It is with great pleasure that I can announce the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion will be sponsoring a number of post-graduate degree scholarships in conjunction with the University of Malta.

These scholarships, worth €118,000, are being offered to students from Ghana, Nigeria, Palestine, and Tunisia as part of the Government of Malta’s commitment towards development through education.

Education is a driver of growth. It has the power to turn the course of a person’s development so they enjoy a higher standard of living. This ties to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in terms of Goal 4, which seeks to promote inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Since 2014, through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, the Government of Malta has been sponsoring two scholarships a year for a Master of Arts degree in the field of Humanitarian Action and Cultural Heritage Management to Palestinian students at the University of Malta.

This year, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion is supporting Palestine by an additional scholarship, at a post-graduate degree level, in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security, that the University of Malta has been successfully running with George Mason University in the United States.

Malta is also committed to continue assisting Tunisia in the fields of education and security. A significant step forward in bilateral cooperation between Malta and Tunisia was achieved when in 2015, Malta announced the granting of a scholarship to a Tunisian student for a Master of Arts in Humanitarian Action, offered by the University of Malta.

The Master’s scholarships are an excellent opportunity for the selected students to garner deeper understanding on a range of issues related to humanitarian action and conservation and management of built heritage. Certainly, these issues are of particular interest for both the Palestinian and Tunisian side.

These scholarships are Malta’s small but significant gesture to help the people of these countries to identify how to best shape their own future so that they can contribute towards tolerance and peace in their home countries.

I am pleased to also announce that my Ministry will be sponsoring another four students from Ghana and Nigeria in post-graduate courses offered by the University of Malta. This is part of the commitment that Malta made at the Valletta Summit on Migration in 2015 and through its obligation as a Commonwealth country and chair-in office.

The first Commonwealth scholarship call was successfully launched for the academic year 2017-2018, whereby two Nigerian students were each granted a scholarship. Today, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, through the University of Malta, is launching the second consecutive call for academic year 2018-2019.

The Ministry remains positive that, by next year, Malta will be hosting four scholarship awardees from both Ghana and Nigeria. Students who were sponsored through the first successful call are being awarded full scholarships, covering tuition fees as well as living arrangements. This year’s call includes additional support in terms of offering stipends to the students.

Through these scholarships, Malta as a Commonwealth country and, currently, as Chair-in-Office, demonstrates more explicitly its support to citizens from other Commonwealth member states.  The specialised formation of young and promising students is an investment in the future of Commonwealth Nations, that is geared towards enhancing sustainable development, which is the 9th Principle of the 2013 Charter of the Commonwealth. 

The granting of these scholarships by the Government of Malta is a result of Malta’s commitment to implement Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims at expanding the number of scholarships available globally to developing countries. The support also ties to Malta’s commitment made at the Valletta Summit on Migration, held in November 2015, to launch projects in support of legal migration to selected African countries, in line with one of the five pillars of the Joint Valletta Action Plan. 

Furthermore, these sponsorships serve to showcase the higher education opportunities that exist in Malta and to demonstrate Malta’s support for excellence and intellectual achievement.

These scholarships are designed to facilitate the formation of young professionals in their studies. Malta is an ideal location for the realisation of this goal, not only because of the relevant expertise it offers, but also because of the robust bilateral ties it enjoys with Ghana, Nigeria, Palestine, and Tunisia.

We would like to wish great success to the students who are currently following the sponsored studies, and we look forward to welcoming more students to the new courses.

Thank you.