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Features 2011
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University Staff Bike Ride for Charity

A group of the University’s academic and administrative personnel headed by the Rector recently got together for a bike ride of 27kms, from Ta’ Qali to Wied iz-Zurrieq, to raise some money for the charity Puttinu Cares.

Bike Ride


13 January 2012

Slow Food Malta

Slow Food Malta, formally launched in February 2009, works from the Institute for Tourism, Travel & Culture at the University of Malta. Members of Slow Food Malta teach or study gastronomy, or work in the food or culinary sectors. The Convivium, as a local branch is called, strives to promote an awareness of Maltese food heritage through teaching, research, writing and conviviality and by organising meals based on authentic and historically correct recipes and methods of cooking.

Recent Activities
Terra Madre Day was held at the recently inaugurated Maria Regina College Mosta Boys Secondary School. The day started with the planting of a herb garden by students who thoroughly enjoyed the experience and became familiar with the smells of the various herbs planted. Towards mid-day students enjoyed a ftira each as well as yoghurt and a bottle of water. Later they gathered in the school hall to listen to a talk on ‘Eating Smart’ delivered by Dr Suzanne Piscopo, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition Studies and a member of Slow Food Malta. Dr George Cassar coordinated the day’s activity.

Early in November, members of the Slow Food Malta Committee, on the suggestion of Chev. Charles Xuereb, paid a courtesy visit to the President of Malta. The President came up with the idea that Slow Food Malta should participate in L-Istrina 2011 by setting a menu with Maltese recipes from the 1790s that could match with a re-enactment that was planned to be held at Verdala Castle. Mr Noel Buttigieg and Professor Carmel Cassar prepared the menu and a report on table preparation and presentation. The menu and the whole setting were meant to recreate forgotten smells, tastes and values, as well as to educate visitors to Verdala Castle, and the many thousands of viewers in their homes. The activity also tried to highlight the importance of eating food and fruit of the season and appreciate foods prepared with traditional methods of cooking. A group of string musicians played period music for the occasion.
Finally on Christmas Eve, the Franco-German Culture TV station Arte aired a midday programme on Christmas food traditions in several European countries including Malta. Those interviewed on Malta by French journalist Christian Roudaut included Professor Carmel Cassar who was asked to comment on the cultural and traditional aspects of Maltese Christmas foods.

What is Slow Food?

Slow Food believes that everyone has a fundamental right to enjoy good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this enjoyment possible.

Slow Food is about GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR FOOD.

  1. The food we eat should taste GOOD. The frantic fast world's obsessions with unnecessary industrialisation, excessive ‘food miles’, standardisation and homogeneity very often result in bland food that simply does not taste as good as food that has been produced locally with care, pride and passion.
  2. That food should be CLEAN, meaning that food should be produced in a sustainable way, without any negative impact on our environment, and with a minimum of artificial intervention.
  3. Food should be produced in a FAIR way, which implies that producers should receive a fair pay for their skill and labour.
Slow Food is in favour of technological progress and seeks to utilise an ever-expanding knowledge base to retain and develop the diversity of all that is best in our world heritage.

Any additional info can be obtained from the website or by or sending an email.

Slow Food Malta     Slow Food Malta

Slow Food Malta
Meeting of members of Slow Food Malta with the President of Malta, held at The Palace, Valletta on 1 November 2011. Left to right: Ms Diane Sammut, Dr George Cassar, Prof. Carmel Cassar, HE The President of Malta Dr George Abela, Ms Stephanie Mamo, Chev. Charles Xuereb, Mr Noel Buttigieg.


12 January 2012

POPs in our Lives

The Cleaner Technology Centre (CTC) in conjunction with the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production (RAC/CP) of UNEP/MAP recently organised an exhibition and seminar at University House on the Presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in our environment. Under the slogan 'POPs in your Life' the seminar sought to explain how the chemical substances present in many of the products we consume can affect our health and the environment and what we can do to reduce their presence in our everyday lives.

Following an introduction by Anton Pizzuto, Director of the CTC and an address by Professor Emmanuel Sinagra, Head of the University's Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Dr Roland Weber, a consultant to UNIDO, UNEP and UNDP, gave a lecture entitled 'Securing Health in a World of Chemicals'. The lecture was followed by three workshops showing the presence of POPs in food, textile products and electrical & electronic equipment. The seminar concluded with the showing of the film 'Silent Snow' and a debate related to the issues appearing in the film and the presence of POPs in our lives.

Complementing these activities an exhibition was mounted answering the main questions 'What are POPs?' 'Why are they dangerous?' 'How do they affect us?' 'What is the origin of POPs in food, clothes and electronic equipment?' 'What solutions exist to reduce their presence?'

