The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Updated (2): Government signs heads of agreement with American University

Duncan Barry Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 10:32 Last update: about 5 years ago

The government and a Jordanian investor today signed a heads of agreement for the setting up of the American University of Malta.

The agreement was signed at Castille by Economic Services Minister Chris Cardona and Jordanian investor Hani Saleh, who has teamed up with DePaul University of Chicago for the project.

Land near Marsascala in the area known as Zonqor Point has been earmarked for the €115 million campus for 4,000 students. The land near the old national pool at Marsascala will be upgraded as part of the project.

An environment impact assessment will be held before the porject can start, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said at the signing. Present for the signing was also Education Minister Evarist Bartolo.

Sections of SmartCity will be used until the building of the campus is completed in two years’ time.

In the first year, the intake of students will be of 1,000, and this will gradually increase to 4,000 in four years.

After an introduction given by Sadeen Group on the launch of the project, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat gave a closing speech by sharing two good news where he reiterated that the AUM project is aimed at consolidating Malta’s already excellent reputation whilst also serving as an education hub in the Mediterranean.

Dr Muscat said the proposed project will aid in accelerating the development and the attraction which Malta poses as an education destination for students from all over the region and beyond.

The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction that Sadeen Group had chosen Malta as the destination for this investment and also for them having teamed up with the acclaimed De Paul University of Chicago, which will offer international students a cutting edge experience in Malta.

Whilst admitting that he was looking forward to having Maltese students avail themselves of these world class programmes, the Prime Minister said that the government will be negotiating hard for scholarships to be offered to Maltese students.  The Prime Minister also urged this new addition to the education eco-system to work with the other institutions, namely the University of Malta, Barts Medical School, the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology, and the Institute for Tourism Studies, among others and claimed that, such synergies, can result in value-added to the Maltese economy.

The Prime Minister said that the AUM project will be based in the underestimated southern part of Malta which so far has only seen polluting investments and will be conceived within the framework of sustainable development, blending into the environment with cutting edge technologies.

Dr Muscat then announced the second equally important good news which is the establishment of a National Natural Park in Marsascala. This park will include the foreshore and the area adjacent to the zone earmarked for the AUM.  It will include at least 450 to 500 tumoli of land which will be permanently protected. 

Also part of this second proposal is the AUM’s aim at opening sport facilities to the local communities and the rehabilitation of the former national pool giving the communities of the area the much needed recreational and sport facilities.

The government, said Dr Muscat, is sending a clear message, that it is as serious about the environment as it is about creating wealth and distributing it in a fair manner.

 


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