The Malta Independent 16 October 2019, Wednesday

Education Minister ‘not satisfied’ with American University of Malta

Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 11:19 Last update: about 7 days ago

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said on Monday he was “not satisfied” with the American University of Malta, adding that he has become “allergic” to those who talk of attracting thousands of students to Malta.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Bartolo said: “my experience has made me allergic to those who come here and declare they will bring several thousands.”

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The Education Minister spoke highly of the London School of Commerce. The institute, he said, worked in silence and saw some 500 students from 80 different countries graduate over the past few years.

“Founding a university is not like opening a garage. You have to start small, start slow, strengthen and grow,” Bartolo said.

He said one had to be careful of investors who talk big but do not offer much else. “Our educational licences are not for sale,” he said. “I do not want offshore in education.”

The American University of Malta has been in the headlines since the government announced the project a few years back. The Jordanian investors behind the project had said the university would attract some 4,000 students but enrollment has been painfully slow.

AUM has been given part of Cospicua’s Dock 1 and a parcel of ODZ land in Zonqor. The government has repeatedly said that the Marsascala land will not be built on until the Cospicua campus reaches full capacity.

Last week, the Planning Authority board indicated that it will vote against an application, by AUM, to construct new buildings at Dock 1. The university also plans to build a large dormitory building on the approaches to Senglea.

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