The Malta Independent 13 July 2024, Saturday
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MCAST inaugurates new Centre on Campus

Thursday, 16 November 2023, 08:52 Last update: about 9 months ago

The Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST) and MG2I - MCAST's Gateway to Industry inaugurated the opening of the new Zheng He Traditional Chinese Medicine Education Centre on campus in Paola.

The new Centre will operate under MCAST's Institute of Community Services (ICS). MCAST and Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine (JSMC) signed a collaborative agreement in June 2021. An agreement for the Zheng He Education Centre was signed during the Dubai Expo in December 2021 to strengthen the colleges' collaboration further.

Delegates from the Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine participated in the inauguration event and attended a series of meetings hosted on campus. The Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation inaugurated the Centre.

Minister Grima said, " Our countries have long-standing diplomatic relations, and we are pleased to take on new opportunities to promote bilateral educational cooperation. MCAST is an international hub and a Centre of excellence in vocational training and education. We need to ensure that the teaching and learning are relevant globally. I am confident this collaboration will lead to mutual growth and inspiring exchange, benefitting our learners and educators."

During the inauguration event, MCAST Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja said, "This Centre is not just a convergence of two distinguished educational methodologies, but a chance to connect and encourage cultural exchange. With the Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are not only integrating diverse but also weaving together the rich tapestries of our cultures, expanding our international community, and building bridges of understanding."

The Ambassador of China, HE Yu Dunhai, congratulated both institutions on their collaboration. He congratulated both Colleges, emphasising the importance of working together and encouraging growth through cultural exchange.

Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine greatly emphasises training students' practical abilities, a mutual ground and priority for both colleges. The Chinese College has secured 142 individual and group student awards in the national vocational students' skills competitions.

Secretary of the Party Committee of Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine, Mr Chen Guozhong, said, "Our college and MCAST reached a cooperation agreement. MCAST is Malta's leading vocational education and training institution with self-accreditation qualifications and an international vision. We hope to learn from the successful vocational education experience of MCAST. On the other hand, we also hope to share our advantages of professional resources in TCM and contribute our wisdom and strength to the common development of the two colleges."

Deputy Principal for Business Development and Communications Stephen Vella said, "Over the past few months, lecturers at the Jiangsu Vocational University of Medicine have developed two modules that Chinese lecturers will teach. These modules will be made available locally, and our commercial partner, MG2i, will ensure they are accessible to the local market. Part-time courses are planned and will be included in the MCAST part-time courses prospectus in the first quarter of 2024."

These modules were vetted and passed through all the processes required by MCAST and have been approved by the Curriculum Department. MCAST will welcome JSMC teaching staff on campus to deliver the introductory programmes linked to traditional Chinese medicine practice. JSMC also provided course-related equipment for the Centre.

Deputy Principal Mario Cardona said, "We think that international alliances like the one unfolding here greatly benefit our students. Any opportunity to link up with foreign countries, foreign cultures and philosophies and ways of looking at and interacting with the world around us is bound to help us grow further, widening our scope and vision."

The courses will start in 2024, and the modules will be available part-time. Competitive packages will be offered to promote these study units in the local market.

MCAST will continue working closely with JSMC to explore other collaboration venues, promoting research, student mobility and staff exchange.

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