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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Continuing professional development for academic staff working in higher education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.6Continuing professional development for academic staff working in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Organisational aspects

University of  Malta

Resident academics are given the opportunity to further pursue their education, to enhance their lecturing and research skills and acumen and to broaden and deepen their expertise. Academic staff at the University of Malta (UM) from the grade of Lecturer upwards are generally entrusted to take care of their own professional development. However, staff in the grade of Assistant Lecturer are required to attend seminars coordinated by the University on pedagogy, educational technologies and lecturing methods once they progress to Lecturer and before they reach the grade of Senior Lecturer.

All other Resident Academics will be provided with the opportunity to follow short courses organized by the University on the deployment of the latest educational and distance learning technologies and courseware development. The UOM may ask for members of academic staff to attend training as a result of quality assurance procedures.

Each resident academic is allocated two types of funds on an annual basis: Academic Works Resources Funds and Academic Research Funds, both of which are intended to support the continuous development of an academic career. The Academic Works Resources Fund covers expenses such as books, learned society dues, attendance at academic conferences in Malta or abroad as well as IT expenses with the funds being approved by a committee set up specifically for this purpose and is operated through the use of a debit card both locally and abroad, including purchasing over the Internet.

The Academic Research Fund is aimed at supporting and bridging academic research. The policy and procedures for the administration and operation of both funds are laid out in the Manual of Conduct and Procedures.

Junior College

Similarly to the academic staff at UM, academic staff at the Junior College are entrusted with identifying their own training requirements but these may also be identified by the institution itself following quality assurance measures.

All Junior College academic staff in the grade of Junior College Assistant Lecturer are required to follow a series of seminars organized by the Junior College on pedagogy, educational technologies and lecturing methods once they are promoted to Junior College Lecturer and before they attain the grade of Junior College Senior Lecturer.


Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology

MCAST provides initial and continuous professional development to its VET teachers. This it does both at College level and as well via Erasmus+ Mobility Training Programmes.

MCAST offers its own teacher training qualification to its academic staff. It is currently offering a Master’s Degree in Vocational Education in Applied research 4.0 (EQF/MQF 7,120 ECTSs) qualification which is student-centered and based on a learning outcome approach. The Master in Vocational Education Applied Research 4.0 is a proactive response shifting from the traditional education programmes to innovative practices linking teaching and action research based on the Scholarship of Teaching within the context of vocational education in Further and Higher Education.

MCAST organises annual Induction Sessions for its newly recruited academic staff. These sessions serve to provide a means of introducing MCAST’s entity and its ethos. At the same time initial teacher training is provided to promote vocational pedagogical aspects of teaching and assessment to the new academic recruits.

MCAST also offers a basic Introductory Teacher Training programme to teachers upon request from its diverse Institutes.

Regular CPD sessions are organised addressing diverse pedagogical aspects, which include assessment, verification, students’ motivation, professional teacher behaviour, engaging students in their learning.

MCAST Partnerships Office works to ensure that links are created between other educational institutions and industry to improve relevance of curriculum, promoting synergies between curriculum, research, innovation and employment and thus ensuring that skills component within the Curriculum are relevant and up to date.

To respond to the international dimension of a changing economy, MCAST’s Partnerships Office, the International Office is delegated with managing MCAST’s international relations. In particular, the International Office participates in EU programmes and Erasmus+ providing further mobility learning and training programme opportunities both to its students and the staff.


Institute of Tourism Studies

As part of their job description, staff at ITS participate in any in-service training or staff development during normal working hours. Professional development is highly regarded by ITS management in accordance with the institution’s strategic vision and goals. During the year, lecturing staff is also required to participate in the process of self-reflection to evaluate one’s performance and to consider on a number of objectives and thereon embark on a personal development programme.


Institute for Education

The Institute provides teaching staff/lecturers with regular CPD opportunities such as in-house workshops, discussions with other professionals in their field, attending and presenting in-seminars and conferences.


Incentives for participating in continuing professional development (CPD) activities

University of Malta

Academic staff at UM can also further their qualifications by applying for a scholarship provided by the Scholarships and Bursaries Scheme of the UM. Academic staff at UM is also entitled to sabbatical leave which is granted by the University on an individual basis and releases them in order to engage in academic research or related activities. Staff may apply to a year’s sabbatical leave with full pay after every six years of continuous service assuming that the necessary arrangements can be made for a replacement. For continuous service of longer than six years, the length of sabbatical leave will be increased pro-rata up to a maximum of two years.


Junior College

Following ten years’ uninterrupted service, Junior College academic staff are entitled to a one year special unpaid leave for academic enhancement to undertake projects and research intended to promote, mentor and support their subject in primary and secondary schools, further their studies and scholarship in their subject area and develop teaching tools and other academic material related to their work. Academic staff are also expected to support the MATSEC Examinations Board with the development of syllabi, desired learning outcomes, to embark on projects in partnership with other post-secondary educational institutions with the aim of dissemination or understanding best practice and to visit post-secondary institutions abroad on exchange in order to acquire international experience. Such leave is awarded as laid down in the Manual of Conduct and Procedures.

Academic staff at the Junior College is also entitled to the Junior College Academic Resources Fund (JCARF) which covers expenses to support their teaching, their activities related to curriculum development and the promotion of their subject in schools. These funds are approved annually by a committee set up specifically for this purpose and are administered as instructed in the Manual of Conduct and Procedures.


Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology

MCAST continuously works to increase the attractiveness, the quality and the status of the VET teaching profession. As a means to support and incentivise its academic staff, MCAST offers the first year of this teacher training (Post Graduate Certificate in Vocational Education Applied Research 4.0 – EQF/MQF 7, 45 ECTSs) free of charge and is considered for the purpose of progression.


Institute of Tourism Studies

Academics can avail themselves from progression points when taking up CPD hours, including those which the Institute is obliged to conduct on a yearly basis.

Additionally, as part of the transformation project ITS has embarked on, lecturing staff are currently being up-skilled to Masters level in the field of hospitality management. This is being achieved through a customized development with Haaga Halia, a university of applied science in Finland, which is due to complete its cycle in 2020.