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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.3National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning

Last update: 2 April 2024
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MCAST inaugurates new Educational Centre on Campus

The Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST) and MG2I – MCAST’s Gateway to Industry inaugurated the Zheng He Traditional Chinese Medicine Education Centre.

The new Centre follows an agreement, signed in 2021, between MCAST Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine (JSMC) and will operate under MCAST’s Institute of Community Services (ICS). Two modules have been developed by JSMC and will be delivered by JSMC lecturers. These modules will be made available at MCAST and will be included as part of MCAST’s provision of part-time courses commencing in the first quarter of 2024.


National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2023-2030

In November 2023, The Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Employability (DLE) within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation (MEYR) launched the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2023-2030. The National Strategy outlines a comprehensive approach to enhancing the lives of adults through education and training. It recognizes the critical role of lifelong learning in today's dynamic world. 

The Strategy focuses on three key pillars, encompassing 50 actions and 16 measures:

  1. Pillar I: Empowering low-skilled and low-qualified adults with improved educational opportunities.

  2. Pillar II: Diversifying learning methods and opportunities through community, work-based, and non-formal approaches.

  3. Pillar III: Ensuring the quality of lifelong learning courses through a paradigm shift in stakeholder collaboration.

To ensure effective implementation, the strategy employs a three-layer monitoring and evaluation system, emphasizing the collective effort of stakeholders to promote lifelong learning for all. The allocation of sufficient human and financial resources, combined with a holistic approach, is expected to pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous society. 

Building upon previous iterations, this new strategy specifically aims to safeguard the well-being of underserved citizens vulnerable to social exclusion. It aims to support Malta in achieving its ambitious goals: 

  • 57.6% of 25-64 year-olds participating in lifelong education courses, encompassing both formal and non-formal education within the community. 

  • 86.4% of 20-64 year-olds being employed. 

  • A 3.1% decrease in the number of 20-64 year-olds at risk of poverty by 2030. 

New initiatives targeting NEETs

In Q3 and Q4 of 2023, Jobsplus, the National Employment Agency, launched several initiatives targeted at people aged 18-29 who are not engaged in Employment, Education, or Training (NEETs). 

Jobsplus initiated the two new courses: Award in Digital Jobs Training and Award in Green Skills – The Four Challenges Experience. Each course leads to 5 ECTS pegged at Level 3 of the Malta Qualifications Framework (equivalent to EQF3), following accreditation by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA). These courses are provided free of charge.

The ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) project was launched, with a view to offer NEETS a comprehensive approach that aims to develop participants personally and professionally. Participants will be given non-formal training and mentoring, emphasizing soft skills, independence skills, and life skills, for a three-month period, followed by a two-month work placement in a European Union Member State. ALMA is one of the European Commission initiatives for the European Year of Youth 2022 and a key instrument in implementing the Reinforced Youth Guarantee. This project is led by Jobsplus and supported by the Ministry responsible for education and the Chamber of SMEs.

The atWork4NEETs project aims to identify and exchange good practices to improve the current policy tools to facilitate NEETs’ access to meaningful opportunities to improve their skills and find suitable jobs. The first phase of this project will conduct research (surveys, interviews) and workshops and meetings wherein good practices will be shared among the involved parties. The second phase will include a stakeholder discussion on possible solutions to enhance NEET employability. Recommendations for improving support given to NEETs will be made. Therefore, this project has implications for knowledge and practice. Atwork4NEETs is co-funded by Interreg Europe and was launched in July. Jobsplus is the lead partner of the project, and other partners include Anci Toscana, Ministries and Employment Service Agencies from Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Lithuania and Associated Authority Region of Tuscany.

Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology Act

In July, the Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology Act (ACT No. XXXII of 2023 of the Laws of Malta) was enacted. The new Act invests the College with a body corporate having a distinct legal personality. It thus gives MCAST more autonomy as a centre of excellence in vocational education and training. The Act shall come into force on such date as the Minister responsible for education may, by notice in the Gazette, establish. Nevertheless, different dates may also be so established for different provisions and different purposes of the Act to come into force.

