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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of service for academic staff working in higher education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.5Conditions of service for academic staff working in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Higher and further Education in Malta is provided by the University of Malta (UM), the Junior College (JC), the (MCAST), the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) and the Institute for Education (IFE). JC falls under the responsibility of UM.

Planning policy

While it is recognised that employing part-time academic/vocational staff (or visiting professionals in the case of UOM) can bring a wider range of educational experiences to the educational institutions involved in higher education, it is the established procedure to first engage full-time academic staff. A call for more lecturing staff (full-time or part-time) will be made by the respective Heads of Department if the incumbent staff is deemed not to be enough. Vacancies are usually advertised through an open call for applications after approval by the Senate. Applicants are required to sit for an interview.

Entry to the profession

Higher Education Institutions issue a call for applications for recruiting lecturing staff. A selection board is appointed by the respective institution. Entry into the profession at UM is through three streams that are

  1. Resident Academic Stream composed of four grades being Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer and Lecturer.
  2. Research Stream composed of three posts being Senior Research Fellow, Research Fellow and Research Associate. 
  3. Visiting Teaching Stream composed of five posts being Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Senior Lecturer, Visiting Lecturer and Visiting Assistant Lecturer.

The latest grade is the first step in the hierarchical structure of the UM.

The lecturing categories at the JC are those of Senior Lecturer II, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer and Assistant Lecturer. The latest is the first step in the hierarchical structure.

The entry grade to the Profession at MCAST and ITS is Assistant Lecturer progressing to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer I and then as Senior Lecturer II.

IFE does not have a hierarchical structure of academics and lecturers are not full-time and are visiting staff.

Professional status

Academic staff are not considered as civil servants but as employees of the respective institutions. Lecturers are not requested to be in possession of a teacher’s warrant to practise their profession in Higher Education. Hence the Teacher’s Code of Ethics and Practice does not bind them legally in terms of Article 31 (2) (b) of the Education Act. Nevertheless it is understood that lecturers in the said sector respect and enshrine in their practice and behaviour the six principles outlined in the said code of ethics. Furthermore, institutions such as the UM and JC have a Code of Professional Academic Conduct. 


The maximum gross annual salary for full-time resident academic staff at UOM, including cost of living adjustment, for the year 2019 start at around €27,134 for an Assistant Lecturer up to around €42,815 for a Professor.

In addition to the basic salary, full-time resident academics for 2019 also receive an annual academic supplement ranging from €4,533 for an Assistant Lecturer to €29,822 for a Professor.

The posts of Associate Professor and Professor carry a special Annual Professorial Allowance. In 2019 this amounts to €1,423 for Associate Professor and €2,330 for Professor.

In addition, the annual rate of payment (worked pro-rata) for Visiting Teaching Staff having a Council appointment for 2019 ranges from €1,360 for a visiting Assistant Lecturer to €2,283 for a visiting Professor.

Junior College

The maximum gross annual salary scales for full-time Academic Staff at JC having a Council appointment for the year 2019, inclusive of the cost of living, ranges from €26,092 for an Assistant Lecturer with minimum qualifications to €37, 624 for a Senior Lecturer II.

Further to the gross annual salary, JC academic members of staff receive an annual academic supplement. For 2019 this started from a minimum of €2,870 to a maximum of €6,184 depending on the grade.

Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology

The maximum gross annual salary scales for lecturers at MCAST, inclusive of cost of living allowance, for the year 2019 ranged from the €28,791 of an Assistant Lecturer to the €38,542 of a Senior Lecturer II.

For 2019 they are also entitled for work resource allowance of €2,000.

In addition, lecturers in possession of qualifications beyond the required entry requirements for entry into a grade are entitled to following additional remuneration: First Degree €500 Masters: €800 and Doctorate: €1,100.

Institute for Tourism Studies

The maximum gross annual salary scales for teaching staff at ITS ranges between €23,487 to €38,547 in 2019, depending on the lecturing grade. An additional work resources fund contributes to all academics at 2019 at a rate of €2000 per lecturer.

Institute for Education

The Institute for Education does not employ full-time lecturing staff. The recruitment of the Institute's staff is on a contract for service and teachers are paid EUR30 per one hour

Working time and holidays

University of Malta

The official lecturing times are from Monday to Friday between 0800 and 2000 hours. Resident academics cannot choose between Option A or B. With Option A, academics engaged prior to 21st January 2009 are expected to perform duties at any time between 0800 and 2000 hours (Monday to Friday) with the condition that they do not have to lecture after 1700hrs for more than one day per week. Academics engaged after 21st January 2009 have the same conditions as above but without the proviso.

With Option B, staff will be expected to perform duties between 0800 and 1700 hours Monday to Friday. The formal working time of resident academics (academic staff working full-time at UM teaching, researching as well as performing administrative duties) is 40 hours per week with flexible times. Resident academics are obliged to divide their time roughly equally between lecturing, research and other administrative academic work/professional activity.

The teaching workload is determined and distributed annually by the respective Head of Department in such a way as to ensure the best utilisation of the available human resources. Apart from the actual delivery of lectures, the teaching workload incorporates duties such as lecture preparation, the setting up and marking of assignments and examination scripts as well as pre-notified times set aside for assisting students. Lecturing duties carried outside the official lecturing times or beyond the established timetable will be remunerated accordingly. Resident academics are entitled to (i) the Academic Resources Fund and (ii) the Academic Research Fund (discussed in detail later on) both of which are intended to support academics in their work and research at University as well as their professional development. Visiting staff and staff may be recruited on a casual definite or indefinite contract basis as the need arises. Visiting staff are expected to teach a minimum of one hour per week up to a maximum of nine hours per week during term time.

