American University to return Żonqor Point to government, Abela says

XTRA on TVM News Plus | AUM will be giving back its right to land in Żonqor Point and will instead expand its campus at Smart City 

The American Univeristy of Malta (AUM) will be returning the land given to it at Marsaskala’s Żonqor Point in exchange for campus expansion at Smart City, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Monday. 

During an interview on TVM News Plus’s XTRA, that will be aired later tonight, Abela revealed that no development will be taking place anywhere at Żonqor Point by the AUM. 

An area in Bormla that was slated to house AUM dormitories will also be handed back to the government. 

“The university, its expansion and its dormitories, will be relocated to a place already set for development. We’re looking at Smart City, where the ITS campus will be housed,” he said. 

Joseph Muscat’s administration led the transfer of land at Żonqor Point to the AUM His first announcement of the AUM in May led to national outrage, with a 3,000-strong protest thronging the streets of Valletta calling for the private university to be relocated elsewhere. 

“I understand that the transfer prompted debate in the past […] Contractually, there’s the university building in Bormla, dormitories in the same locality approaching Isla, and the most controversial was that of Żonqor Point,” Abela said. 

“In the last months I appointed a number of technical experts to sit together and see how this concession can be better aligned to this government’s environmental vision,” he continued.  

“The deal is being concluded as we speak and will be taken to Cabinet, and eventually Parliament, for approval.”