Watch: How prepared is the University of Malta to face its challenges?

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The University of Malta has planned to reduce the number of students on campus once lectures re-commence on the 12th of October and for when freshers will start their journey at the University of Malta on the 19th of October. This was stated by Professor Alfred J Vella, who is the Rector at the University of Malta, UoM.

Speaking to Prof. Andrew Azzopardi during an interview on 103 Malta’s Heart the UoM Rector explained the mitigation meaures adopted by the institution in view of the coronavirus situation. He explained that social distance will be maintained in all lecture rooms and everyone will be obliged to wear a facemask.

Prof. Vella also said that when not all students would be able to attend lectures due to social distancing, online lectures will be made available and lecturers who do not wish to expose themselves especially due to their health conditions the UoM is offering them to participate online as well.

Presenter Prof. Andrew Azzopardi who is a senior lecturer himself and dean within the Faculty of Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta, asked Prof. Vella if he is reconsidering contesting the second rectorate term next year. Prof. Vella said that his wish was always not to do a second term however, he said that alot has been done over the past years and there are some ‘semi-done projects’ which he wishes to complete as a UoM Rector, so he is considering the option.

Another topic discussed was the role of the lecturers and their ability to flourish the critical aspect of students. Prof. Vella said that learning should be an experience not only by following the curriculum, “ students should be more critic and they should be challenged by their lecturers.”

Prof. Azzopardi noted how lecturers are there not only to teach but to inspire and asked Rector Prof. Vella if he agrees when lecturers make their position public on certain issues. Prof. Vella agreed that lecturers should vocalize their thoughts and should not be afraid to do so. “If I could I would penalize those lecturers who don’t,” said Prof. Alfred J Vella.

Last week, on this matter, Prof. Azzopardi interviewed Prof. Gorg Mallia, who is the head of department at the Media and Communications Department within the University of Malta. Prof. Mallia stated that it should be an academic’s role to convey important messages to society that should also be of criticism towards what happens in that particular society.