The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

European funds for more educational opportunities – Parliamentary Secretary

Friday, 4 December 2020, 15:05 Last update: about 3 months ago

The project 'Further Studies Made Affordable', financed with European funds and administered by the Bank of Valletta and the Malta Development Bank with the scheme BOV Studies Plus+, will be financially assisting individuals who wish to continue to study in Malta or abroad.

"These European funds will provide assistance so that more persons may have the opportunity to advance in their careers. Investment in education is an investment in our country, so that Malta can continue to progress," Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said during a press conference with Rene Saliba, CEO of the Malta Development Bank, together with Albert Frendo, Chief Credit Officer of Bank of Valletta.

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Those persons who were finding it hard to continue studying due to financial limitations will have the facility to borrow money through the BOV Studies Plus+ Scheme so that they can pursue courses full-time, part-time courses or with distance learning leading to MQF 5, 6, 7 or 8 qualifications, or equivalent qualifications recognised internationally.

The beneficiaries of this scheme will not be expected to repay back the money lent during the period of their course (which period should not exceed 5 years). The interest rate during this time is zero, and the first payment should be made one year after the students finish their course.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that, with European funds, "we are continuously investing in people." He said that, due to the success of the scheme, an additional €1 million was added with the €2 million already allocated in European funds. These will be giving about 180 people the opportunity to benefit from these financial instruments.

Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi continued that the European Union is envisaging more growth in the digital economy, thus it will bring about changes in the economy in general. "Therefore, we need to incentivise more people to continue studying and keeping up with these developments."

"With the €3 million financed through the European Social Fund, which will serve as a guarantee and cover the interest rate of the first few years, BOV will be able to provide loans leading to €8.25 million in order to assist more students and professionals to continue investing in their education."

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