EDUCATION: Applied science gaining popularity among students
The opening of new courses in Applied Science in combination with increasing training opportunities in the area are leading MCAST officials to expect a high influx of Applied Science students next fall.
Last year, courses related to ICT, engineering and childcare were among those that received the greatest number of applications. The MCAST full-time student population during the 2011/2012 period amounted to 6,046.
The new courses being offered in October are Foundation Certificate in Applied Science; Diploma in Applied Science; Extended Diploma in Environmental Sustainability; Extended Diploma in Fish Husbandry and a Higher National Diploma in Electrical & Electronics Engineering.
The Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineering and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering will also be extending their current Bachelor of Science degree programmes to give students the possibility of furthering their studies in electronics and Control Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering.
These changes came about as a result of local industries requiring many more practitioners in areas related to laboratory sciences, environmental sciences and health studies.
“Our ongoing collaborations with various industries are crucial to MCAST’s success,” said Communications and PR Manager David Vella.
MCAST is currently in the process of implementing three major EU-funded projects worth €20 million.
Entitled “Increasing Accessibility, Flexibility and Innovation to MCAST Lifelong Learning Course Offer”, “Inclusion for Employment” and “Making VET Education more Relevant and Attractive” respectively, these projects will help in the redesigning of most of its courses to fit industry needs, the introduction of blended learning, the upgrading of equipment and the laying out of an extensive training programme to equip staff with the necessary skills they need to use this new equipment.
“We are also constantly looking to strengthen the value of apprenticeships, placements and other workplace training opportunities within our courses,” Mr Vella said.