On 17th February, Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, UK, and Professor Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to promote collaboration in education and research between the two universities.
The MOU was proposed, drafted and progressed by Dr. Martin Spillane, (MA, 1995, CES, PhD, 1999, PAIS), Warwick Alumni Ambassador to Malta and Visiting Fellow in CES.
Warwick alumnus Professor Godfrey Baldacchino (PhD, 1993, WBS/ Sociology), as the University of Malta Pro-Rector in charge of International Development, will be following up to ensure that the collaboration moves forward. Professor Baldacchino, a full Professor of Sociology at the University, is well equipped for this task, for apart from his time at Warwick and his twenty-four years visiting and teaching at the University of Prince Edward Island, (UPEI) in Canada, where he holds a prestigious UNESCO co-Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, his academic career has taken him to spend time at universities in Sweden, Australia, Japan and, most recently, in the West Indies.
Speaking of the MOU, Professor Baldacchino comments, “This landmark agreement is a wonderful start – or better, a continuation - to (hopefully) even many more good things. My thanks to the International and Legal Offices of both institutions for crafting an agreement that promises exciting new initiatives in cooperation, ranging from automotive technology to business studies. It is also quite remarkable that Martin Spillane has undertaken so much work to bring this MOU to fruition in very little time – he really is a dynamo.”
Research collaborations in Neuroscience and Politics have already commenced, along with discussions in Law, Engineering and the Social and Physical Sciences. The MOU provides a basis to extend these initiatives to other areas and to develop them with exchanges of students, staff and expertise, recognising that face-to-face meetings can help build trust and enable researchers to engage with personnel, research, facilities and equipment at the other institution.
This MOU also consolidates the existing links between the two universities, which were forged by the appointment of Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro-Preca, President of Malta, as a Warwick Honorary Professor of Politics; and of Professor Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta, as a Warwick Visiting Professor of Chemistry. Both these eminent Maltese are due to lecture at the University of Warwick this Spring.
This Warwick/Malta agreement follows similar Warwick agreements with leading universities in China, Indonesia, Brazil, India, South Korea, Singapore and the US. These are intended to provide mutual benefits and to assist in extending respective research capacities, to provide access to research data, access to funding, and opportunities to diversify and grow student populations.