Publication of MFHEA Guidelines for Quality Assurance for Courses that include a Work-Based Learning Content

In July the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority published the Quality Guidelines on Work-Based Learning (WBL) to support local higher education institutions in ensuring that courses that include a work-based learning component, being extensive or limited, genuinely prepare prospective learners well for their long-term professional future.

MCAST joins the European University Alliance

In February, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) joined a consortium of universities to create EU4Dual, the first Dual Study European University Alliance. EU4Dual brings together  academia and industry to collaborate in offering higher education programmes with a strong element of work-based learning. Through this collaboration, MCAST will offer two joint Master’s degree programmes and one dual doctorate programme. 

With a focus on the future of work, the green economy and healthy living, the objectives of the Alliance for the next four years are to:

-    Establish a cooperation mechanism to collaborate across borders on teaching, research and industry outreach around major societal challenges;

-    Launch a joint micro-credential portal, offering continuing career development and new skills created by our industry partners linked to our challenges and us;

-    Launch an ecosystem of joint research projects at micro, meso and macro-level supporting the development of societal challenges; and 

-    Create an unparalleled transnational work-based learning programme with strong support from local and global businesses.

The EU4DUAL, which is co-funded by the European Union ERASMUS+ programme,  brings together nine European multi-disciplinary universities or universities of applied sciences from Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain and Malta. The project also includes over 35 industry partners from participating countries. The European Dual Studies University (EU4DUAL) alliance received €14.4 million euro. MCAST will receive € 1,035,212 euro in funding from the European Universities Initiative while the total funding including in-kind contribution by MCAST is €1,365,239 euro.

MCAST launches the STREAM Project

In February, the Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST) launched the STREAM Project, within the framework of the National Research and Innovation Strategy, to enhance access to and sharing of space-based data. Researchers using and exploiting satellite data, scientists, academics, students, and other foreign collaborators will benefit from the project. The project execution will be led by the scientific and technical inputs from the oceanography section at the Institute of Engineering and Transport (IET) within the College. The STREAM project is funded by the Space Research Fund, operated by the Malta Council for Science and Technology, intended to bring satellite earth observations closer to users by providing data on demand with access through dedicated downstream services over smartphones and iPads.


MOU envisages MCAST courses in conservation and free access to historical sites

In October, Heritage Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that envisages, inter alia, the development and provision of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Conservation, delivered by MCAST on a full-time basis. Both parties have agreed to establish a working group to collaborate on the setting up of the courses in Conservation, both of which will include academic content as well as a traineeship scheme. The agency will guarantee full-time employment to a limited number of sponsored students following the successful completion of their respective course. The MOU also provides MCAST students and staff free access, whenever possible, to Heritage Malta’s museums and sites. 

MCAST and PwC Malta sign a collaborative agreement

This agreement, signed in September, strengthens the collaboration between the two organisations with a view to increase the industry-relevance of MCAST study programmes. PwC will offer MCAST students industry experience through increasing its internship and apprenticeship opportunities to MCAST students and establishing a student summer programme. Moreover, industry experts from PwC will also be delivering thematic lectures to MCAST students in diverse areas of expertise as may be requested by the College. MCAST has also agreed to design, furnish and equip a dedicated PwC space on campus. MCAST student organisations are also set to receive support from PwC. This agreement and the strong ties established with PwC will continue to ensure that MCAST moves ahead in its quest to become an industry-driven educational institution and a community college for all.

Jobsplus launches new courses

Jobsplus courses are demand-driven according to the Maltese labour market. Thus, Jobsplus has also introduced new courses in a number of sectors. Jobsplus has started offering a course completely dedicated to organic farming. This course deals with agroecology and agrobiodiversity. The participants are expected to learn about laws and regulations, costs and access to local and EU funds, challenges and mitigations which complements the National Agricultural Policy for the Maltese Islands 2018 – 2028. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2022,  Jobsplus launched the Do-It-Yourself Essential Course which consists of several standalone mini-courses or students can opt to apply for the full DIY course. The DIY Essential course includes bricklaying, carpentry, electrical works, tile laying, plastering, plumbing and gypsum board installation. Moreover, as technological advancements continue to influence the world of work, Jobsplus has also launched courses on the use of social media for business, mental health support awareness, organic farming, and basic courses on metal machinery. Jobsplus is also working on courses relevant to highly innovative sectors, such as electric vehicles and automobile engineering.
Moreover, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Jobsplus adopted a mixed-methods approach when it comes to the modality of training delivery. Hence, a mix of both online and in-class training delivery was introduced, aiming to introduce further flexibility to better meet the needs of individuals wishing to engage in further upskilling and reskilling. 

