The Prime Minister of Malta, the Honourable Dr Joseph Muscat, officially opened the Queen Mary University of London Malta campus today.
In front of around 200 guests including staff, student representatives and local dignitaries, Dr Muscat cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque to mark the building’s formal opening.
The four-storey 8,100 square metre building is situated on the island of Gozo in Malta, next to Gozo General Hospital. It includes:
The new facilities also include a library, student support services, a large canteen/social space and offices.
In his speech, Dr Muscat described the new facilities as “a pole of investment around which a new community will be based”.
He said: “We are providing this island and this country with a world class medical education in what is arguably the best facility in the Mediterranean. What has been achieved is not a run-of-the-mill facility but a new benchmark for everyone around this region. It represents a reversal of fortune for the island.”
He hailed the partnership between the Maltese government, “Queen Mary, one of the UK’s top education institutions and Steward Health Care, the foremost provider of healthcare in the United States”.
Addressing students, Dr Muscat assured them that they are seen not as numbers but as a new diaspora that will always be welcome on Gozo and in Malta.
Queen Mary launched a five-year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme taught on the Mediterranean islands of the Maltese Republic two years ago. Its third cohort of students arrived to start their studies in September.
Professor Steve Thornton, Vice Principal (Health) of Queen Mary University of London praised the partnerships forged with the Government of Malta, Steward Health Care who constructed the new facility and Gozo General Hospital.
He said: “The delivery of this world class clinical teaching facility is more than bricks and mortar: to Queen Mary, and I hope to our communities and partners, it is emblematic of our commitment to delivering an exciting future for healthcare in Malta.
“Queen Mary prides itself on being a truly global university and it prizes above all the diversity of its student and staff communities. It is therefore incredibly gratifying that we have been able to attract so many international students to the country to learn here and to become members of the Maltese community.”
The MBBS is taught in English by Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary and has been designed to provide students with the medical knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes that are required to become a competent Foundation Year (FY1) Doctor. It uses the same curriculum as the MBBS in London, and results in the award of a Medicine MBBS from Queen Mary University of London.
The campus Director of Operations, Fiona Wilson, emphasised that the University is determined that the new facility will be widely used and will be an asset for the community.
“Although the facility will service the needs of our undergraduate medical students, we are already looking at a number of other medical courses and programmes – including short professional development courses for clinical staff and summer schools for medical students.
“However we also want to open it up to our local partners and the wider community in Malta and particularly for Gozo residents. It is very important to us that we are seen as being embedded in life on Gozo. We will announce shortly the date of the first of many Open Days so local people can see for themselves the quality of this facility and discuss how we can work with them to make the best use of it.”
Queen Mary University of London Gozo Student President Ehsan Gauher said: “This facility gives us the best opportunity to excel in our learning and I have no doubt that graduates from this medical school will go on to make fantastic doctors. We will have a positive impact on patients and the wider community, whether that be here or in other places around the world.”
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