A national body has been established in Malta to promote the internationalisation of education and entice foreign institutions to set up a presence in the country.
Education Malta is a non-profit foundation created as a public private partnership, working closely with the Ministry of Education and Employment, and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. The move comes after the Chamber called for an entity to promote investment in education in 2015.
The foundation was officially launched last week by the Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, who said that internationalising education is a new initiative as part of the government’s wider efforts to upgrade the education sector.
Anton Borg, president of the Malta Chamber, said: “The newly established Education Malta will primarily harness this economic potential and provide a structure to promote investment and support to stakeholders in this sector.”
Education Malta’s chairman, Charles Zammit, said the project is not solely a government initaitive, but will also harness the resources of the private sector.
“We are going out to the market as both the private sector and the public sector. So I think that should be more effective,” he told The PIE News.
Attracting foreign institutions to establish a presence in the country is one of the foundation’s main aims. “Education Malta will be a point of reference for any initiative coming from abroad which intends to establish in Malta,” said Zammit.
Malta already has foreign universities operating branch campuses, including the UK’s University of Middlesex, as well as Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary University in London, operating in Gozo.
However, last year, Minister Bartolo announced the country is aiming to attract even more foreign institutions.
Recently, there has been an increase in interest from higher and further education institutions in establishing a presence in the country, according to Zammit.
“We are looking towards others who are interested also in seeing Malta, either in branching out or partnering with other institutions in Malta,” he explained.
Malta already has a vibrant English language teaching sector, welcoming 75,524 students last year, accounting for 238,481 student weeks coming to the country to study the language.
“We have a very good brand in English language teaching which we have been building up for the past 25 years, and I think that brand can help us to promote Malta to a wider [segment] of the education sector,” said Zammit.
Education Malta itself will be present at selected education fairs using national branding alongside a a “focused and concentrated” advertising campaign in order to promote the brand, said Zammit.
The agency will primarily target European countries and countries in the Middle East, but will join other national agencies under the Study in Europe brand, launched this year.