamics of the sea in the vicinity of the Maltese Islands. The Unit promotes activities in operational oceanography by the installation and maintenance of permanent meteo-marine observing systems, and the provision of atmospheric and marine forecasts which can be accessed from the CapeMalta website.


Figure 1: The sub-areas used to provide alerts in the Central Mediterranean area
A meteo monitoring station on the breakwater of Marsaxlokk provides meteorological observations in real time on, while the Malta MedGLOSS station in PortoMaso provides updates on sea level and temperature on The PO-Unit also specialises in data management and analysis, and participates in international marine research cooperative ventures.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Alert web interface showing a fictitious combination of alerts

Disclaimer: IOI-MOC and the PO Unit is not officially responsible to issue warnings and this free service is conducted on a best effort basis. We give no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, utility or completeness of this information. Alerts are issued by an online automated system on the basis of forecasts generated by numerical models.  Alerts should only be considered as indicative of meteo-marine events; interpretation and analysis is left completely in the hands of the user.  The user of this system assumes all responsibility and risk for the use of any information and data from this service.

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1 December 2008


01 December 2008

Design Competition - Deadline: 1st December

The UoM Foundation Day International Design Competition invites designers, both in Malta and from overseas ...

The deadline for the competition to design a gown and cap for UoM Masters and Ph.D. graduands is 1st December.

Click here for further details.


28 November 2008

The Role of the University Ombudsman

The Office of the University Ombudsman (UO) is established in terms of the Education Act to investigate complaints by students and staff of the University of Malta in respect of actions taken by that University. By way of delegated authority in terms of the Ombudsman Act, the University Ombudsman also investigates analogous complaints involving the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) as well as the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS).
In the exercise of his investigatory role, the main aim of the UO is to determine whether the administrative act complained of complies with established norms of good administration including whether complainant’s case had been processed in an appropriate manner, in line with established procedure and polices and without discrimination. 

His role is not intended to determine guilt or innocence, but to promote good administration by the Institutions concerned and as a result, enhance a harmonious professional relationship between the staff, students and the administration of these Institutions.  Though not officially a mediator, the UO may use this approach as a method of alternative dispute resolution.

The UO deals with complaints only after all other institutional channels or avenues available to the complainant have been exhausted. He does so once the complaint has been lodged in writing. All action by the UO will cease once a case is taken to court or to any other competent tribunal.

The UO does not deal with cases that are of a purely academic nature, although he may look at academic processes and procedures.  He does not deal with complaints that are frivolous or trivial or that are not made in good faith. He does not consider complaints that have been decided upon by his predecessors, or which go beyond the six-month time bar, unless significant new evidence, which had not been previously considered, is presented.

In dealing with complaints, the UO follows the procedure outlined below:

  1. On receiving a written complaint, he will acknowledge the complaint and confirm whether or not he will be undertaking a formal investigation.
  2. He will provide a copy of the complaint with any accompanying documentation to the head of the institution concerned as the respondent, who will be asked to reply in detail to the complaint.
  3. The UO will evaluate all the data provided and where appropriate will hold interviews with the individuals or authorities concerned.
  4. The UO will report on the complaint listing the finding of facts resulting from the investigation, and make recommendations if appropriate.  A copy of this report will be sent to the complainant and to the Institutions concerned.
  5. The UO will follow-up the case to ensure that his recommendations are acted upon.
A complainant who is not satisfied with the report of the UO can make her/his case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

The UO will receive written complaints either in hard copy, which can be handed in the Office of the Ombudsman, 11 St Paul's Street, Valletta, or through electronic mail.  Whenever possible the downloadable form should be used by accessing the Office of the Ombudsman website and selecting the University Ombudsman Complaint Form.

Professor Charles Farrugia
University Ombudsman
6th November 2008  


Professor Charles Farrugia, University Ombudsman 

Professor Charles Farrugia was born at Rabat in 1941, had his primary and secondary education at St Aloysius’ College. He started his teaching career in Malta’s state schools in 1959, moving to a lectureship in teacher education in 1967. He studied Education at St. Michael’s Training College, at the Universities of London and Montreal, and again at the University of London Institute of Education, from where he obtained a Ph.D. with a study on professionalism in education.

