Online Degree, Online Courses and Distance Learning in Malta

About Online Degree, Online Courses and Distance Learning in Malta

The Maltese government has been actively undertaking steps and initiatives in recent years to develop e-learning facilities in the country. This has resulted in the introduction of online courses and online degrees in Malta. E-learning refers to the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for improving and supporting traditional education. Currently online education and e-learning is chiefly offered through the virtual learning environment (VLE) programs offered by the University of Malta and maintained by their IT services.

These initiatives play a huge role and are immensely required in developing economies like Malta that face problems of low literacy, inadequate infrastructure and lack of teaching facilities. ICT in education can help to make education accessible even in the most rural and remote areas of the country, where literacy levels are especially low.

Unfortunately, Malta still does not have too many opportunities for students to pursue online courses and online degrees for higher education. Domestically, such courses are only offered by the University of Malta and the Institute of Tourism Studies. Moreover, the online degree system at the University of Malta is yet to be fully implemented. However, being a resident of the European Union, students in Malta can apply for and pursue online degrees from any university, institute or college from the European continent. 

Online courses and distance learning facilities offer a web-based learning environment, which helps tutors reach many more students, without geographical constrains. They also offer a range of tools and resources to support students in their education. These courses are also affordable and convenient for students to pursue their higher education.

In recent times, Malta has been actively pushing its national literacy and skills in ICT forward, to produce a system that can offer a wealth of distance learning opportunities in Malta. The island nation itself is pushing forward an agenda of becoming a 'Smart Island'. This includes incorporating ICT into many areas of life, from education for building a knowledgeable and skilled workforce, to providing sufficient connectivity provisions for international companies, to improving communication between people and communities, as well as, and improving the quality of life for everyone.

Developing a Knowledge Based Society

As part of the Lisbon Objectives, Malta has been rapidly developing a knowledge society through a program of encouraging adult education and online courses.

First, for encouraging the use of computers in everyday life, there is a scheme of loaning computers to people at Euro1 a day. Through this, people are taught how to use computers, leading in to a complete training to address general illiteracy, with distance learning schemes offered through the broadband network.

Primarily through the main university in Malta, online courses are made available, offering online degrees to complement studies at a university, bringing a range of general and specific skills to the students.

Following this, the development of an e-learning platform is included in the classroom environment, providing virtual classroom tools to all schools via a broadband connection. While not strictly distance learning, this development allows for a greater reach of study material and knowledge sharing to help students to support their studies.

Following this, there is a plan to enable e-learning spaces for school children to access at both school and home, to carry out their studies, when they cannot be at school.

Finally, it can be said that although Malta is yet to fully develop domestic online education and distance learning avenues, the government realizes the need for the same and is steadily undertaking initiatives to sufficiently develop distance learning options.

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