University students using Mcast facilities
The university and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology are collaborating in the engineering sector to avoid the duplication of resources.
At the moment 100 first-year university students pursuing an engineering degree are following a six-week training programme at Mcast because of its advanced equipment.
Education Minister Louis Galea welcomed the collaboration. He yesterday visited the college together with new university rector Juanito Camilleri, the president of the Mcast board of governors Paul Attard and college principal Frank Edwards.
"In a small island it does not make sense to duplicate resources and as a result of such collaboration the funds available can be stretched and invested elsewhere," Dr Galea said.
Prof. Camilleri said that Malta was working to encourage students to pursue subjects such as science, technology, mathematics and engineering, all areas where Mcast and the university could collaborate.
At present, the college is also providing training to the employees of Lufthansa Technik, as part of a collaboration agreement between the two sides.
Dr Galea referred to the high-tech laboratory set up at Mcast, which cost Lm250,000 partly financed through EU regional funds.
Other projects underway at the college include enlarging the library and the resource centre, a new building for the institute for care within the community, a new child care centre, and new workshops for welding, fabrication and electrical installation within the Mcast's centre in Gozo.
The Malta Employers Association described the stand taken by Prof. Camilleri on the relationship between the university and Mcast "as a much needed breath of fresh air to maximise the efficiency of the resources and facilities of Malta's tertiary educational institutions".
The association said there was no question that such a collaboration will benefit the institutions themselves and the students, who will have increased opportunities to enrich their academic knowledge with exposure to vocational training that is essential in today's working environment.
This is certainly a step that will improve the standard of our graduates and make them more employable, the association said.
It said it had been claiming for years that there was no room for territorial attitudes between the university and Mcast, and that both institutions should work towards the common goal of providing the best opportunities for the development of Malta's human resource.
The association would like to see this cooperation extended to other projects for the mutual benefit of the institutions, students and employers.