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ introduces new programmes

The national youth agency, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, introduced several programmes in the second and third quarter of 2022 aimed at increasing youth participation in society, improving self-esteem and engaging youth to be active and independent citizens. These programmes included:

Swish embraces the ideal of inclusion through sport and promotes the values of acceptance, non-discrimination and human rights by challenging different ability stereotypes. The programme provides a space where students in secondary level school years 9-11 can explore, and experience different realities as lived by persons with different abilities through experiential and reflective sessions.

Two initiatives were launched within the Malta Youth Film Festival (MYFF) ; Jumpstart Film Festival encourages young people in secondary schools to develop their creative and technical skills in film-making. Jumpstart Screenwriting Bootcamp aims to engage young people in the craft of screenwriting. The camps will include writing exercises, collaborative workshops and group activities designed to spark creativity and story ideas and build connections between the writers. The Jumpstart Screenwriting Bootcamp is a collaboration of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ with the Directorate for Learning & Assessment Programmes.

IdeARTI II-Printmaking is a project-based programme built to support young creatives in developing a final artwork that reflects their personal artistic language. Through a combination of tutorials, seminars, and peer critiques, young creatives will be encouraged to research, explore, experiment with materials, processes and techniques and develop a personal concept through a process-based journey that will manifest itself in creating a final artwork. Participants in this programme will be invited to develop works focusing on the theme of PERMANENCE.

Young Composers provides young people with the opportunity to be mentored by some of Malta’s leading composers and professionals in the field of music industry who will act as a source of inspiration for a selected number of young composers. The Young Composers Mentoring Programme is a joint initiative between Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

Act On is a programme which uses drama to engage young people to find joy in self-expression and self-image, gain confidence, reduce stress and acquire team-building skills.

Moneywise offers the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes in money matters and acts as a foundation for young people to build strong money habits at an early age and avoid developing habits which could lead to lifelong struggles. It aims to help young people increase their financial literacy through knowing how to manage their earnings and learning how to save and borrow money responsibly; it also explores the importance of prioritising your savings. The activities in this program also cover the beating of financial setbacks, the understanding of how to plan for a good pension and other issues.

Impatt a project initiative by The Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes in partnership with the Maltese National Commission for UNESCO and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ. The aim of this project was to encourage young people to actively participate in democratic decision making at both local and national level. Around thirty-three young people from 4 different schools, namely St. Benedict College Middle School, Kirkop, St. Ignatius College Middle School, Qormi, St. Michael’s School, Sta.Venera and St.Nicholas College, Rabat participated in this project.
What is G for Green? programme aims to raise awareness and motivate young people to be able to make decisions and go about their daily activities based on eco-friendly and healthy lifestyles.
Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability introduce new lifelong learning courses.

Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability introduced two new essential skills courses focusing on promoting 21st century skills

The DRLLE introduced two new essential skills courses, focusing on promoting 21st century skills, namely Media Literacy: Understanding how media affects us; and Personal Finance: Managing your Money. Moreover, in a shift towards more modular courses, two courses that were offered in the past years were broken down into new modular courses, providing more flexibility to learners and potentially making learning commitments more manageable. For instance, the essential skills course entitled Bring Your Own Device has been broken down into two shorter courses: Digital Skills: Learn to use smartphone and/or tablet; and Digital Skills: Learn to use the internet and email. The course Child and Adolescent Development has been substituted by Child Development 0-3 years and Child Development 11years+.

Set up of policy technical committees to review and establish policies in Education

In the third quarter of 2022, the Office of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Education Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation established five thematic review committees to review and establish policies in the educational system. The committees were established for the following areas: Education Strategy; Literacy; Digitalisation and Simplification; Early Leaving from Education & Training; and Lifelong Learning.