The activities were well attended by university students, and representatives from MEPA (Environment Protection Directorate), Industry and the OPM.

Following this successful event, the CTC facilitated an invitation for Professor Emmanuel Sinagra to attend a meeting in Barcelona on 'Alternatives to POPs'.




11 January 2012

Course in Proofreading Maltese

Course in Proof Reading Maltese
part-time course


06 January 2012

Agreement between the Malta Business Bureau and the Institute for European Studies

The Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and the Institute for European Studies concluded an agreement to make it possible for European Studies students to obtain credits through traineeship programmes with the MBB.

Read more about it ...


05 January 2012

New Learning Opportunities in Cooperation for Development

Launch of New Modules

In the framework of the European Union co-financed project 'Raising Awareness on Development Cooperation' (RADC), led by the Cypriot NGO CARDET, a consortium of partner organisations and universities from Malta, Cyprus, Romania and Greece has developed eight educational modules on issues related to the Millennium Development Goals: Introduction to Sustainable Development; Fair Trade; Poverty Eradication; Develop a global Partnership for Development; Education for All; Climate Change; Civic Engagement; and Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases.
The modules were designed for the tertiary education context - according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) - and can be utilised in both the formal and non-formal educational setting. The modules are divided into thematic units and offer various means of knowledge assessment, such as discussion fora and quizzes. In Malta, the modules are the result of a collaboration between the NGO KOPIN (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali – VO/0200) and the Centre for Environmental Education and Research (CEER) at the University of Malta.  

The importance of educating about sustainable development, both locally and globally, inspired KOPIN to develop an educational module on the subject. Together with Stefano Moncada, Assistant Lecturer at the Institute for European Studies at the University of Malta, KOPIN has developed the course 'Introduction to Sustainable Development'. The module focuses on political-economic tools to understand, among other issues, theories and concepts of sustainable development, the international dimension and the engagement of the international community, as well as the role played by the EU to foster sustainable development and its Mediterranean dimension. Specific case studies and best practice, as well as future sustainability challenges in connection with the Millennium Development Goals, are addressed.

'Fair Trade' was the subject chosen by CEER. Together with the researcher Mahira Sheikh – a Fair Trade activist with grassroots experience in the field - CEER addresses issues such as international trade, the Fair Trade Network and the impact of Fair Trade, while not shying away from controversial issues around Fair Trade and ethical consumption.

All modules, developed in the English language, will soon be available for use free of charge on the project website.

For further information, visit the website or contact CEER by email or KOPIN on tel: +356 21372266 or by email.


05 January 2012

New Institute for European Studies

The European Documentation and Research Centre of the University of Malta has changed its name to Institute for European Studies. The change has been approved by Senate and subsequently by the Council of the University. The Institute for European Studies takes on all the responsibilities and links of the EDRC.

The Institute for European Studies continues to host the European Documentation Centre (EDC) a repository of documents and information supplied by the European Commission. The EDC forms part of the Europe Direct network.

The Director of the Institute is Professor Roderick Pace who has occupied this position since 2000. Apart from Prof. Pace, the other full-time academic staff members are Dr Mark Harwood, Dr Marcello Carammia, Mr Stefano Moncada, Mr Jean Micallef-Grimaud and Ms Moira Catania. They are assisted in their work by a number of visiting part-time lecturers and a team of full-time and part-time support staff.

The academic staff is engaged in research and publication in European Studies. Research is given high priority at the Institute.

The Institute for European Studies is also responsible for the running of a number of courses namely an evening Diploma in European Studies, a Bachelor of European Studies, a taught MA and a doctoral programme leading to a Ph.D. The courses were launched in 1993 and the first student graduated Masters of Art in 1994. Since then more than 425 have graduated in the various degrees.

Presently there are 109 students studying at the Institute at first degree and undergraduate level, 18 reading the MA. About 212 students are reading European Studies as a secondary area of studies.

The Institute for European Studies maintains a vibrant network of its alumni.

The Institute is a member of the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (Euromesco), the Forum Euromediterrane des Instituts de Science Economique (FEMISE), the LISBOAN Erasmus Academic Network and it also has links with the European Parties Elections and Referendums Network (EPERN) of the Sussex European Institute of the University of Sussex.

The web-page of the Institute can be accessed at while the email is The Institute is also on Facebook.


