The American University of Malta (AUM) is going to have two campuses in Malta: one in the Cospicua Docks and another in Marsaskala. This morning I saw the construction in the docks and I had a longer glimps on how it develops. I am sure it will become a major stepstone of further development of the Three Cities, the South of the island, and a major national milestone. There are debates about aspects of the institution and the construction, and some of them are constructive, but others not helpful. Too often good ideas have been grinded up between the parties in Malta, or by entry barriers with Maltese characteristics (like setting your car on fire). It reminds me of the words of David Martin, the former CEO of Arriva, who explained the failure of delivering a decent bus service in Malta with the words: “Incredibly bad drivers [and] parasitic consultants” who created a system that was “totally unworkable”. Formerly a British colony, Malta unfortunately has carried forward a culture of misusing "the system" into independence. Now, of course it is just self abuse.
Education could definitely be a major pillar in the Maltese economy. 4000 students and 750 jobs are anticipated. In a recent survey we conducted at FEMA's Business Forum at the University of Malta, 85% of local companies responded that they face or will face a talent shortage, specially when it comes to "higher order skills and competencies". There is a lot of room for improvement. I would not waste my time arguing that the AUM figures are wrong, but better spend it to make them become true. Because that's for the benefit of everybody.
The plans and rendering of the Dock 1 campus look really great and it fits well into the beautiful Cospicua. I can imagine that this will become an excellent learning environment and beyond that I am looking forward to see student life in Birgu, Isla and Bormla. Given that many of the students will come from the Middle East, I am expecting we will also get some excellent new food choices (which Malta needs darely). And it might well the critical step to return the Grand Harbour to its past cosmopolitan flair, which was sadly ended around 70 years ago by German bombardment.