Students call for rebates on bike purchases, more funds on research

KSU calls for additional stipends for mature students with disabilities, remuneration for nursing students undergoing their placement work as part of their course 

The University of Malta’s student council (KSU) has urged the government to grant rebates or discounts to students who purchase bicycles, e-bikes or scooters.

In a document released ahead of next week’s Budget, KSU also said that more bicycle lanes should be installed, and that companies should be incentivised to introduce carpooling initiatives for their staff.

“If this culture change is adopted by the Maltese population, it may pose as a solution to the traffic problem on the island,” it said.

Elsewhere, KSU called on the government to increase its budget on research and development, currently a measly 0.84% of its GDP.

“This is relatively low and a result innovation is not being given the importance it deserves. We call on the government to increase the amount of public expenditure to match EU targets (3% of GDP by 2020) on this matter, and thus have a more holistic approach when it comes to research and development. Such actions will benefit both tertiary and higher educational institutions as well as the Maltese economy.”

Other key proposals include additional stipends or supplementary grants for mature students with intellectual or physical disabilities, remuneration for nursing students undergoing their placements, and further investment in sports facilities at the University.

They also said that more indigenous plants should be planted across Maltese gardens so as to boost the non-Mediterranean ones.

“Mediterranean plants require less water usage since they are adjusted to survive in semi-arid climates. Increasing indigenous flora in local gardens would be beneficial in the long term upkeep of our anthropogenically-sourced greenery due to less water usage, which is important due to our dry climate.” 

More in Budget 2017