In May last year, Warwick Alumni were guests at the Verdala Palace in Malta to celebrate the appointment of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, as an Honorary Professor in PAIS. Since then, the President has visited Warwick to dine with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft and to deliver a lecture in the Distinguished Speakers series.
|Dr Martin Spillane, Alumni Ambassador, introduces the new Honorary Professor at Verdala.|
Warwick has also been centre stage in Malta, with proposals for joint research projects and student and staff exchanges. The Warwick School of Life Sciences is to have a joint Warwick-Malta PhD programme, with Neurology research students spending two years at each University and receiving their PhD from their university of admission. PAIS has commenced a joint Warwick-Malta research project on the current Mediterranean migration crisis and has also arranged for staff and student exchanges with the Mediterranean nstitute. In History, researchers from the two universities are arranging to exchange sabbaticals .There have also been discussions on Warwick scholarships for post-graduate students from Malta.
Antoinette Schembri was accepted for her Warwick PhD in Education, researching Home-schooling, which has not previously been permitted in Malta. Her initial research demonstrated that there is a need and a demand and it has obviously had an impact, for the Malta government has now introduced legislation to allow Home-schooling.
Previously Malta post-graduate applicants to Warwick had to pass an English Language test, but research by Dr Martin Spillane showed that not only are graduates of the University of Malta fluent in English, but that, whilst a great deal of British cultural knowledge is being lost in a multicultural Britain, as a result of close ties, this cultural tradition is often well preserved in Maltese students. As a student will not necessarily have internalised their English, and so may soon lose fluency, a post-graduation time limit of two years is normally imposed on such language exemptions, but University of Malta graduates are now to be accepted without any such time limit.
As Alumni Ambassador, Dr Martin Spillane was pleasantly surprised to be invited to attend the Presidential Reception at San Anton Palace, for newly appointed ambassadors, alongside the Ambassadors of Germany and Latvia and the High Commissioner for Lesotho.