New MCAST Centre for Learning and Employability

In July, the MCAST Board of Governors approved a resolution for the set up a new Centre for Learning and Employability. The Centre will further develop the Learning Support Unit, which offers support to students across MCAST’s institutes with the necessary skills to become autonomous independent learners. 

The Centre for Learning and Employability will continue to offer tailor-made support, including one-to-one support; mentoring in small groups; vocational units support; assignment writing practice; academic and dissertation tutorials; research-related help; and holds workshops on study skills and time management. Additionally, it will enable further provision of personalised and group-targeted support services within the newly-built Resource Centre. Moreover, the Centre is focused on growing the College’s Third Age initiative and seeking new ways of reaching out to neighbouring communities. 

Agreement between MCAST and Teatru Malta

MCAST and Teatru Malta (the national theatre company), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will see Teatru Malta move to MCAST’s main campus in Paola. This agreement provides MCAST students exposure and hands on experience to the wide range of initiatives and projects carried out by Teatru Malta. x

Agreement between the Gozo Regional Development Authority and MCAST

In August 2022, an agreement was signed between GRDA and MCAST, covering a period of 3 years. Through this agreement the GRDA will be sponsoring courses held at MCAST, starting with one Gozo-based student who will follow an MCAST’s Master’s Programme, for a maximum total sponsorship amount of €6,500. The research theme will be chosen and mutually agreed upon between the GRDA and MCAST. MCAST students or staff will have the possibility to publish studies related to Gozo in one of the GRDA publications which include ‘Perspettivi: A Gozo Review’. On the other hand, MCAST will also collaborate with GRDA in the formulation of strategies and policies in areas related to vocational and professional education and training in Gozo or for the benefit of Gozo. Where the MCAST and the GRDA strategies align, the two entities will work together on initiatives taken.

Engineering Board approves MCAST engineering courses

In May 2022, the Engineering Board approved the four Bachelor of Engineering programmes offered by MCAST, enabling graduates to apply for an engineering warrant. This development means, that current students no longer need to undergo the Pre-Warrant Qualification Course (PWQC), that students who graduated before 2022 needed prior applying for an engineering warrant

Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology launches February 2022 student intake for the first time

MCAST launched a special February 2022 student intake which provides students who missed out on joining the college in October 2021 with a second chance to join MCAST. Besides, the intake will help prospective students continue their educational journey and experience the MCAST environment before enrolling in different courses in October 2022.

The February 2022 intake offer courses ranging from a Diploma in Transversal Skills to Generic Degrees. Students can choose between two study pathways, depending on their qualifications. The first study pathway targets prospective students who hold 2 A levels and 2 Intermediate level certificates. Students can enroll for one of the following five different generic degrees:

Bachelor of Applied Science (MQF Level 6); Bachelor of Applied Business Studies (MQF Level 6); Bachelor of Creative Arts (MQF Level 6); Bachelor of Community – Based Services Provision (MQF Level 6); Bachelor of Applied Technology (MQF Level 6)

The second pathway offered appeals for students in possession of fewer qualifications required for the first pathway. Students wishing to enrol in the second study pathway can choose between one of two awards, depending on what qualifications they hold, specifically MCAST Award in Transversal Skills (MQF Level 3) and MCAST Award in Advanced Transversal Skills (MQF Level 4).

Agreement between Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Armed Forces of Malta (ARM)

MCAST and the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) signed a five year agreement which will help in the development and training of new students and also personnel working within the AFM. The agreement will also help AFM recruits gaining MQF level accredited qualifications. Besides AFM will also offer technical and professional training to engineering students.

Sponsorship agreement with E-Skills Malta Foundation - Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST)

The agreement supports the implementation of MCAST’s Institute of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) HackSpace Project. The project is expected to provide a space where students can meet, learn and discuss security-related issues, helping them to familiarise themselves with new technologies and improve their knowledge in areas related to cyber security.

Collaboration between Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and Malta Public Transport

The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Malta Public Transport (MPT) have signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration on vehicles maintenance courses further. This Agreement will see MCAST’s Institute of Engineering and Transport design and introduce new study modules focused on the maintenance of buses and other heavy vehicles and machinery for students following technician and mechanical courses at the College.  The IET has also recently introduced new courses on electrical vehicles.

