The life of a student is not only about getting grades and passing examinations. It is more than that. Students need to be socially responsible and learn how to be involved, committed and serve society. In February 2019, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme with the aim of providing MCAST learners the opportunity to enhance their studies with life-enriching experiences that add value to their holistic knowledge base. The main objectives of the CSR programme are to equip MCAST students with the necessary skills, attitudes and values in order to engage in meaningful social relations and actively contribute to enhanced social well-being. In this context, MCAST CSR contributes towards the fostering of a responsible and active citizenship.
As of academic year 2019/2020, the implementation of the CSR initiative has primarily encouraged personal development among students at MCAST while having a positive impact in the local community. The initiative has enhanced relationships with the CSR partners, in supporting public value outcomes. All students at MCAST have the opportunity to carry out community work at either non-governmental organisations, sports associations, care homes for the elderly and local councils, as part of their training programme.
Learners participating in the MCAST CSR can enhance their educational experience during their study period at MCAST through a diverse range of opportunities provided by MCAST in collaboration with interested stakeholders. Up to date, MCAST students have had the opportunity to carry out community work through various areas such as the environment, culture, education, sports, social care, among others. The activities have been various and include administration work, coaching in different sports discipline, helping out in homes for children and the elderly, maintaining websites and social media platforms and helping NGOS in their daily work by caring for abandoned animals, among others. Furthermore, students have also come up with ideas of their own to help their fellow students or the community. There are plans to embark on various CSR projects both within MCAST and also within the local community. The MCAST CSR and Events Department is working closely with various organisations on different projects to help its student and staff population understand better the importance of putting something back into society, investing in worthwhile causes, institutions and organisations, providing support to community initiatives and contributing towards environmental sustainability.
Apart from the benefits already mentioned, MCAST CSR has provided a framework for all MCAST learners to have the knowledge and skills acquired in non-formal and informal settings recognised and accredited
MCAST CSR has gone beyond broadcasting a message of awareness. It has become a platform where the MCAST population has taken action. The initiative has helped in changing students’ mind set through the activities they conduct. It has made them aware that if they want to grow in life, being a responsible citizen is a must.