Meetings with Library Admin. & Registrar’s Office Staff

The KSU Education Office recently held meetings with members of the Library administration as well as the Registrar’s Office staff. These introductory meetings served to acquaint the new members of the KSU Education Office with the members of staff in these essential University bodies and to discuss potential collaboration throughout the year. A short résumé of what was discussed in both meetings is provided below.

Library Meeting

Among the main ideas and planned changes discussed, these main objectives stood as the primary focus of the Library in the coming years:

  • Installation of a new air-conditioning system which is being combined with an update in the lighting system. Both projects, are a welcome improvement following several comments by students from the last exam period this year, and are intended to be completed by the end of this year at the latest.
  • Foundations being laid for the development of a university student card with RFID functionality for use with library resources. This joint effort between Library, Registrar and IT Services is intended to be a long-term project with significant investment planned across the board for the development of a multi-functional student ID. In accordance with its proposals for this year, KSU will be providing its input in the development stages for this initiative.
  • Revamp of Library areas, mainly the development of the old IT Services area beneath the main building into a study area which is also planned to include a coffee area.
  • Continual upgrades and licensing of new digital resources, with a push this year for the inclusion of eBooks into the already vast collection of resources at students’ disposal.

The KSU Education Office will be collaborating with the Library to set up informative sessions for the general student body and is currently planning two sessions which will be tentatively held in early November. These sessions will focus on the different Library services as well as the use of online software like RefWorks.

Registrar Meeting

During the meeting with the Registrar staff several routine issues were discussed, including initiatives such as Study-Unit, Exam Halls and Invigilator feedback.  A few points which some members of the Registrar wished to emphasise included:

  • The timely submission of Learning Agreements as well as other necessary documentation prior to and after students attend exchange programmes such as Erasmus.
  • To ensure that enrolment for the next year is completed as early as possible to avoid any issues arising with eSIMS.
  • To make clear any personal problems students may have as early as possible before taking any exams for which they may feel their performance may be hindered. Also, individuals requiring special arrangements (e.g. due to injury, disability, illness etc.) should inquire at an early stage to ensure their requirements can be catered for. There are several resources available on campus for students, including counselling and advisory services. These can be found here: www.um.edu.mt/counselling & www.um.edu.mt/sas
  • Reviewing the guidelines for plagiarism to avoid unnecessary disciplinary action being taken due to lack of knowledge on the subject. Students may wish to consider taking up LIN1063 – Academic Reading & Writing in English in their first year as an optional credit. Where this is not available, the KSU Education Office strongly suggests students to contact their student representatives to push for the introduction of the unit in their course.

The KSU Education Office will be collaborating with the Registrar in several feedback initiatives and campaigns which will be launched throughout the year. These go hand in hand with the official feedback launched by University and help to further improve the current standards in education on campus.

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KSU Reaction to Education Act Reform

Press Release – 16/08/2012

KSU notes with satisfaction that through the hard work of past and current KSU Executive bodies, the council has succeeded in achieving new standards in student representation at the University of Malta. Through a series of recommendations passed on to Parliament during the debates on the Education Act Reform this year, the following changes have been implemented into the new Education Act which came into force on the 1st of August 2012:

  • The addition of one (1) student representative on Council (previously two (2) representatives) at least one of whom shall be a post-graduate student.
  • The addition of one (1) student representative on Senate (previously four (4) representatives) at least two of whom shall be post-graduate students
  • The addition of one (1) student representative on every Faculty Board (previously two (2) representatives) at least one of whom shall be a postgraduate student

KSU holds that, through the positive changes listed above, student representation has become more comprehensive, encompassing more of the current student population. Furthermore, KSU hopes that the role of such student representatives will continue to be an essential feature in the system of checks and balances at the University of Malta,  retaining their role as the diplomatic bridge between students and administration.

In addition to the above mentioned changes, the Education Act reform is also to include further important improvements in the spheres of quality assurance; accreditation regulations and non-formal and informal learning.

KSU looks forward to continue giving its valuable contributions and recommendations in order to introduce further improvements, while maximising the students’ voice as the direct stakeholders in Higher Education and fulfilling its aim of being the sole representative of all students at the University of Malta.

Finally, KSU believes that all above mentioned amendments are healthy and much-needed developments, which will lead to a more comprehensive lifelong learning experience and, ultimately, a more holistic and inclusive Higher Education system.

KSU Helps Negotiate Transitional Period for Law Course Reform

Press Release – 17/08/2012

KSU welcomes the news that law students who are currently reading for the Degree of Bachelor of Laws will not be affected by the new changes in local legislation.

In a series of meetings and discussions with all the relevant stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education and Employment, the Faculty of Laws and several law students, KSU emphasised that the students following the course would be adversely affected by some of the proposed changes. This news today is highly welcomed since it will enable an adequate transitional period between the old and new legislation, thereby avoiding any negative impact on students.

On a final note, KSU also welcomes the new changes and proposals in the Law course structure, which KSU has been pushing for a number of years and which will finally bring the Law course more in line with Bologna Process requirements. In addition, KSU feels that such proposed reforms offer more regularized practices and will bring about new opportunities for student mobility and further higher education.

FAQ: Supplementary Assessments & Revision of Paper

The information regarding the maximum number of credits you can resit in the General Regulations for University Undergraduate Awards under the title ‘Supplementary Assessments’:

http://www.um.edu.mt/registrar/regulations/general/harmonisedregs-09

In short, you can resit up to 16 ECTS credits. Should you fail to pass the resits, you can refer up to 10 ECTS of them and redo them in the next year. Students can only sit for an exam for 4 times, after which they will have to discontinue the course.

Students are automatically registered for resits once they fail the first sit of their exams and are listed as ‘Conditional Progression’. Students must also make a distinction between Compensatable (C) and Non-Compensatable (CN) units. It is only with compensatable units that one may obtain a Compensated Pass  (CP) on fulfilling these two conditions:

– Obtaining a mark of 35% or more in the exam.

– Possessing an average of 50% or more in the program of studies.

With non-compensatable units one must obtain a pass mark of 45% or more. The University regulations describing these rules can be found under the title ‘Assessment Methods’ in regulation 50.

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Revision of paper may be applied for through the following process:

– Filling in the application form available both on the University website (http://www.um.edu.mt/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/39214/revfrm.pdf) as well as eSIMS.

– Payment of the required fee at the Unviersity MaltaPost branch.

– Submission of the application form together with the receipt provided at Room 113 in Administration Building.

The guidelines provided on the University website (http://www.um.edu.mt/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/39213/revguide.pdf) and eSIMS both provide useful insight into the process as well as regulations governing the revision of paper including, but not limited to, refunds, applicable changes in grades etc.