University rector denies future role at ‘American University’

Outgoing University of Malta rector Juanito Camilleri rules out taking up ‘American University’ role

The outgoing University of Malta rector has denied that he will be leading the private university run by a Jordanian company once his term is over in 2016. 

Since it is understood that Camilleri will not be standing for a third term at the University of Malta, he is being touted for a top role at the Zonqor university. 

But in reply to MaltaToday’s questions, Juanito Camilleri said “I’m not the Rector who will lead the ‘American University’.”

According to media reports, earlier this year Camilleri informed the University Council that he will be taking a sabbatical, once his current term comes to an end on 1 July, 2016.

Meanwhile, the new university, which will be split in two following the public outcry over the use of ODZ land in Zonqor, has not yet obtained the accreditation by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE).

Talking to MaltaToday, the commission’s chairperson, Martin Scicluna said he cannot provide any details of applications that are still being processed. 

However, he confirmed that “the accreditation process of the American University of Malta is still in process”.

Asked when the commission would be taking a decision, Scicluna said the length of provider and programme accreditation processes vary on a case by case basis. 

He pointed out that the duration is dependent on the size of the institution and number of programmes to be accredited, and the time taken by the applicant to respond to the requests for information or for amendments in the application. 

In reply to whether any deadline has been imposed on the commission, Scicluna said “there is no deadline set by when the provider or programme accreditation have to be completed.”

He explained that NCFHE is responsible for undertaking accreditation processes on a regular basis, by granting or refusing, confirming or revoking programme or provider accreditation based on the reviews of such programme or provider application. 

Scicluna also insisted that no undue pressure was put on the commission following the announcement of the project in May and the detailed presentation given by the Prime Minister over the location of the university in Zonqor and Cospicua. 

“The accreditation process and procedures which are currently being followed in relation to the application submitted in the name of the AUM are completely separate from and independent of the announcements and plans published in the media that focus on the selection of the site or premises for the University,” Scicluna saida