The Office for Human Resources Management & Development organised an Orientation Day for Academics which was held on Friday 19 October 2018 at the Valletta Campus.
This activity was designed to assist new academics in learning about the University's rich history, mission and culture, while offering the employees the prospect of establishing relationships and networks with new colleagues. This event provided information regarding the key offices within Administration. A total of 41 new academics attended for this event.
The event commenced with a welcome session addressed by the Rectorate, including the Rector, Professor Alfred J. Vella and the Pro-Rectors, Professor Joseph M. Cacciottolo, Professor Carmen Sammut, Professor Tanya Sammut-Bonnici and Professor Saviour Zammit. The Rector commenced this event by outlining the vision of the University and the efforts undertaken to achieve the main aims from a short-term, medium-term and long-term perspectives and by highlighting the role of academic staff in achieving the University’s vision. The Pro-Rectors provided a brief outline by explaining their respective academic portfolio and remit. Professor Carmen Sammut in her role as the Pro-Rector for Student & Staff Affairs and Outreach focused on the newly set-up Health & Wellness Centre and outlined the list of comprehensive and inclusive services aimed at enhancing the wellness of UM students and members of staff.
The Registrar, Ms Veronica Grech delivered the following session by providing a brief overview of the role of the Office of the Registrar with regard to the administration of students from the application stage towards their graduation and provided a brief overview of the services and committees that fall under the remit of the Office of the Registrar and explained the role of the Registrar in Senate.
Following a coffee break, the Secretary, Mr Simon Sammut commenced the session with a brief introduction on the role of the Secretary within Council. Mr Colin Borg subsequently provided an overview of the governing structures of the University and the structural set-up within a faculty, institute, centre or school level. Particular reference was made to two overriding themes within Higher Education Institutions including the interrelationship between governing structures, academia and managerialism and finding a balance between managing, teaching and embarking on academic research.
The Director of the Office for Human Resources Management & Development, Ms Jacqueline Fenech delivered an interactive session on the role of Human Resources within the University and highlighted the balance between the expectations of the organisation vis-à-vis the expectations of the employees.
Ms Joanne Attard, the Senior Executive in charge of the Academic Programmes Quality and Resources Unit provided a detailed presentation on the role of her unit. The main aim of this session was to sensitize academics to the need of formulating programmes of study in line with institutional, national and European requirements. The President and Secretary General of the University of Malta Academic Staff Association (UMASA) provided a brief information on this trade union and their role in the negotiation of the Collective Agreement for academics.
The subsequent session provided information about the course ‘Foundations of University Teaching & Learning’. In this session Dr Gillian Martin, Dr Sandro Lanfranco and Dr Ing Glenn Cassar from the Office for Professional & Academic Development shared their approaches to, and beliefs about, teaching and the impact they have had on student learning. The Director for Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office, Mr Pierre Cassar, delivered an engaging presentation on the recent rebranding exercise in an effort to establish a modern image of the University.
Following a lunch break, Ms Stefania Agius Fabri, the Director of International Office captured the extent of International students at the University. A profile of the diverse nature and needs of the international student population was presented with a specific focus on the broad needs of various groups of students.
The Deputy Director of IT Services, Mr James Cilia, gave an overview of the services offered by the IT Services that assist academics in the delivery of teaching. Subsequently Mr Kevin Ellul, the Director of Library provided an overview of the resources and services offered by the UM Library.
The final session comprised of a list of panel of speakers hailing from the research fields including Professor Saviour Zammit as Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Dr Christian Bonnici, Dr Axel Steuwer and Mr Andras Havasi. Their session focused on how to obtain competitive research funding on a national, regional and EU level, how and when to apply for projects, what to include in an application for funding, managing your research funds and research commercialisation.
Photographs can be accessed in the following link.
Details on the next upcoming events and various training initiatives organised by Office for Human Resources Management & Development may be found on their website.