European, Global and intercultural dimensiom in curriculum development
Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST)
MCAST are currently implementing the MCAST’s European Internationalization Strategy which gives priority to host the further enhancement of MCAST’s European presence. MCAST recognizes that students need to receive an education that will make their career relevant not only to the local context but also to a European level. In order to achieve all of MCAST’s aspirations and ambitions for the European Internationalisation strategy, 6 key actions were identified and are in the process of being implemented:
- Provision of easily accessible information about the Erasmus+ programs
- Developing strong connections with other European colleges
- Supporting students to thrive at a European level by improving and recognizing mobility opportunities
- Continuous professional development of staff should focus on skills by which staff are able to operate in an International and multicultural environment
- Increase international research partnerships
- Developing a number of projects and collaborations with existing European partners. More information can be viewed in part 2 below.
Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS)
In its drive to strengthen the international dimension, The Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) has engaged with a number of strategic academic partners in order to develop new higher level programmes in the years ahead. This will lead to development of degree programmes in various fields related to tourism and hospitality.
ITS is a reflection of the diversity of culture embraced within different aspects of the Maltese islands. The student population includes students from parts of the world as diverse as France, Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, Poland and others. International students have been able to benefit from the friendliness of local students with whom they share cultural experiences and the opportunity to practise other languages.
Foreign students from various Higher Educational Institutions can come to ITS and study for one semester or one academic year as part of the Erasmus+ Mobility programme. Students are also welcome to come and cover a traineeship at the institution under the same programme. ITS has welcomed students from various countries such as Spain, France, England, Ireland, Finland and Poland amongst others. Students following a higher educational programme at ITS, are also offered the opportunity of going abroad to study at an Institution or the possibility of training in a foreign enterprise within the EU, under the Erasmus+ Mobility Programme. Students following a Vocational Educational Course are also offered the chance of training abroad in another EU country. Erasmus+ gives students the possibility to broaden their views of the hospitality industry and encourages cultural diversity. Through cultural exchanges, students are exposed to different ways of approaching hospitality in its various forms.
A Local Industrial Trade Practice (LITP) as well as a twelve month internship carried out overseas are compulsory for the Institute’s Diploma programmes as well as the Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management programme. Through these internships/placements, students are given the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to an on-the job experience, while at the same time being encouraged to networking with industry leaders. These contacts could potentially lead to job offers once students successfully complete their studies at ITS.
The LITP is a 14 week practical experience in the local tourism and hospitality industry, which ITS students undertake on the Maltese Islands. All full-time ITS students are required to undertake their LITP during the summer months, within departments that are related to the students’ course of studies and approved by the Institute. The twelve month international internship is also a compulsory component of some of the Diploma and Higher National Diploma programme of studies. Students who are to conduct the international internship will have to make their own travel and insurance arrangements.
University of Malta (UM)
Over the past few years, the University of Malta (UM) has reviewed its structures in order to be in line with the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area. The student population consists of local and international students from over 80 different countries. These follow full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses that run on the modular or credit system. The University regularly hosts a large number of Erasmus and other exchange students.
Although the main campus is situated at Msida, the University of Malta has two other satellite campuses in Valletta and Gozo. The Valletta campus is housed in the Old University Building. Today, the Valletta Campus serves as a prestigious setting for the hosting of international conferences, seminars, short courses and summer schools. It is also the venue of the University's International Collaborative Programmes (ICP). The ICP offers, one year, three semesters, International Masters Programmes on a double degree or collaborative basis. These programmes seek to achieve a wide exchange of cultural viewpoints, networks and experiences that provide students with global perspectives. The Masters degrees that form part of the ICP are awarded by UM and in case of dual degrees also by participating university or universities. The UM also offers international short courses which consist of both accredited and non-accredited courses that are offered throughout the academic year in conjunction with the sponsoring Faculties, Centres or Institutes of the University of Malta. The duration of such courses varies according to the particular focus of the course. During the summer season ICP organises a number of summer schools designed for the general public and others that are intended for professionals. These intensive summer schools are each dedicated to a single area of study and can be of an undergraduate or graduate level. All summer schools are held at the Valletta Campus.
Students and Faculty Organisations
Numerous student and faculty organisations are found operating within the University of Malta Campus. These societies are an integral part of university life, which provides services yet enhance campus life and cover a wide variety of opportunities, whether socio-political, religious or cultural, leisure and entertainment activities as well as opportunities abroad. Student and faculty organisations thus offer members the possibility of being active at University in non-academic interests whilst broadening their outlook on life.
DegreePlus is an initiative of the University of Malta which provides students with an opportunity to enhance their educational experiences whist studying for their degree. Its aim is to provide students with an exciting and diverse range of opportunities to help them broaden their academic and non-academic horizons. The areas covered by DegreePlus include Voluntary Work, Entrepreneurship, Sport, Culture and Heritage, Development Education, Languages, Music, Creative and Performing Arts and many more. Through participation in formal and informal activities, students get formal official recognition for engaging in extra-curricular activities on and off campus. Time slots are reserved for DegreePlus on the University timetable on Wednesdays and Fridays between 12.00hrs and 14.00hrs. Unless otherwise stated all DegreePlus units are offered against a payment of 15 Euro per unit.
Partnerships and Networks
The International Collaborative Programmes (ICP) of the University of Malta provides support to overseas universities in the organisation of their study-abroad programmes at the University of Malta. The ICP unit offers multiple services including: academic, logistical, accommodation and the organisation of cultural and social activities. The ICP regularly hosts a number of overseas intuitions that make use of the historic Valletta campus as well as other facilities available at the main campus in Msida. The regular institutions hosted include: James Madison University, Tusculum College, South Texas College of Law, Luther College, St. John University and Australians Studying Abroad.
The University College within MCAST has partnered with a number of foreign universities to develop new courses with international credentials. One of the institutions MCAST collaborated with is Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany. Also, in view of the fact that both Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands) will be cultural capitals for 2018, MCAST is collaborating closely with Friesland College and ROC Fries Spoort in Netherlands to develop a number of projects and collaborations. Through this international collaboration, MCAST students from different institutes will work closely in contact with another European educational institution. VET students and staff will become more active at a European and international level through their involvement in the following collaborations and projects:
- Organisation and management of VET mobility opportunities for students who would like to pursue a work placement abroad;
- Development of a web portal in which all projects related to Valletta 2018 and Leeuwarden 2018 can be showcased, documented and established;
- The Opera Project: an experimental staging of Aida both in Friesland and Malta during the summer months of 2018;
- Development of Information stands / pods that can be installed in both cities in 2018;
- Setting up of real commercial companies by MCAST and Friesland College students that will trade products or services.
The Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) is collaborating with the Applied Science University Haaga Helia of Finland so that 19 ITS lecturers will receive advanced training as part of a Masters degree in Hospitality.