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Bologna process: Malta


The main provider of university education in Malta is the University of Malta. It is publically funded with the money being part of the education budget. Regulation comes in the form of the Education Act (1998) and is implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment. Course design is left to the University but ultimately it must report to the Ministry.

The University of Malta has thirteen faculties: Arts; Built Environment; Dental Surgery; Economics, Management & Accountancy; Education; Engineering;  Health Sciences; Information & Communication Technology; Laws; Media & Knowledge Sciences; Medicine & Surgery; Science and Theology.

Other institutions exist such as the International Institute of Studies whose degree provision is supported by amongst others the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. Others with foreign links also exists often in the fields of business and administration.

The vocational educational track in Malta falls under the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) which consists of a number of institutes. It is answerable to the Ministry of Education but not regulated by the Education Act (1988) since it has only been established since 2001. It does offer some degree courses in specialized areas but generally concentrates on courses at level 5 and below.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

The University of Malta offers programmes at all three levels - undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, which last between three and five years, postgraduate Master's Degrees that last two years full-time and Doctorates (PhD).

The Bologna process has been promoted across the University of Malta and faculties have been requested to harmonize their courses. This has been completed for all courses with the exception of Medicine and Dentistry. Most of the undergraduate courses across Faculties within the University of Malta now follow harmonized regulations.

The Education Act covers all levels of education in Malta from ISCED[1] 0 to ISCED 6.

(ii) Access

A great deal of the system of education in Malta can be traced back to a traditional UK structure including a quasi-11 plus exam for entrance to a secondary school. At the end of secondary school or sixth form colleges and before University students take a Secondary Education Certificate. A further Matriculation examination is then taken which offers the opportunity for entry to an undergraduate degree or diploma.

(iii) Qualifications

In many respects Malta was ahead of the Bologna process in that degree programmes were always based on three cycles and while the first Doctorate was not awarded until 1974 degrees at the first and second cycle level have been in place since the 1960s. Despite this structure the Minister of Education was keen for the University of Malta to embrace the Bologna principles despite the lack of formal requirement in the Education Act..

Since 2003, the University of Malta has been running the ECTS system. Full-time programmes leading to Bachelor and Master degrees last three to four years and one to two years respectively. The university’s regulations require that all courses are based on the three-cycle system.

Universities in Malta (teaching either economics or business)

  1. University of Malta


[1] The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) was designed by UNESCO in the early 1970s to serve ‘as an instrument suitable for assembling, compiling and presenting statistics of education both within individual countries and internationally’. It was approved by the International Conference on Education (Geneva, 1975), and was subsequently endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference.


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