MCAST population reaches 6,400 students
The MCAT is providing courses to over 6,400 full-time students, ranging from certificate courses to degree programmes (from Level 1 to Level 6) and is one of the main pillars of education in Malta serving a large cohort of students.
During a visit to MCAST Main Campus at Paola, the Minister of Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, expressed his satisfaction as the College continued to grow following the new student intake.
Mr Bartolo explained that MCAST accepted 2,685 new students. This represents an increase of almost seven per cent. The Institute of Community Services, the Institute of Business and Commerce and the Institute of Information and Communication Technology are the Institutes that registered the highest number of new applicants. These three Institutes are also the ones with the largest student populations and each one currently provides courses to more than a thousand students.
This year the College introduced nine new courses that were well received by the students. The MCAST Foundation Certificate in Sport, offered by the Institute of Community Services, was among the most popular new course boasting of 49 new applicants. The MCAST-BTEC National Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development provided by the Gozo Centre for the first time, also attracted many students. This course was previously only offered at the Institute of Community Services, in Paola. As it enters its third year since its foundation, the Institute of Applied Science has also gained popularity amongst students, with many opting for the courses this Institute offers.
The number of students enrolled on the College’s degree programmes is also increasing year on year. There are currently close to 300 students reading for a degree in one of the nine Institutes that offer degree programmes. The Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Software Development offered by the Institute of Information and Communication Technology currently boasts of the highest number of students followed by the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Business Enterprise provided by the Institute of Business and Commerce and the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Graphic Design and Interactive Media offered by the Institute of Art and Design.
The number of students currently following the Pathway to Independent Living course has also increased significantly. This two-year programme provides students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities or learning difficulties with an opportunity to follow a structured programme of study in subjects that are closer to these individuals’ needs. It is now also being offered in Gozo.
Dr Silvo de Bono, President of the Board of Governors, expressed his satisfaction at this increase in student figures and explained that it is very important for students to continue their studies at post-secondary and tertiary levels. Encouraging students to further their education at higher levels is one of our country’s most important challenges. This does not apply to young people who have just ended secondary school but also to adult learners who return to education to advance in their career or even start studying to embark on a new career path. MCAST offers hundreds of different educational opportunities to such learners aspiring for job mobility, ranging from full-time day courses to part-time evening courses.
Stephen Cachia, Principal and CEO said that the College’s plans for its 10 Institutes focus on offering new opportunities and developing existing courses and services to students. He also stated that the building of the new Campus is progressing well as the Institute of Applied Science is now being utilized while the building to host the Institute of Business and Commerce is near completion. Mr Cachia also mentioned that the College is also reviewing many of its courses while creating new materials and resources.