Updated | Angry law students camp outside faculty in bid to secure choice of credits

Law students forced to camp outside faculty overnight due to a clause that caps student numbers in certain subjects

Law students queuing to apply for credits
Law students queuing to apply for credits

Law students are fuming at their faculty over the capping of places in elective study units, camping outside the faculty overnight to secure their places in what has been described as an “appalling situation.”

Students have been camped outside the faculty, some since midnight, in order to secure their choice of elective study units. By 8am it was apparent to several that they would be unsuccessful in their choice because of the numerus clausus capping student numbers.

“Today at 8am, students sitting for the masters of advocacy have to apply for their electives which have a capping of 25 students per subject. 

It is now 5:11am, and students have been camped out since midnight in order for them to secure their choice of elective,”  a final year law student, wrote in an email to the Dean, Dr Ivan Mifsud.

“I have been waiting in the queue since 4:00am, and I already know that I will not be given the opportunity to study the electives of my choice.

“It is appalling that in my final year and in the masters of advocacy where I should be preparing to specialise in areas of my interest, the faculty of laws place a capping on the subjects, taking out my freedom of choice. 

“It is even more appalling that students had to camp out since midnight, especially when there are specific students who had to leave their children at home alone, or even who have to go to work or prattika later in the day. It is a completely ridiculous and unfair situation,” wrote the student.

The Dean is understood to have told students that his hands were tied, but students are protesting that he has a veto and is not using it to protect his students. “You are the Dean of the students, and you are not putting us first,” one student replied.

Attempts to contact the Dean proved unsuccessful, but the MaltaToday is informed that three students have been called into the faculty to discuss the situation in an emergency meeting.

Justice minister says student dignity 'important'

In a reaction posted to Facebook this afternoon, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said he was in contact with the Dean of the Faculty of Laws.

"After having spoken with him, I can state that Faculty shall be looking into the urgent matter without undue delay.

"Students’ dignity remains important and I look forward to a positive decision being taken in the interest of the students and their academic aspirations.

"Solidarity with all the students, good luck for the upcoming academic year. We look forward to having you in the Law Courts and practicing law in the near future," said the Minister.