Evidence-Based Education Policy-Making for our Future

Publication Date: Apr 23, 2015
 
The Higher Education Strategy and National Vocational Education Training (VET) Policy for Malta have been launched during a seminar organised by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) in collaboration with the Ministry for Education asnd Employment.

Ms Edel Cassar, NCFHE CEO addressing the seminarMs Edel Cassar, Chief Executive Officer for the NCFHE explained how the entity shall be leading the implementation of the Higher Education Strategy. Ms Cassar said that this strategy is embedded within the overall strategic direction of the proposed Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta for 2014 to 2024 and aims to deliver specific targets with regard to Higher Education leading to qualifications at Malta Qualifications Framework Level 5 or higher. Ms Cassar explained the measures aimed to address the identified key concerns and priority areas which are to increase participation and attainment, reduce gender differences, encourage innovative content and programme design, and increase employability and entrepreneurship. She stressed on the importance of flexibility in order to accommodate changing circumstances, and the need all stakeholders involved to collaborate for the best interest of the students.
 
Mr Stephen Cachia, Principal and CEO of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), said that as Malta's largest vocational education institution MCAST is committed to drive the implementation of the National Vocational Education and Training Policy.  He stated that this policy builds upon the achievements in the VET sector over the last few years. VET has become a key factor in enabling the educational sector to remain continuously proactive and receptive to the needs of local industry, thereby becoming an important player in Malta's economic growth. It has also enabled thousands of students to further their studies and achieve their educational potential over the years. Mr Cachia highlighted some key features of the National VET Policy most notably:
  • the strengthening of work based learning experiences for students, 
  • the further development of the Vocational Education subjects within the compulsory education sector,
  • the further strengthening  of Vocational degree programmes at undergraduate level  and the introduction of degrees at post graduate level (level 7 within the Malta Qualifications Framework),
  • a continuous focus on quality assurance within the sector by building upon the strong Quality Assurance tools which have already started being implemented. 

  • Mr Stephen Cachia said that the policy proposes a National VET Steering Group which gathers all relevant stakeholders and which would oversee the implementation of the policy, particularly to ensure the continuing relevance of VET to the needs of industry and society.

    During this event the NCFHE also presented the findings emanating from the Further and Higher Education Statistics for 2013 and 2014. This is the result of an annual data collection exercise conducted among Further and Higher Education providers in Malta. The aim is to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information on the developments happening within the sector in order to identify trends and put forward adequate recommendations for improvement. It also assists in comparing the local situation with that of other European countries, making sure our standards are kept at par with European levels.