Memorandum of Understanding between Mallta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and Koperattivi Malta

The college shall strengthen the collaborative relationship between the college and the Maltese cooperative movement through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Koperattivi Malta. This agreement will help the college consider the systematic introduction of cooperative business models as alternative business models into different curricula across MCAST, in line with the industry needs.

Memorandum of Understanding between Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and the Environment Resource Authority (ERA)

In January a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Environment Resource Authority (ERA) which shall improve training and research on the marine environment, climate change, air pollution, noise pollution, water resource management, biodiversity, and other environmental fields


Learning Box

As from November 2021, as part of its learning provision, the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability (DRLLE) within the Ministry for Education launched ‘Learning Box’ an initiative offering several self-paced and blended learning courses. These courses are brought together by professionals and adult learning educators shifting the method of learning from in-class or educator-directed to digital and educator-supported. Courses offered so far include language, IT, business, and humanities subjects.

Courses to Corradino Correctional Facility inmates

The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Correctional Services Agency, whereby the college will start offering a selection of courses to inmates at the Corradino Correctional Facility. Through this agreement, inmates can follow MQF accredited courses, which will help them find employment in the industry after serving their prison sentence. Besides, courses on knowledge in handling personal financials, trade courses and manufacturing skills courses will also be developed and offered to prison inmates.

Developing the competences of Assistants to the Childcare Educator

In collaboration with the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE), the Institute for Education (IFE) developed an accredited programme of 30 ECTS at MQF Level 3 for childcare assistants. This programme was developed in line with the National Standards for Early Childhood Education and Care Services (0-3 Year) published in October 2021 whereby such persons will develop the competences to work in collaboration with centre managers and childcare educators whilst supporting the learning and development of the child.

Postgraduate certificate in Digital Competences for Education

The Institute for Education started offering educators a Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Competences for Education accredited at MQF Level 7 within which there are modules focusing on developing the digital competences of learners as well as how to empower them through digital technology in their learning.


Together with a number of foreign partners, Jobsplus launched SMARTLY – NEETs’ Employability in the Green and Digital Economy programme. The programme was launched in 2021 and is funded through Erasmus+. The priorities of the programme are to adapt vocational education and training to labour market needs while strengthening the employability of young people in a changing world of work. Smartly’s objectives include a survey and needs analysis with industry stakeholders, design of training content in green jobs, design in training content in digital jobs, design and testing of an enhanced profiling tool which features specific elements relevant for digital and green skills as well as general awareness and promotion of these sectors.


In order to ensure a targeted approach towards the most vulnerable of jobseekers, the VASTE project has been extended to assist long-term unemployed and migrants (refugees, third-country nationals with a subsidiary protection status or temporary humanitarian status and asylum seekers). The Programme provides a holistic assessment to participants through multiple training options and professional support which might lead to several employment opportunities. Additionally, through the VASTE Programme, persons with disabilities and vulnerable jobseekers can also benefit from occupational therapy, professional support, job carving, job coaching and mentoring.

Public consultation on the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2020-2030

In June the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability (DRLLE) launched the public consultation on the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2020 – 2030. The strategy covers the entire range of formal, non-formal and informal learning activities, both general and vocational undertaken by students (aged 15+) after leaving initial education and training. It was drafted through research, consultation sessions with stakeholders and focus groups in a manner that groups major ambitions and direction of the sector into 4 pillars namely: 1) Improving educational opportunities for low-skilled and low-qualified adults at higher risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion; 2) Diversifying the methods and opportunities for learning; 3) Ensuring quality in Lifelong Learning course provision; 4) Supporting adults to make informed educational decisions through the provision of a guidance system. Overall, the strategy aims to increase adult participation in learning, in line with EU targets.

Adult learning courses switch online

In March 2021, in response to the closure of education establishments to limit coronavirus spread, the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability shifted nearly 200 academic courses online for the first time as part of an emergency response. With the commencement of a new academic year 2020/2021, apart from the academic subjects, more courses were added to the synchronous online provision. These were Introductory numeracy and literacy courses as well as VET courses in Photography, Interior Design and Cookery and Nutrition. Synchronous Online Learning through Microsoft Teams has been introduced in the Academic Year 2020/2021 with the use of a Meeting Link, while Class Teams are foreseen to be implemented in the Academic Year 2021/2022. Moreover, as part of the budgetary measure, the implementation of will foresee the introduction of several asynchronous courses by end of 2021.

