The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport deplores the allegations in the media that Malta’s educational authorities are allowing academic fraud to spread amongst us.
The truth is that such sources are not fully conversant with the impact of higher education developments in Malta and take every opportunity to undermine this progress by sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of people on the quality and standards in the provision of higher education programmes.
The Hon Evarist Bartolo, Labour spokesman on Education, has been writing in the papers, for a number of weeks, about a particular private service provider– EIE– in the field of higher education and leveling unfounded accusations at the Ministry. The educational authorities are fully aware of their obligations at law and are, at all times, committed to fulfill these obligations.
In recent years there has been a tangible effort to upgrade standards and to ensure that all qualifications receive adequate recognition and monitoring. All possible actions are being taken to guarantee quality education at all levels of our system of education.
In 2002 the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC) was set up with the key objectives of evaluating diplomas, assisting designated authorities, learning institutions and individuals in the comparative analysis and evaluation of qualifications and collecting and disseminating information related to professional and vocational qualifications.
Qualifications for positions within the public sector and calls for scholarships are also subject to the verification by MQRIC. The setting up of institutions such as the National Commission for Higher Education, the Directorate for Standards and Quality in Education, the Directorate for Lifelong Learning and the Malta Qualifications Council are all indicators of the seriousness by which government is regulating all sectors of our education.
The Directorate for Quality Assurance is currently reviewing all licences that have been, hitherto, issued in the Non-State Sector and in the private provision of higher education with a view to ensuring that quality education is afforded to all.
The Ministry of Education is assiduously working on draft legislation where further and higher education is concerned. This will include legislation to fully regulate private provision by creating the structures to license, accredit and quality assure further and higher education.
The consultation process to enact such legislation has shown that this is a sector which requires particular and careful action in line with international and European developments. Malta is in line with two major European processes, the Bologna and the Copenhagen processes, governing further, vocational and higher education.
On qualifications, the Malta Qualifications Council has recently presented to the Commission and to the European Qualifications Council Advisory Board its referencing Report on the Qualifications Framework. This report received excellent reviews and Malta, together with Ireland, remains the only country to present such a report to the other Member States. Malta is among the very few countries in the EU with its own national qualifications framework.
It is in the interest of students who seek the services of private institutions to check and verify on the value and recognition of the universities offering the courses and the degrees they offer. Government provides this service through MQRIC.
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