03 January 2012

BRIDGE-IT Seminar in Malta

A BRIDGE-IT seminar was held in Malta recently organised by the Faculty of Education, University of Malta and coordinated by Professor Carmel Borg, the local coordinator for the project. BRIDGE-IT (Be Relevant to Intercultural Diversity Generation in Europe – Integration Team) is a European, Grundtvig project that aims to deliver blended educational experiences that help adults-in-mobility (AMs) and adults-in-contact-with-mobility (ACMs) to critically reflect on intercultural communication within institutional-bureaucratic contexts. BRIDGE-IT builds on the experience garnered through the SPICES project (winner of  two 'Quality in Mobility' awards). Other BRIDGE-IT collaborators, include Dr Mario Pace, Dr Philip Bonanno, Colin Calleja and Professor Sandro Caruana, all from the University’s Faculty of Education.

The seminar set out to address two main objectives: to engage local stakeholders in a needs analysis exercise based on real, on-the-ground, bureaucratic/institutional situations; and to evaluate the on-line learning experiences produced by the BRIDGE-IT partnership to date.  

The first session was largely dedicated to reflections on biographies and narratives of migrants coming to Malta from sub-Saharan Africa. The facilitators of the reflection process were Maria Pisani, an activist and researcher in the area of migration and education, and Dr Ahmed Bugri, a lawyer, originally from Ghana, who is the Director of the Marsa Open Centre for migrants. In their reaction to the various stories of adults-in-mobility who came in contact with Maltese bureaucratic institutions, participants problematised frames-of-mind that marginalise migrants and roadblock intercultural communication.

The next session was facilitated by Mr Mario Friggieri, Commissioner for Refugees (Malta),  Lieutenant Colonel Brian Gatt, Commander Detention Services, Major Jeffrey Curmi, Armed Forces of Malta Training Branch, Inspector Mario Haber, Immigration Police, and Dr Katrine Camilleri, Jesuit Refugee Centre. Mr Friggieri gave those present  a step-by-step account of  the asylum application process, including measures to minimise intercultural misunderstandings.  Lt. Col. Gatt, Major Curmi and Inspector Haber discussed  the communication challenges faced by local adults-in-contact-with-mobility who work in contexts marked by security concerns whilst Dr. Katrine Camilleri provided partipants with insights into the  structural and infrastructural limitations imposed by gaps in bureaucratic provisions.  

Professor Carmel Borg discussed the adult education principles and values that inform the BRIDGE-IT educator whilst Colin Calleja focused on the original elements of BRIDGE-IT in contrast with previous European projects, namely SPICES and E-SPICES. During the last session, which they co-led, participants were asked to evaluate individual, on-line learning experiences against three criteria: content, structure and pedagogy.  Using the tele-conferencing facilities located at the Gateway Building, the evaluations were relayed to the rest of the BRIDGE-IT partnership assembled in Perugia.


23 December 2011

Presentation of Certificates in Clinical Nursing Practice

Professor Angela Xuereb, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, recently presented forty-six qualified nurses with a Certificate in Clinical Nursing Practice. These nurses were awarded this certificate following the successful completion of a one year course focusing on their particular area of practice. Certificates were awarded in various specialties which included Adult Cancer Care, Community Nursing, Elderly Care, Emergency Nursing, Paediatric Nursing and Rehabilitation Care.  

During her speech, Professor Xuereb stressed the importance of lifelong learning and for health care professionals to update their knowledge throughout their career. Dr Roberta Sammut delivered the next  speech in which she highlighted the contribution the Department of Nursing has made to continuous professional development of qualified nurses and how this Certificate in Clinical Nursing can be used as a progression towards a BSc Honours Degree in Health Sciences.

The final speech was given by staff nurse Florence Darmanin, who through her  own experience, showed that studying whilst working as a nurse is no mean feat and that it is never too late to seek new knowledge and to take on new challenges. Mrs Darmanin stressed  how the acquisition of new skills and knowledge  ultimately affects patient care.   
The Department of Nursing at the Faculty of Health Sciences, has consistently sought to develop professionals as well as to foster a sense of lifelong learning at various academic and professional levels.  Since the early 1990s, the Nursing Department has offered a vast range of continuous professional development courses. The new certificates in clinical nursing practice are specifically designed with the needs of nurses working in specialists areas in mind.  These courses addressed a gap in the programmes offered, in view of the advanced knowledge and skills required by nurses in these areas and the ever changing nature of practice. 

The Department of Nursing with the support of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta wants to see the continuous professional programmes grow over the next few years with an aim to foster new learning that will ultimately translate into practice.  

Professor Angela Xuereb presenting a certificate to a successful student
Professor Angela Xuereb, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences presenting a certificate to a successful student.


22 December 2011

University of Malta Student Wins Award

Bettina Cassar, a University of Malta student reading a BA in Music and Communications, wins a music award.

Read more about it.


16 December 2011


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