Outreach initiative

Between January and March 2021, the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability organized an outreach initiative, whereby it reached out to organisations working with disadvantaged adults, such as migrants and persons with disabilities. This initiative aimed at establishing a working relationship with these organisations and gathering information about barriers to accessing learning faced by these organisations’ clients. This will enable the Directorate to take measures to mitigate these barriers when planning courses.

Between January and March 2021, the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability organized professional development sessions for its educator complement, aimed at improving teaching and learning methods. These sessions focused on teaching online and on Project Based Learning.

Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST)

Public Consultation for MCAST's Strategic Plan for 2022-2027

MCAST, Malta’s leading VPET provider in Malta, has concluded an extensive 6-month consultation process about its Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. During this period, MCAST sought consultation with more than 400 organisations and public entities. These included student organisations, social partners, economic operators, employers, employee representatives, NGOs and voluntary organisations, public regulatory entities, partner organisations, feeder schools, different ministries, and youth organisations. Employers came from different sectors, different sized companies, and different markets. More than 1,720 individuals/experts provided feedback, expertise or participated in consultation events.  The outcome of the discussions mainly concentrated on how the College needs to address the skills needs that the industry is forecasting in the short and medium terms. The participants were also on the lookout for collaboration options and to identify opportunities for students. 

Public consultation on The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology Act

The proposed new legislation means MCAST will now have an act of its own that is distinct and separate from the Education Act. The Act seeks to provide further autonomy to MCAST and address the industry developments by providing quality vocational education and training. The Act also promotes strengthening accountability and transparency.

MCAST collaborates with The Malta Chamber

MCAST and the Malta Chamber organised an Education-Industry Colloquium to discuss skill needs in the coming years. The forum entitled Foresight 2030: Resetting Education and Skills in a post-COVID period aimed to stir a pro-active discussion on anticipating the skills for the future to ensure a thriving industry with a highly skilled workforce.

MCAST collaboration with Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine in China

MCAST signed a new partnership agreement with Jiangsu Vocational College of Medicine in China (JSMC). A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in July which is aimed to enhance educational opportunities through diverse initiatives, such as student and faculty exchange programmes, dual degrees, cultural immersion, and resource sharing. JSMC has a long standing medical educational history dating back to 1941 and in recent years JSMC won more than 30 Jiangsu provincial commendations. The College has also secured 126 individual and group student awards in the national vocational students’ skills competitions.

MCAST debate tournaments

From November 2020 to March 2021, a third Debate Tournament was organised by several MCAST Initial VET Student Mentors and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ Youth Workers. The aim of this project was to continue providing young people with life skills and soft skills which would help them throughout their academic journey at MCAST. The objective was to empower young people to develop skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, organisational skills, presentation techniques, public speaking, research skills, teamwork, and time-management.

Apprenticeship Recovery Plan

In 2021, the Government announced an investment of almost €2.75 million for students to be given apprenticeship opportunities. The investment will allow MCAST to encourage more companies to recruit students in apprenticeship programmes.

Strengthening collaboration with the Institute for Public Services

MCAST will be offering three undergraduate programmes under 2 different Institute for the Public Services (IPS) schemes. The BA(Hons) in Public Policy and Management and BA(Hons) in Procurement and Finance will be offered as full-time programs for the general public. On the other hand, the BA (Hons) degree course in Public Projects will be offered to public officers on a part-time basis. 

MCAST and Institute for Education to consolidate the teaching of vocational subjects

The agreement between MCAST and The Institute for Education (IFE) enhances collaboration between the two educational institutions so that lecturers from MCAST collaborate with IFE in the development and the teaching of various vocational subjects.
MCAST has always been on the forefront where vocational subjects are concerned, so the collaboration between the two entities was a natural choice. The agreement strengthens the first agreement that was signed 3 years ago so that MCAST collaborates with the Institute for Education to nurture educators in VET subjects through the development of courses and the training of educators leading to more educators having the necessary competencies in these subjects.
This enables educators to lead students towards a smooth transition from secondary to tertiary education and to prepare them for the employment sector responsibly by training them according to their skills and their competencies.

