University of Malta

University of Malta
L-Università ta' Malta
Seal of the University of Malta
Motto Ut Fructificemus Deo
Motto in English
"We should bring forth fruit unto God"
Established 1769
Type Public
Rector Professor Juanito Camilleri
Academic staff
Students 11,342
Location Tal-Qroqq, Msida, Malta
Athletics Malta University Sports Club
Nickname Template:If empty

The University of Malta (Maltese: L-Università ta' Malta) is the highest educational institution in Malta. It offers undergraduate bachelor's degrees, postgraduate master's degrees and postgraduate doctorates (PhD). It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.[1] In post-nominals the university's name is abbreviated as Melit., a shortened form of Melita (A Latinised form of the Greek Μελίτη).


The University of Malta traces its origins to the founding of the Collegium Melitense which was set up through direct papal intervention on 12 November 1592. This college was run by the Jesuits on the lines of their other colleges established elsewhere and known as Collegia Externorum, catering for non-Jesuit students. By a Papal Bull of Pope Pius IV, dated 29 August 1561, confirmed later by a further Bull of Pope Gregory XIII, dated 9 May 1578, the Jesuits were empowered to confer the degrees of Magister Philosophiae and Doctor Divinitatis. However, the foundation deed specified that besides Philosophy and Theology, other subjects such as Grammar and the Humanities should also be taught.

Following the abatement of the plague of 1675, Grand Master Nicolas Cotoner appointed Fra Dr Giuseppe Zammit as lettore in Anatomy and Surgery at the Sacra Infermeria on 19 October 1676. This attempt at formalising medical teaching at the Order's hospital is considered by many as the beginning of the medical school. Zammit went on to establish the first medical library on the island as well as a medicinal herb garden in one of the ditches of Fort Saint Elmo.

After the expulsion of the Jesuit Order from Malta in 1768, Grand Master Pinto appropriated all the revenue accruing from its property on the island with the aim of establishing a Pubblica Università di Studi Generali. The decree constituting the University was signed by Pinto on 22 November 1769, having been authorised to do so by the Papal brief, Sedula Romani Pontifici, received on 20 October 1769. On 25 May 1771, a Collegio Medico was set up as one of the faculties making up the University. At the time of the foundation of the University, the Principe dell’Accademia dei Medici was the surgeon Michelangelo Grima who also held the combined chair of Anatomy and Surgery at the Medical School, whilst the Professor of Medicine was Giorgio Locano.

The first rector of the University was Fr Roberto Costaguti of the Servites' Order who had in previous years established a reputation as a preacher. A number of other foreign professors were brought over to help establish the University and these were installed in June 1771. They all lived together in the former Jesuit College. It appears that the Medical Faculty was the only one staffed solely by local teachers, a tradition which has been maintained throughout the centuries.

Soon after Pinto died his successor, Ximenes, reduced the number of chairs and expelled all expatriate staff as an economic measure. During the brief French interregnum formal University teaching came to an end as Napoleon abolished the University five days after landing in Malta on 18 June 1798. Fortunately, a few weeks after the French were forced to leave, Sir Alexander Ball reinstituted the University and appointed as rector Canon F.X. Caruana on 28 October 1800 in recognition of his services during the uprising against the French.

The first rector appointed by the Governor Sir Thomas Maitland, at the beginning of British sovereignty, was the Dominican Fr Gerolomo Inglott, the Professor of Philosophy. During the British period the University underwent a series of changes in its statutes and regulations bringing it into line with universities in the United Kingdom. The present coat of arms and the motto Ut Fructificemus Deo were proposed on 1 March 1923 by the rector, Professor Sir Themistocles Zammit. Between 1937 and 1974, (when Malta became a Republic) the University petitioned for and obtained regularly the right to the use of the word "Royal" in its title.

Following the Second World War, the Library and support structures were strengthened. The Evans Laboratories were opened in 1959 to house the Faculty of Science near the old hospital of the Knights in Valletta and a new Medical School building near St Luke's Hospital in Guardamangia was opened in 1968. At the same time, the new campus at Msida was inaugurated.

The Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (now, the Faculty of Engineering) and the Faculty of Education became part of the University when the former Polytechnic (known also as the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology) was incorporated with it.

The present shape of the University was established by the 1988 Education Act.

There are at present about 11,000 students, including 600 international students, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system. The degree courses are designed to produce highly qualified professionals, with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general. The University today has 14 faculties, a number of interdisciplinary centres and institutes, and a School of Performing Arts.


Admission to the university is based on Matriculation examination results (A levels). However, entry on basis of maturity and experience is granted for certain courses in the arts and sciences. The University is known to have strict grade requirements and entry into some courses is limited, for example the Faculty of Dental Surgery allows for a maximum of six European students per year chosen according to merit and only after the students have successfully passed an admissions interview.

Present Day

University of Malta campus

There are some 11,000 students including over 600 international students from 80 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system. The University regularly hosts a large number of Erasmus and other exchange students. A basic Foundation Studies Course enables international high school students who have completed their secondary or high school education overseas but who do not have the necessary entry requirements, to qualify for admission to an undergraduate degree course at the University of Malta. Well over 3,000 students graduate in various disciplines annually. The degree courses at the University are designed to produce highly qualified professionals, with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general. As at October 2013 a further 2,600 students were registered as pre-tertiary students at the Junior College, which is also managed by the University. In 2013 there were 23 graduation ceremonies.

Today the University has fourteen Faculties, a number of Institutes and Centres and a School of Performing Arts. The total floor area occupied by the University Library building is between 5,000 and 6,000 square metres, and contains about 700,000 volumes. The Library currently subscribes to about 20,000 journals.