Junior College

The official teaching duties at Junior College are carried out between 0800 and 1700 hours from Monday to Friday. Staff may be asked to teach outside the official teaching hours only on a voluntary basis for a set period of time and against payment. The duties and responsibilities of teaching staff employed at JC are divided between teaching and administration. JC Assistant Lecturers and Lecturers have a teaching load of 15 lectures, with each lecture being one hour long whilst JC Senior Lecturers have a teaching load of 13 lectures. JC Academic staff also have an extra two-hourly periods twice a week devoted for contact with students and colleagues in relation to their work. In addition, teaching staff at JC are expected to set and mark assignments and examination scripts as well as have twice-yearly meetings with their respective Area Coordinator. Like resident academic staff at UM, academic staff at JC is entitled to 40 working days’ vacation leave in addition to the Christmas and Easter recesses. They are also entitled to birth, bereavement, marriage, maternity and adoption leave as well as special leave with or without pay as laid down in the Collective Agreement for Academic Staff of UOM and Academic Staff of JC (2009-2013).

Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology

The academic year initiates on the first working day of September and ends on Friday of the first full week in July. Any lectures outside these dates are held on a voluntary basis and against payment. Teaching staff are given a maximum teaching load of 18/17/16/15 lessons depending on their grade, held between 0800 and 1630 hours (for a total of 840 hours per year). Staff may be requested to teach between 1630 and 2000 hours up to a maximum of two evenings in any one week of the scholastic year if suitable qualified personnel are unavailable or due to timetable restrictions. Evening classes are not to exceed two hours’ duration per evening. A disturbance allowance of €26 is given per evening and time off in lieu is also given for the extra lecturing hours. In addition to the summer break and Christmas and Easter holidays, all lecturing staff is entitled to an annual leave of 50 days (inclusive of holidays) in each calendar year.  All staff is appointed on an indefinite period with the first year serving as the probationary phase.

Institute for Tourism Studies

Academic staff at ITS work an average of forty hours over a five-day week spread from Monday to Friday, with a lecturing load of up to 252 hours per semester. Lecturing classes may be scheduled between 08:30 and 23:00

Hours that fall over and above the respective working schedule are remunerated at a flat rate for €26 per hour

Institute for Education

Lectures are held between 15:30 and 18:00 spread from Monday to Friday. In some of the Institute’s courses, two out of the five contact hours of each ECTS are delivered online in the blended modules while the whole five hours are delivered online in the completely online modules.

Promotion, advancements

University of Malta

Members of the academic staff at UOM are promoted by the Council of the University after receiving recommendations from the Promotions Board as laid down in the University regulations. The selection criteria for promotion include demonstrated quality in teaching, research output and commitment to the University and society. The normal route of promotion is as follows:

- Lecturer: Awarded on obtaining a research based doctorate (PhD or equivalent) that is relevant to the applicant’s work duties.

- Senior Lecturer: Normally awarded after five years satisfactory academic experience at Lecturer level.

- Associate Professor: Awarded following a continuous record of excellent academic work at Senior Lecturer level, including significant contributions.

- Professor: Awarded for distinction and excellence of professional and academic achievement that is recognised at international level.

Junior College

As with UOM, members of the JC academic staff are promoted following recommendations to and approved by the Council of the University after receiving recommendation from the Promotions Board. There are two selective criteria for promotion: demonstrated quality in teaching and commitment to the Junior College and the Education Sector. As with UOM, there are no official calls for promotion but applicants are expected to apply only once they have evaluated themselves and their work performance. Promotion usually follows the steps indicated below:

- Junior College Assistant Lecturer: requires a person to have a postgraduate qualification and at least five years teaching experience in their subject matter.

- Junior College Lecturer: requires a person to have a postgraduate qualification and at least ten years teaching experience in their subject matter.

- Senior Lecturer I:  requires a person to have a postgraduate qualification and at least fifteen years teaching experience in their subject matter. Local recognition as a leading teacher and promoter of his/her subject area would be considered an asset.

- Senior Lecturer II: requires a person to have a postgraduate qualification and at least twenty years teaching experience in their subject matter. Moreover, local recognition as an expert teacher together with publications and contributions to pedagogical/curricular development in his/her subject area would be considered an asset.

Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology

There are four lecturing categories at MCAST: Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer I and Senior Lecturer II. Staff will progress from one scale to another after obtaining the relevant qualifications and number of years in relevant experience.  A recommendation from the Institute Director and an approval from the Progressions Board is a prerequisite for progression from any one grade to another.

Institute of Tourism Studies

Progression through academic posts shall be made by the Board of Governors on recommendation of the management. Qualifications, candidate’s ability and efficiency will be taken into consideration. Progression Matrices based on a point system outline what can an academic do to accelerate progression.

Academics who consider themselves eligible for progression need to undergo an application process for consideration. 

Retirement and pensions

The conditions for retirement are laid out in the relevant national legislations and apply to UOM, JC, MCAST and ITS respectively. The official retirement age for the Institute of Tourism Studies in purely based on national legislation. The official retirement age for all higher educational institutions is 62 for both men and women. With regards to UOM, academic staff in the grade of Lecturer and above can apply for an extension of their appointment beyond retirement phase. This can be done in three phases: Phase I: 61-65, Phase II: 65-67 and Phase III: beyond 67 and in each phase, applicants need to submit a request together with an updated CV at least 6 months before reaching the maximum age of each phase. In the case of Phase II, only senior academics in the grade of Associate Professor or Professor can request a further extension. In the case of Phase III, an extension will only be granted to senior academics of outstanding merit in the grade of Professor. As regards JC, personnel in the grade of JC Lecturer and above may request to work beyond their retirement age up to the age of sixty-five.