The Malta Independent 11 August 2022, Thursday

Updated: AUM to give free admission to Maltese students to boost population

Saturday, 30 July 2022, 13:27 Last update: about 11 days ago

The American University of Malta is to give free admission to Maltese students in a bid to bolster its population.

As it faces difficulties to reach contractual requirements - the AUM has only 200 students enrolled - it has now taken another step in a bid to increase its numbers.

“Following discussions made by the board of trustees of the American University of Malta and proposals made by the Management, it was agreed that Maltese Nationals who wish to study at the American University of Malta shall not be subject to pay any tuition fees,” the university said in a statement.

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The only fees that remain for Maltese Nationals are the Registration and Admission Fees. This decision comes in line with the University’s commitment and vision toward the Maltese Community, to be a high-quality educational institution, and a viable option for Maltese Nationals to study at the University, it said.

This means that Maltese Nationals will be able to enrol in courses offered by the American University of Malta at a significantly reduced price than any other foreign student. “Over the past few months, we have been engaging with the community as much as possible, both on a regional level and the national level. We have heard several comments, concerns, and feedback about the current University Operations. Although we are a Private Institution, we remain committed towards our service to the community at large,” AUM President Dr. Michel Najjar said.

“At AUM we feel proud and privileged to serve from Malta, the island where beauty, splendour, history and culture combine to generate a wonderful learning environment. “We look forward to welcoming more Maltese nationals and be part of the experience provided by the American University of Malta. We strive to give all of our students a special platform to develop their minds, their hearts and their souls,” AUM President Dr. Michel Najjar said.

The university, owned by Jordanian construction company Sadeen, has not yet been able to meet the requirements agree to in the original 2015 contract with the government

As per contract, AUM must complete a €104 million investment by April 2024, and has only managed to enrol less than 200 of the 10,000 students it promised to attract.

Following the publication of this article, the AUM sent a right of reply:

The AUM took exception to the paragraph: “As it faces difficulties to reach contractual requirements - the AUM has only 200 students enrolled - it has now taken another step in a bid to increase its numbers.”

In its right of reply, the AUM said: "On this matter, the AUM would like to categorically deny that any condition or obligation imposed in the original contract was not met. It is only once the two campuses as contemplated in the AUM Government agreement are built, that the minimum student threshold would initiate.

"AUM stresses that at the moment only 5% of the project is completed. Once the whole processs is complete, the expected number of students as delineated under the mentioned Agreement is of 4,000. Such number is cumultiavely attained over the span of 4 fours of operation i.e. a total of 1,000 students per year. Reference must be made to the fact that currently, with a mere 5% of the project complete, AUM has around 200 students currently enrolled."

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