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Conditions imposed on Sadeen Group for university licence ‘are not negotiable’

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Conditions imposed on the Sadeen Group to obtain a university licence are “non-negotiable”, according to the head of the regulatory body.

Martin Scicluna, chairman of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education, tells The Sunday Times of Malta in an interview the Jordanian company will have to agree to all the 16 conditions imposed by his board.

Last week the commission disclosed the findings of a 14-month due diligence process it conducted on Sadeen’s application to have an American University of Malta with campuses in Cospicua and Marsascala.

The company was offered a university licence and the onus is now on the investors to accept the conditions, which include regular audits and financial commitments, Mr Scicluna says.

“This is the board’s independent decision and that is what they have to comply with. If they choose not to, the ball is really in their court and they can opt not to take the licence.”

Announced by the Prime Minister in May last year, the project was mired in controversy because the original plans proposed a campus on 90,000 square metres of land in an outside development zone at Żonqor Point, Marsascala.

The government eventually re-proposed a split campus – the Dock One area in Cospicua and a reduced footprint in Marsascala – after pressure from green groups, the Opposition and a big protest in Valletta.

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