[WATCH] Rector hails 'historic' transfer of government land to University of Malta

The government will be transferring the Valletta and Gozo university campuses, the Junior College campus and the land hosting the Institute for Sustainable Energy in Marsaxlokk to the Univeristy of Malta

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the transfer was the biggest ever capital investment in the university
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the transfer was the biggest ever capital investment in the university

Land owned by the government which hosts the University of Malta's Valletta and Gozo campuses, the Junior College and the Institute for Sustainable Energy in Marsaxlokk has been transferred to the University.

The transfer of the perpetual ground rent for the land, worth millions, will see the university’s capital assets increase significantly.

A memorandum of understanding for the transfer was signed on Thursday by Lands Authority CEO James Piscopo and Property Market Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius.

University of Malta rector Alfred Vella hailed the "historic" decision, highlighting how in the 250 years since the university was founded, nothing of the sort had ever materialised.

He said the transfer would strengthen the university’s position when entering into agreements on future projects as it will have a stronger financial base to act as a guarantee.

"If feel like I'm in a dream right now," Vella said, "The government is giving the University additional assets - land. This is historic."

Vella explained that the land where the Old Campus in Valletta and the Gozo campus stand will be transferred to the University. So too will the land occupied by the Junior College in Msida, parts of which haven't been utilised up till now.

In Marsaxlokk, in addition to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, the government has also transferred an adjacent piece of land, effectively doubling the area available to the institute.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the transfer was "the government's biggest-ever capital investment in the University."

"The investment is worth millions, and it will aid the university in strengthening its capital base," Joseph Muscat said.

"The Old Campus site is worth millions, and so too is the Junior College site," he said, "The University's financial status will take on a whole new dimension when it factors in the new properties in its balance sheet."

Agius said the transfer will help the University continue to fulfil its function in training Maltese workers of the future.

"It will allow the University to continue performing its function of preparing young Maltese people to be able to take on new openings in the country's employment sector," Agius said.

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