The Malta Independent 24 June 2019, Monday

Accreditation process for new university has only just begun - Martin Scicluna

Rachel Attard Friday, 8 May 2015, 10:44 Last update: about 5 years ago

The accreditation of American University of Malta has only just begun, Martin Scicluna, Chairman of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE), the Commission responsible for accrediting the curriculum by DePaul University, said. The application was filed by Sadeen Education Investment Ltd.

The NCFHE is a go-between for government and higher education institutions, taking on suggestions and recommendations from stakeholders, while addressing concerns in this sector. It also oversees the implementation of the national Qualifications Framework and qualification recognition.

A set of questions were sent by this newsroom to Mr Martin Scicluna yesterday.

He was asked whether he knows that De Paul university will only be  present until the accreditation process is concluded, who the rector of the university and dean of colleges will be, whether since the agreement has been signed he believes he is in a position which prevents him from refusing the American University’s accreditation.

He was also asked, considering his having been vocal on environmental issues, whether the sanctioning of this university in an ODZ would go against his efforts against over-development.

Martin Scicluna chose to answer all questions in one paragraph – “The accreditation process of American University of Malta has only just begun. It is a process which will take several weeks to be completed. The accreditation of any university or further education institution by NCFHE is a thorough and demanding process which does not allow for any deviation from the quality standards that Malta sets. I have no information at this stage about the rector or dean of the colleges. As to the environmental impact of the university, this is outside the terms of reference of NCFHE. But my understanding as a layman is that the environmental impact of the university will depend crucially on the area for development which will be selected by government. So far as I know no decision about this has yet been taken”.

The Education Act indicates that the entire Commission Board is appointed by government.

Section 69 states that the Commission members shall be nominated by the Minister and appointed by the Prime Minister for a period of three years, with members eligible for reappointment after their term expires.

The same law also states that the Prime Minister shall appoint a Chairman and Deputy Chairman from among the members.

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