6 Reasons to Study in Malta

As far as international study destinations go, Malta may not be the first place on many people’s lists. However, there are many advantages to studying on this small and beautiful Mediterranean nation. A real hidden gem for international students with a sense of adventure, Malta offers an excellent standard of education, an affordable standard of living, and plenty of exciting career opportunities in industries of the future such as gaming, blockchain, and AI. What’s more, Malta is a country that values the importance of university graduates. Skilled graduates who stay or move to Malta can benefit from tax breaks, fast-track visas, and free support to help start a new business. Here are six reasons to study in Malta.

Promoting international study

Education Malta is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the internationalization of education in Malta and invites foreign universities to set up a presence on the island. Launched in 2016, it has already made major strides towards integrating Malta into the global education market. It is now a part of the EU’s Study in Europe project and the Global Education Network.

Delegates from Education Malta regularly attend conferences and international education fairs in Russia, the USA, Switzerland, Italy, and China. In October 2019, a delegation led by the President of the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law visited Malta to discuss plans to open a satellite campus. Talks are ongoing, but a new campus could be open as soon as next year. In the meantime, the Guangdong University of Technology and the Malta College of Science and Technology  (MCAST) have partnered to administer a brand new BSc in Engineering. The course will be held at the MCAST campus in Malta and is open to all students.

Financial benefits

In 2018, the Maltese government announced a tax break for postgraduates entering the workforce. Anyone with a master’s degree is exempt from paying tax for one year, while PhD graduates get an impressive two-year tax break. The new rules also apply to graduates who studied part-time, although they only get a 50% discount on income tax.

The scheme will cost the Maltese government around €7 million ($8.3million) per year in lost tax revenue. However, this is very much an investment in the future. The tax breaks are designed to attract the best and brightest students from all over the world, meeting Malta’s rising demand for highly trained professionals. “We currently have 1,600 people working within research and development, but we would like to have 4,500,” says finance minister Edward Scicluna. “Over the next four years, the demand for professionals and management roles is going to increase by 40,000.”

A great place to improve your English

Malta is a great place to learn the lingua franca of the global business economy — English. Around 75,000 international students enroll in English language courses every year. A large proportion of the students come from Italy, while Malta also attracts a significant number of French and German learners. Some travel from much further afield, including South America, the Middle East, and South Korea.

The majority of international students arrive in July, combining a summer vacation with a chance to improve their English. General English is the most popular course. It focuses on four key language skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking – with additional work on vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Courses are between 15-30 hours a week, which includes a significant amount of one-to-one tutoring. Other course options include intensive English, English for work, business or academic English, and 50+ programs tailored to mature students.

Exciting job opportunities

Back in 2004 Malta rewrote its regulation for iGaming, a multi-billion dollar industry which includes sports betting, online poker, and other forms of online gaming. The new regulations reduced business rates, cut taxes, and fast-tracked visa applications for highly-skilled workers. These new rules made Malta an attractive destination for igaming companies, and this small Mediterranean island is now home to some of the biggest names in the business, including UK’s PlayFrank and Paddy Power/Betfair.

Financial experts believe Igaming will be worth around $127billion by 2027. That means plenty of well-paid job opportunities for skilled graduates. iGaming companies are always on the look-out for coders, designers, business development managers, analysts, account executives, traders, and data scientists. The majority of these roles offer generous remuneration packages, especially as you progress to more senior positions. For example, entry-level data analysts earn around $39,000 a year, while a head of business data and intelligence can command a salary of up to $90,000.

Supporting Startups

“Sun, sea, sand, surf and start-ups” – that’s the motto of Start-Up Malta, The nonprofit organization connects entrepreneurs with investors, provides financial, and technical mentoring, and helps transform ideas into products or scalable services. It’s a fantastic service for young innovators who are great at coming up with new concepts but lack some of the more practical business skills. Moreover, it’s completely free. Unlike similar organizations, Start-Up Malta charges no pitch fees and no deals fees.

In the last few years, Start-Up Malta has helped launch hundreds of exciting new ventures. They include Founders Bank, a new type of bank looking to disrupt traditional finance and credit models; EZ365, a new platform for trading digital currencies and assets; and Quidaz, a cryptocurrency exchange. Quidaz is opening up crypto to the African market, connecting millions of people from developing countries with this revolutionary technology.

Then there’s EBO. Founded in 2017 thanks to seed investment sourced through Start-Up Malta, EBO is an AI-driven ‘customer service’ provider. It is automating customer service on a global scale, providing a greater level of service for customers and driving growth for businesses. Many companies who use EBO’s AI agents have seen a 200% increase in customer satisfaction levels, a 30% reduction in the number of unnecessary calls, and a 1.5x boost in cross-selling services. EBO’s founder is George Gatt. He graduated from the University of Malta with a sociology degree before going on to complete a doctorate in Information and communications technology (ICT) law. So if you have a big idea you want to get off the ground, Malta could be the place to make it happen!

A high standard of living

Malta is a stable eurozone economy with a welcoming business environment. It’s an ideal place to start a career or launch your own venture. However, it’s also a great (and very safe) place to live. Firstly, there’s the weather; Malta enjoys around 300 days of sunshine every year, with an average summer temperature of 78.8°F. It also has some of the most beautiful beaches and holiday resorts in Eupre, so you won’t have to travel very far to enjoy a relaxing break. Alternatively, students can easily visit one of the many interesting sights, like the Valletta Fortress or the ancient “Silent City” of Mdina (so named because there are no cars and the city of just 300 falls wonderfully silent and dark by night). Or you could take a trip to the Ġgantija Temples.  A World UNESCO Heritage site, the Ġgantija Temples are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world. They were built around 1,000 years before the Pyramids of Giza.

If ancient history isn’t your thing, then spend your weekends at the bars, coffee shops, and restaurants along the Maltese coast. Like many of its Mediterranean neighbors, Malta is famous for its rustic national cuisine, delicious seafood, and warm hospitality. Plus, as long as you avoid the tourist traps, you will find plenty of places to eat out on a student budget.

Malta is a country where you can get a great education, enjoy a high standard of living, and meet lots of interesting people from all over the world; and that’s just the beginning of your adventure. After graduating, you have all the support you need to start a career or even build your own business.

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