Opening Ceremony streamed online
The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) organised its opening ceremony for the new academic year on 19 October as an online event for staff and students. In view of COVID-19 restrictions, the College held the event with limited participation to ensure safety while encouraging staff and students to join the virtual event.
MCAST opened its doors to over 1,280 students in August to complete the previous academic year followed by 40 courses that started on 1 October for the new academic year. This year the College registered an increase of 20% in the number of applications received for students to join around 230 full-time courses.
In an encouraging message to students and lecturing staff members, Principal and CEO Prof Joachim James Calleja said: “As we welcome you in exceptional circumstances, I know that the past months have been difficult. The abrupt closing of our campuses in March and the transition to online and face-to-face learning has made us deeply appreciate the resilience and connection of our MCAST community. As we adapt to safety practices and welcome you back on campus, we will keep ensuring continuity in the quality of your education. Now more than ever, we need to make sure that you keep aiming high in your learning, career and life aspirations. To all students, I urge you to actively participate in your education and training and to air your expectations as often as possible. A strong student voice makes a difference to the services that we offer.”
The President of the MCAST Student Council Jesmar Frendo said that this was a time when students needed to work together to support each other. He urged students to reach out for help when needed as services like those offered by the College’s Wellbeing Hub were open to all. In addressing international students, Creative Arts student Astrid Dorekens said: “MCAST is not just a choice to follow your career path, our community welcomes the language, the culture and the diversity you bring with you.”
The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister for Education and Employment Owen Bonnici, the President of the College’s Board of Governors Professor Ian Refalo and the Permanent Secretary Dr Francis Fabri. The ceremony closed with a prayer by representatives from different religions.