A €300,000 blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) scholarship fund has been announced for students specialising in ICT, law, finance and engineering.

The scholarship fund, which will be split over three years, follows the signing of an agreement between the University of Malta and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).

Students starting their studies in the coming academic year can benefit from the scholarship for Master’s and PhD research dissertations related to blockchain and DLT.

Scholarships will be available for courses with at least 30 ECTS credits directly related to DLT. Students will be provided with full sponsorship for the course.

Silvio Schembri, the digital economy parliamentary secretary, said the scholarship would support efforts to attract blockchain companies to Malta, by ensuring that the necessary human resources were available locally.

“These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law and managerial roles”, Dr Schembri said, adding that he looked forward to seeing Maltese students occupying important posts in this sector.

University rector Alfred Vella added that the university would be continuing an internal exercise to review degree and Master’s programmes in law, finance, ICT and other areas to include units relating to DLT, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, fintech and regtech.

Prof. Vella said the aim of the review was to have educational programmes in line with the government’s strategy to make Malta “the blockchain island”.

MITA executive chairman Tony Sultana added that the agency was engaging in similar initiatives with other educational institutions, as well as carrying out training sessions for public sector employees to familiarise themselves with the technologies.

The agency will also be the main IT partner for the Delta Summit, a major blockchain and digital innovation even being held in Malta in October.

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