MCAST strengthens collaboration with the Maritime Sector

An agreement was signed between MCAST and MaritimeMT focusing on possible ways of cooperation and collaboration between the two main institutes. This agreement will enable both MCAST and MaritimeMT to offer the best experience and the highest quality of training to all those students with a passion for maritime.

MCAST Engineering students now eligible for a warrant

MCAST engineering graduates will be eligible to apply for a warrant once they have completed the Pre-Warrant Qualification Course (PWQC). The engineering board approved the College’s pre-warrant qualification course and around 200 MCAST graduates can now apply for a warrant following successful completion of the course. The German agency ASIIN, known in the sector for its evaluation of standards in engineering studies, recommended to the board the course’s approval after a rigorous evaluation process.

MCAST joins newly established Foundation for Transport

MCAST is one of the key partners in the newly established Foundation for Transport. The transport sector is experiencing challenges regarding the skills and competences required and MCAST is well placed to contribute to upskilling and reskilling needed in the industry. The foundation was established to work with various stakeholders to reskill and upskill the current and future employees of this sector, particularly due to the fast-approaching 2030 objectives and longer-term 2050 strategies for the adoption of greener modes of transport.

Institute for Education (IFE) initiatives

Courses addressing VET subjects

The Institute for Education launched its prospectus and opened applications for courses starting in September 2021. The Institute has added two new streams to the Bachelor of Education and three new streams to the Master of Education in VET subjects making a total of six streams offered in VET subject at Bachelor and a total of six streams in VET subjects at Master level. 


The Institute for Education is currently taking part in a Horizon 2020 project KIDS4ALL (Key Inclusive Development Strategies for Lifelong Learning). The project started working on a ‘buddy collaboration’ scheme (a guided/intentional pairing of learners) with a lifelong and life wide dimension of learning in formal, informal and non-formal educational contexts. Children involved in the project will work on learning contents related to 8 LLL competences through theoretical understanding, applied content and interactive co-creation activities, where they will develop authorship and agency and enhance their intercultural, linguistic and socio-emotional skills. This project partners are from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Norway, Spain and Turkey. 

Malta Authority for Further and Higher Education (MFHEA) initiatives

Guidelines for digital education

During 2021, there was another significant increase in interest in the introduction of online learning in various education institution. As a result, the Malta Authority for Further and Higher Education (MFHEA) engaged two experts (both local and foreign) to work on the creation of guidelines for digital education. These guidelines are expected to be ready and in use by end of 2021 which will help prospective education institutions apply for digital education.  A final webinar on Digital Education will be organised for all education institutions with the participation of a local and a foreign expert.

Recognition for prior learning 

The Malta Authority for Further and Higher Education (MFHEA) published guidelines for our education institutions on the Recognition of Prior Learning. This work was part of the ECVET 2020 Project co-funded by Erasmus+ and MFHEA has collaborated with the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework Partnership. Two VET Business Breakfasts have been organised on this topic. The first one included various local and foreign education institutions to help with the desk-based research on the various RPL frameworks existing, and the second one catered for the MFHEA staff who shall be working with these guidelines and guiding the education institutions 

Jobsplus Training Pays Scheme

To further upskills and reskill the Maltese labour force, individuals who completed compulsory schooling up to 64 years of age can benefit from the Training Pays Scheme through Jobsplus, which makes them eligible for 75% refund of the total cost of training. Funding for courses that lead up to a MQF (Malta Qualifications Framework) level 4 are capped to EUR 1,000 while for courses leading to MQF level 5, Awards at level 6 and 7 or industry-recognised courses related to Aviation, Maritime and ICT sectors, funding is capped to EUR 3,000. The increased capping for the MQF level 5 courses and the introduction of Awards at MQF levels 6 and 7 and non-accredited courses for specific sectors were introduced in June 2021. Following the simplifications that were introduced to this scheme, it is now easier for individuals to apply and eventually claim the refund.