The University is geared towards the infrastructural and industrial needs of the country so as to provide expertise in crucial fields. Well over 3,000 students graduate in various disciplines annually. The degree courses at the University are designed to produce highly qualified professionals, with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general. There are a further 2,600 pre-tertiary students at the Junior College which is also managed by the University.

The university's Main Campus is located in Msida, with a total area of 194,452 square metres and which houses the majority of the faculties, centres and institutions that make up the University of Malta. There are two other campuses: one at Valletta and the other on Malta’s sister-island, Gozo.

The Valletta Campus, which is housed in the Old University Building, dates back to the founding of the Collegium Melitense and incorporates the Aula Magna ("Great Hall"). The Valletta Campus also 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 Masters Programme.

The Gozo Campus (formerly known as the University of Malta Gozo Centre) was set up in 1992 with the collaboration of the Ministry for Gozo. The administration of the University of Malta Gozo Campus supports the organisation of part-time degree, diploma and short-term courses in Gozo and also caters for the needs of the increasing number of students from Gozo who study on the main campus. This campus also provides a venue for public lectures and seminars and it houses the Guesten Atmospheric Research Centre, within the Department of Physics.

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

A number of interdisciplinary Institutes and Centres have been set up in various fields. The Institutes include Anglo-Italian Studies; Baroque Studies; Climate Change & Sustainable Development; Confucius; Digital Games; Earth Systems; European Studies; Islands & Small States; Linguistics; Maltese Studies; Physical Education & Sport; Public Administration & Management; Sustainable Energy; Tourism, Travel & Culture; the Edward de Bono Institute for the Design & Development of Thinking; the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies and the Mediterranean Institute.

The Centres comprise: Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics; Centre for English-Language Proficiency; Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation; Centre for Environmental Education and Research; Centre for Labour Studies; Centre for Literacy; Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research; Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics; European Centre for Gerontology; Centre of Resilience & Socio-Emotional Health and the IOI - Malta Operational Centre.

The administrative set up of the University of Malta involves a number of academic and administrative and technical staff members who are appointed or elected to the various governing bodies of the University. The principal officers of the University are the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor, the Rector, the Pro-Rectors, the Registrar, the Deans of the Faculties as well as the Finance Officer and the Librarian. The main governing bodies are the Council, the Senate and the Faculty Boards.

As the supreme governing body of the University, the Council is responsible for the general administration of the University. Faculties group together departments concerned with a major area of knowledge, while institutes are of an interdisciplinary nature. The Council is also responsible for appointing new staff members, both local and foreign, to the various academic posts.

The Senate is largely responsible for the academic matters of the University primarily regulating studies, research, documentation and examinations at the University. The Senate also establishes the entry regulations. The Faculty Board directs the academic tasks of the Faculty. The Board presents plans and proposals to the Senate and the Council. Besides, it determines the studies, teaching and research within the Faculty.

There are a number of fields which the University has identified as priority areas. These include Information & Communication Technology, Engineering, Criminology and Sustainable Environmental Resource Management. Other priority areas are the University's contribution to the improvement of primary and secondary education and the forging of inter-university links to stimulate international educational exchange.

The University of Malta has also set up a School of Performing Arts. The campus is also home to the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

Apart from the above-mentioned institutions, there is the Malta University Holding Company Ltd. (MUHC) which embodies the commercial interests of the University of Malta. The companies comprised in the Holding Company serve as the commercial interface between the University of Malta and the business community, brokering the resources and assets of the University to provide added value through commercial activity.

The Malta University Holding Company Ltd provides strategic direction and corporate support to the companies within the Group:

  • Malta University Branded Merchandise
  • Malta University Broadcasting
  • Malta University Consulting Services
  • Malta University Hospitality, Leisure & Sports
  • Malta University Labs Services
  • Malta University Language School (Msida Campus)
  • Malta University Publishing
  • Malta University Residence
  • Professional Development
  • The Kappara Hotel

The public response to the University of the Third Age has been very encouraging with membership constantly on the increase and all activities being well attended.

The University of Malta is a member of the European University Association, the European Access Network, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Utrecht Network, the Santander Network, the Compostela Group, the European Association for University Lifelong Learning (EUCEN) and the International Student Exchange Programme (ISEP). Over the years, the University has participated in a number of EU Programmes and has won several projects in collaboration with various partner universities. University of Malta staff and students regularly participate in programmes such as Erasmus and Leonardo.

The University also acts ads a partner with other institutions. Links have been forged with the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Industry and the Employment & Training Corporation in order to determine how the University, industry, business and the public sector can develop a mutually beneficial dialogue. Whilst acquainting potential employers with the knowledge and skills acquired by students at university, the University seeks to assess the needs of the various facets of the labour market in order to provide timely and relevant instruction.

The University of Malta has several student societies that are recognised by Senate. These societies are an integral part of university life: they represent students and provide services which enhance campus life. When students become involved in non-academic interests at University they develop a network of friends besides broadening their outlook to life.


Full-time undergraduate courses are free-of-charge to citizens of Malta and the European Union. Maltese students enrolled in higher education in Malta are entitled to a stipend. Fees are charged in the case of higher courses and to nationals from non-EU states. There are currently 600 international students studying at the university, comprising around 7% of the student population.

Notable graduates

Honorary Degrees Given

See also


External links

Coordinates: 35°54′7″N 14°28′57″E / 35.90194°N 14.48250°E / 35.90194; 14.48250{{#coordinates:35|54|7|N|14|28|57|E|type:edu | |name= }}