Entry to university
With reference to the front page item on entry to university (28 November) it would be unfair not to remark that the University of Malta has not ignored issues relating to access to tertiary education for would-be students with special needs, who happen to be Maltese, although this pressing matter certainly deserves more attention.
A fairly recent vote in Senate readily to grant such access to (for example) otherwise fully qualified autistic applicants, which I had supported, was very narrowly defeated on the ground that rather than take a piecemeal approach it would be better to see if a qualification in the local language should continue to be obligatory for all Maltese students, including those who had not the slightest intention of joining the Department of Maltese or its closely allied Institute of Linguistics in a particular faculty.
I happened to have heard the young Maltese lady in question on TV address the European Parliament articulately and eloquently, if somewhat haltingly – in English of course. In spite of any nationalistic arguments to the contrary, I can honestly say that she did me proud. Having said that, at the Institute of Maltese Studies we regard Maltese as a core element of nationality, although by no means the only one.