In 1978, Professor Farrugia became the founder Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta, a position he held for fourteen years during which time, courses leading to the B.Ed. (Hons), M.Ed., Ph.D. and several specialised Diploma level courses in Education were launched. In February 2009, Professor Farrugia will stop co-ordinating the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Administration and Management) course, which has been running for 24 years and which has become a mandatory qualification for anyone seeking a Head of School position in Malta’s State and Church school sectors.

He spent the decade 1996-2006 as Pro-Rector of the University, introducing such administrative procedures as University-wide academic audits and the institution’s first five-year strategic plan. He has worked extensively with the British Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO on education policy-making and development in small states. He chaired the Junior College Board for more than ten years. His most recent publications are Malta’s entry in the 2009 International Encyclopaedia of Education and a chapter in a book on educational administration in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Since 1996 he has chaired the Maltese National Commission for UNESCO, and serves as a Governor at the Malta Financial Services Authority. He is married to Doris nee` Ciangura and has three children. 


26 November 2008

Liberating Praxis

Peter Mayo's 2004 award winning book – winner of a 2005 American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award – has just been published in paperback version, with modifications, by Sense Publishers Rotterdam. It is the first book in the series 'International Studies in Adult Education' edited by Professor Mayo himself.  The book was originally published in 2004 in hardback cover by Praeger Publishers.
This year it was also published in Catalan translation by Crec, Xativa-Valencia.

Mayo Final Cover

Mayo Final Cover 2 

See comments on Liberating Praxis here.


26 November 2008

University of Malta Graduation Ceremonies 2008

This year's University of Malta graduation ceremonies are divided into those for Postgraduate courses, at the Jesuits’ Church of the Old University in Valletta, and ceremonies for  undergraduate courses taking place at the Sir Temi Zammit Hall on campus.

During the four Postgraduate ceremonies, taking place between Monday 24 November and Thursday 27 November at 1630hrs, graduands and guests shall be seated in the Jesuits' Church in Valletta. The Academic Body shall robe at the Foundation for International Studies and then proceed down the steps of the Old University and around the block to the Church. The ceremonies include the Oration by an Academic member of staffand a Speech by a Graduand, as well as musical interludes provided by the University Vocal Ensemble and string orchestra.

List of Graduation Ceremonies and Orators

Postgraduate Ceremonies
24 November
Orator: Dr George Attard, Director, Institute of Agriculture
Graduand: Mr Paul Falzon

25 November
Orator: Dr Paul Pace, Department of Mathematics, Science & Technical Education
Graduand: Ms Natalie Kenely

26 November
Orator: Prof. Eugene Buttigieg, Department of European and Comparative Law
Graduand: Prof Pierre Mallia

27 November
Orator: Dr Sandra Buttigieg, Director, Institute of Health Care
Graduand: Mr John Betts

Undergraduate Ceremonies
1-9 December
Orator: Dr Louis Cassar, Director, International Environment Institute

Graduation Thanksgiving Mass is being held at St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta as follows:
Thursday, 20 November 2008 at 1830hrs for graduands of the Faculties of: Arts, Education, Engineering, Laws, Science, Theology, Information Communication Technology and CCT.

Friday, 21 November 2008 at 1830hrs for graduands of the Faculties of: the Built Environment, Dental Surgery, Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, Medicine & Surgery, Institute of Health Care and all other Institutes and Centres not mentioned above.


21 November 2008

Induction Course Programme - November 2008

Click here for full details.


20 November 2008

Training on the Filing System of UOM

Click here to view full details.


13 November 2008

Vote online your favourite IOI-Kids Project

 IOI Online VotingOnline voting for 'The IOI- Kids 2008 Competitions' is now open on the IOI-Kids website.

