Fabian Demicoli

Launch of MCAST Transformation – MCAST to be divided into three colleges

In a launch conference bringing together various stakeholders and representatives of all the MCAST Institutes and Centres, MCAST has launched its plan ahead through the setting up of three colleges:

  • Foundation College (Covering MQF Levels 1-3)
  • Technical College (Covering MQF Level 4)

  • University College (Covering MQF Level 5-7)

MCAST Chairperson Dr Silvio Debono gave a thorough overview of the strategic outlook for MCAST’s way forward. The changeover is to take place throughout the next three years with the aim of ensuring greater autonomy to the institutes as well as flexibility. MCAST has been offering courses as of Level 1 (comparable to School Leaving Certificate without O-levels) up to Level 6 (comparable to a University Degree). It will now venture into Level 7 (comparable to a Masters’ Degree).

MCAST is seeking to consolidate what has been achieved over the past years by having more vocational programmes across different levels and consolidating the linkages with both education and industry. This is based on three strategic pillars which are:

  • Cross-curricular based learning: To ensure that all students attending MCAST will have the opportunity to learn and practice across a holistic approach of learning.
  • Work-based learning: To ensure that all students attending MCAST will have work exposure, apprenticeship and internships as a critical component in their programme.
  • Entrepreneurship experience: To ensure that all students attending MCAST will be exposed to higher level of engagement with future prospects.

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo emphasized how important this change was yet it would only reap the benefits it is intended to if it manages to instil a change in practice. The colleges need to work as proposed across the notion of the former institutes and interchangeably work together as a college rather than as a stream, each on its own. The strategic pillars can elevate MCAST to the next level but only if it is implemented across the board and holistically. Otherwise, the Minister stated that this would be merely a cosmetic change, which he was sure it would not be. The idea is that MCAST becomes accredited as vocational university. The Minister also said that this would not mean that there should be unhealthy competition with the University of Malta but that through this renewed vision a wider cross-section of students continues to be reached.

GRTU is already working closely with MCAST as well as private training provision to ensure both a better quality workforce as well as citizens by ensuring a stronger bridge between education and industry. This is being done in various forms and increasing cooperation. Building on the past successes of MCAST to take the college to the next level is key for both education and the economy.

 

 

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