University of Malta Freshers’ Week kicks off
Today marks the launch of Freshers’ Week at the University of Malta, as new Rector Alfred Vella will deliver his first Freshers’ week speech, as rector, to the students.
The doors will open for University students at 8.45am today. Students will get to meet their fellow classmates for the first time, learn about their courses, will prepare for the year ahead, and hold meetings with lecturers and faculty.
All University students and staff are also invited to the Inauguration Mass for Academic Year 2016-17 which will be held at 12:30pm at the University Chapel. Archbishop Charles Scicluna, will celebrate the Mass.
Professor Alfred Vella, who held the post of pro-rector prior to his new appointment, was interviewed by The Malta Independent last February.
He had indicated that he would follow in the footsteps of his predecessor in a number of aspects.
“We are already making the university more accessible to people, and are implementing more measures for non-traditional students such as those who work and can only study during the evenings or perhaps online. We have recently introduced a liberal arts and sciences programme that allows students to choose from a wide variety of study modules without the need for any connection between them: this is just one way that people could use the university to enrich their knowledge, especially when they’re not interested in reading for a full degree or diploma”.
He spoke of the need to find a better way to encourage individuals who have never been to university to consider doing so, possibly building on the skills and competences that may have been acquired at their place of work or in other ways.
“We must also improve and consolidate the bridges between academic and vocational education,” he had said.
The whole controversy regarding the American University of Malta was also a hot topic discussed in the press over this year.
The Rector, speaking about the American University of Malta, had previously told this newsroom: “I have no problem with other tertiary institutions coming to Malta allowing government to earn revenue.
“International education is big business, but the UoM has its hands tied since it can’t really compete for international students in the near field, seeing that we cannot charge any fees for EU students. How can you market yourself under these conditions? That apart, I don’t think the Institute will be a threat to the UoM, as it is unlikely to significantly influence negatively our student base”.
University lecturers tend to make their voices heard when a matter of national importance arises, and this past year has not been different. Recently, several University lecturers, including Professor Kevin Aquilina (Dean of the Faculty of Law), signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, headed by Flimkien ghal Ambjent
Ahjar, calling on the Prime Minister to act in favour of Malta’s deteriorating environment and quality of life.
The letter, took aim at pollution, the destruction of heritage and landscapes, lack of enforcement, industrial development, high-rise developments and several other issues.