American University developers Sadeen buys Tarxien hostel for €2.5 million

Days before the American University of Malta received its first students last September, the company behind the institution bought a hostel in Tarxien, MaltaToday has learnt

The Bowyer House hostel which was bought by the American University of Malta. Below, the interior of the hostel
The Bowyer House hostel which was bought by the American University of Malta. Below, the interior of the hostel

Days before the American University of Malta received its first students last September, the company behind the institution bought a hostel in Tarxien, MaltaToday has learnt.

Sadeen Education Investment Ltd purchased the Bowyer House hostel for €2.5 million from the Maltese firm HF Investments.

The outright sale of the 36-room hostel was concluded on 30 August 2017. The six-storey building – of which two floors are below ground level – is adjacent to Palazzo Abela, which also belongs to HF Investments, in Tarxien’s historic centre.

The hostel is advertised online as having “large and comfortable” rooms that contain between one and five beds each. It has a superficial area of 3,295 square metres.

The interior of the hostel bought by the American Univeristy of Malta
The interior of the hostel bought by the American Univeristy of Malta

AUM provost John Ryder confirmed the hostel would serve as a residence for students, who required accommodation.

The university’s operations are currently concentrated at the Dock 1 campus in Bormla that was transferred to Sadeen in 2016 by the Government as part of the 99-year concession agreement that included a larger site at Zonqor Point in Marsaskala.

The two sites were transferred on condition they will be used as university campuses. Sadeen plans to have dormitories at the Zonqor campus. However, works on this site have not yet started.

AUM opened its doors to 23 students in September, a far cry from the target of 300 students it had set itself initially. The university terminated the employment of all its full-time academic staff at the start of the year as a result of the poor student intake and has since recruited fewer faculty members, most of whom are on a part-time basis.

In the wake of concerns over the viability of the AUM project, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Education Minister Evarist Bartolo have said that works at Zonqor should not start before the Bormla campus is used to capacity.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe