The University of Malta traces its origins to the founding of the Collegium Melitense by the Jesuits in 1592. The College was raised to University status by Grand Master Manoel Pinto de Fonseca in 1769. Situated at Msida, it is the highest teaching institution of the State by which it is mainly financed and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. The University has a long tradition in engaging in environmental education and teacher education in the area of sustainable development, and has been a catalyst across communities of practice in Malta.
Over the past few years, the University has reviewed its structures in order to be in line with the Bologna process. Conscious of its public role, the University strives to create courses which are relevant and timely in response to the national, regional and international needs. The supreme governing bodies of the University are the Council and the Senate. There are over 10,000 students including over 750 foreign/exchange students from nearly 80 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses. The University has been involved as coordinator and partner in numerous EU-funded projects under various Programmes including FP5/6/7, Lifelong Learning Programme, Culture 2000, Tempus and various other international and regional programmes and initiatives. The University is also represented in a number of European and international University networks and groups.
Officially established in 2004, the Centre for Environmental Education & Research (CEER) is housed within the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. It has been active in environmental education (EE) since 1991, as the Environmental Education Unit, when it was commissioned by UNESCO to embark on a research project to explore ways of infusing EE in primary teacher education. Since then CEER explored ways of promoting EE not only across the faculty’s teacher education programmes but also throughout the country. Initially the work focused on providing EE training courses and supervising research at undergraduate level. The main themes and the specific research agenda of CEER revolved around the development of curriculum material and the investigation into effective methodologies on how to carry out effective educational programmes in the formal education sector. CEER also extended its field of activity to include work within the community, co-operation with governmental and non-governmental organisations, and networking with local and regional groups/individuals to initiate joint projects. Owing to the spread of its field of activity, the centre can safely maintain that it has become the main EE agency in the country.
The following is a brief list of the tasks performed by CEER:
- organisation of pre-service and in-service courses for teachers,
- provision of training courses for staff in the non-formal education sector,
- development of a distance learning EE programme on radio and the internet,
- supervision of postgraduate research,
- convening (and participating in) national and international EE conferences,
- established the Maltese Association of Environmental Educators (MAEE),
- published and conducted research in EE,
- influenced environmental policy making, and participated (as co-ordinator and partner) in EC funded EE projects
Role of UOM in the project:
- Coordinate the mapping exercise in Malta and complete the template for data collection.
- Assist in the development of an online platform of resources as well as get familiarised and review the online tool.
- Contribute to the bi-annual newsletters.
- Provide feedback to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework.
- Contribute to the dissemination and exploitation of the project outputs, outcomes and future network activities.
- Participate at the trial of the academy for ESD in HE.
- Participate and actively contribute to the discussions generated in regional and annual meetings, seminars and conference.
Operational and financial management:
- Prof Paul Pace will coordinate the above administrative and academic project activities.
- Financial administration will be handled by Prof Paul Pace who will liaise internally with the institution’s finance department.