These competitions were organised on topics related to the sea for children and youngsters in two separate age groups: (Age 5-10) and (Age 11-16). The competitions are intended to attract further attention by the younger generations to the IOI-KIDS website, and to provide an avenue for young authors to share their original works and projects with other kids in Malta and worldwide through the publishing on the IOI-KIDS dedicated pages. The competitions consisted of: 'The IOI-Kids Young Journalist Award' with works consisting of news or articles; and 'The IOI-Kids Best 2008 Project' with works consisting of instructive projects presented in different forms, write ups in the form of lessons, essays, poems, stories, powerpoint presentations, web pages, videos etc.

The competitions closed at the end of September and the response was excellent, with around 300 participants. The contributions were short-listed by an expert Selection Panel. The works are now online for direct voting by the children and general public. Visitors to the website have until the 7th of December 2008 to vote for their favourite works. A total of four works may be voted, one from each category. Prizes will be awarded to the best contribution from each category together with a number of token gifts to other participants. The local awards will be presented to the winners in December and selected works will be eventually placed as a permanent item on the IOI-Kids website.

The competitions were organised by the IOI-Malta Operational Centre of the University of Malta, which undertakes research and studies related to the sea, promotes education, training and public awareness as well as provides services in physical oceanography. IOI-MOC has created the IOI-Kids website that seeks to present knowledge on the marine environment in an appealing form to children and teenagers, through the use of interactive games, fora, surveys and informative featured articles. IOI-Kids is still in its infancy but is envisaged to grow over the coming months. Have a look at some informative articles and nice educational games that are already online.


12 November 2008

Celebration Concert

sponsored by HSBC plc


Following last year’s success, this year’s graduands and their guests will once again enjoy a concert to celebrate the University of Malta’s Foundation Day, a unique occasion made possible through the sponsorship of HSBC plc.

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Laus will perform popular classical pieces. Starting at 8pm, on Friday 28 November 2008, this one-hour programme, will be take place in the Republic Hall at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta.

All those attending this special performance are also invited to a Reception to be held afterwards at the same venue. Seats were distributed on a first-come-first-served basis to this year’s graduands and have almost all been taken up.

At a press conference to mark the occasion, the Rector said that this concert is a tribute to all the students for their effort and enterprise during their years of study and to all those who support them during their time at University.  The concert is part of an endeavour to valorise the graduate’s standing as an important element in Maltese society.

Professor Camilleri thanked HSBC for the generous sponsorship that has made this second edition of the Celebration Concert possible.  It is encouraging, he said, to see that a company such as HSBC appreciates the value of the University of Malta graduates both within the social and economic spheres.

Ms Sally Robson, Chief Operating Officer at HSBC, said "Malta enjoys significant talent and a strength and depth of workforce across the board that is multi-skilled and focused on constant improvement. Of course, the University has a great responsibility in this regard, particularly in the development of professional people who will take Malta into a future characterised by sustainable growth, be it social, economic or on a personal level.

" HSBC is very active in supporting education at all levels and ages, from sponsoring events like the Foundation Day that celebrates knowledge, to providing special banking solutions for students and graduates to enable them to take off in the careers they are pursuing."

Both the University and HSBC hope that this celebration concert will become a fixture in the University’s cultural calendar.

Press Conference - Foundation Day Celebration Concert
Ms Sally Robson, COO  HSBC, Prof. Juanito Camilleri, University of Malta Rector, and Prof. Joe Friggieri, Chair Organising Committee

Press Conference - Foundation Day Celebration Concert
Ms Sally Robson greeting Carl Grech, KSU PRO; also in the photo are Prof. Juanito Camilleri, University Rector, and Prof. Joe Friggieri, Chairman Organising Committee    

Communcations & Alumni Relations Office
12 November 2008

The Foundation Day of our Alma Mater goes back to the signing by Grandmaster Pinto of the decree constituting the University on the 22nd November 1769. However, the Collegium Melitense had been set up through direct papal intervention in November 1592. This college was run by the Jesuits and catered for non-Jesuit students. The Jesuits conferred the degrees of Magister Philosophiae and Doctor Divinitatis. The foundation deed, however, specified that other subjects such as Grammar and the Humanities should also be taught.


12 November 2008


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