If AUM does not reach target of 4,000 students facilities will be returned to government – Muscat

If AUM does not reach target of 4,000 students facilities will be returned to government – Muscat

If the American University of Malta (AUM) does not reach the stipulated target of 4,000 students up to four years after all construction and embellishment phases have to be completed in 2025 then all its facilities and land will return to the government, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Asked by this newsroom what would happen to the facilities in the case that the AUM does not meet its contractual obligations, the Prime Minister said that it was “clearly spelt out in the contract” that everything would return to the government.

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Muscat said that these targets are “quite clear” in the contract and that AUM are obliged to follow what is stipulated in that contract.

“This is not a flimsy contract such as the one drafted originally for Smart City, where 10,000 or 12,000 jobs were promised”, he added before saying that it was thanks to the Labour government that some life had been injected into Smart City.

if aum does not reach target of 4000 students facilities will be returned to government muscat - If AUM does not reach target of 4,000 students facilities will be returned to government – Muscat

He said that in the case of AUM, the contract is “crystal clear and very tight”.

This being said, Muscat expressed his confidence in AUM to deliver on the promises and targets stipulated in the contract, pointing out that they would be investing at least €100 million in total to get the project fully ready.

In his speech at the University’s inauguration on Friday, Muscat said that the AUM was proof that Malta was living success due to “hard work and bold decisions”.  The Prime Minister noted that this was a record private investment in the education sector, and that it was preparing Malta for the decade to come and beyond.

if aum does not reach target of 4000 students facilities will be returned to government muscat 1 - If AUM does not reach target of 4,000 students facilities will be returned to government – Muscat

He said that the University had gone through a long process of scrutiny and that the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) had made found that it was clear that all the credentials for the university as an academic institution were there.  He added that the NCFHE was still carrying out random spot checks to make sure that was in order.

He said that the AUM had respected all its commitments when it comes to students, and that the only thing that the contract stipulates was that all phases of the project were to be completed by 2025 and that four years later the university would have to have a population of at least 4,000 students.

On the matter of students, Muscat said that the applications for the forthcoming semester are in their hundreds and that this was especially impressive because the University had not been recognised in its main markets – the Gulf and the Middle East. To be recognised in these areas, he explained, students must first graduate from courses at the University.

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He also specified that the land granted to Sadeen Group for AUM can only be used as an educational campus and for no other scope whatsoever. “It is clear that this is real, not speculative, investment”, Muscat said.

The AUM’s inauguration ceremony was also addressed by Lewis N. Walker, the University’s president, Anwar Al-Said, the President of AUM’s Student Government Association, and Prince Jean de Nassau, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. 

It was revealed during the inauguration that the University currently caters for almost 100 students hailing from 25 different countries.

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