The University of Malta celebrated its 250th anniversary as the new academic year began with welcoming fresh batch of students on Monday.
A total of 3,573 new students, including 2,234 undergraduate students and 1,339 postgraduate students have been admitted this year.
Apart from this, total of 950 overseas students have also taken admission in the University this year representing 111 different countries across the world.
The welcome speech was given by University of Malta Rector Alfred Vella who talked about the establishment of the University and its good performance.
“A university without a significant research output is only so in name”, and that “to perform substantial and impactful research, the University needs to have enough money at its disposal,” Vella said.
He added that the University had acquired funds equivalent to multimillion Euro from the European Union for developing and expanding its research infrastructure.
“We will continue to ask for additional money from our State in order to be able to attract to our faculties more masters and especially full time doctoral and post-doctoral researchers without whom the work cannot happen in sufficiency,” he added.
He spoke on other issues at length including Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies. In addition, Vella also talked about the unequal representation of genders in the political and other circles.
“We need to find sensible ways to promote better gender parity in our national institutions, including the University, because as in biological ecosystems, the more varied and richer the mix of species, the more stable the system,” he said.
Lastly, he announced the formulation of the first Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 after discussions held with various stakeholders including the staff and students. He asserted that the plan will help them remain focus and develop the university.
“We’ve been here, through thick and thin, for 250 years: long may L-Universita’ endure and meanwhile remain true to its motto, that of “serving students, scholarship and society sustainably,” he concluded.