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Maltese Environment

The ‘South’ – Seriously?

As expected, the (fake) American University of Malta will be built on ODZ public natural land. Even though the public clearly does not want this, the government insists because the university has to be in the ‘South’ of Malta. The reason given is the usual generic ‘economical prosperity’ excuse, but we all know what the real reason is.

We already have a “university” in the ‘South’ of Malta, that has progressed through the hard work of Maltese people, with Maltese academics and students that have each contributed to the advancement of this institution. But we cannot build luxury hotels next to MCAST though, so we need another university. (Photo credit: Times of Malta)

Conditions stipulated that the university had to be in the ‘South’ of the island, because the current Maltese government strongly believes that all the people who live in the southern part of the island are poor and undereducated people who cannot possibly find a job unless they make it past Marsa. We are expected to believe that the ‘South’ of Malta is ‘poor’ and ‘undereducated’ because there are no facilities for people living in this area to earn an education and a job.

If you have any form of education (or not), and you own a car (this is essential but mostly true), you can work anywhere in Malta. It is a bloody ISLAND for crying out loud, it does not take a lifetime to get around. And before people start throwing ‘morning traffic issues’ into the mix, every commuter from Kercem, to Mellieha, to Birkirkara to Birzebbuga spend way too much time in traffic jams every morning.

We are told that this project HAS to be in the ‘South’ as it is an impoverished area, since everyone in Malta works in the upper-class ‘North’ with those English speaking twats. Pity that the ‘South’ of Malta houses some of the biggest employers on the island – Playmobil, Toly, St Microelectronics, Arrow Pharm, Actavis, Malta Freeport, Trelleborg, and Lufthansa Technik to name a few. But these are industries and we are made to believe that they do not count.

So who are we kidding exactly? Do people actually believe that this new university will create jobs in the area? This university needs academic and admin staff, and seeing as the (fake) American University of Malta will be privately owned, it will recruit whoever is qualified for the job – whether they are from the ‘South’ nor not.

Will this new university enrich the economy of the ‘South’?

Yet another misleading statement by the Prime Minister. This campus will be an entity on its own that is segregated from other villages and towns found in the ‘South’. As such, the campus will have all the facilities that students may require during their school period – dormitories, restaurants, cafes and stationeries.

Fellow UoM students and alumni – Did you ever leave the University of Malta campus during your free time for lunch or coffee in Valletta or Sliema? Maybe a couple of times as a treat, but for the most part people used to stay at Meet ‘n’ Eat, Pasha or the Quad as it is much more convenient, even though the vast majority of UoM students generally own a car.

And where exactly are these 4,000 students going to party over the weekend? I doubt they will be going to Vampiro club in Marsascala, as most of them will be making their way to St Julian’s and Valletta during the weekend. You will get some foot traffic in the ‘South’ during the summer period for those 100 students that do not go back to their home countries, but this would be merely a blip in terms of tourism in the ‘South’.

This university is a sham. It will not be contributing anything to the ‘South’ but further environmental degradation and a major nuisance to the residents of Zonqor point, who will probably lose value on their property as a result of this project. This university is simply a pretext for further development in the area.

It is an insult to all those Maltese people who love and live in the ‘South’, and to the rest of us with half a brain who can only sit by and watch our government sell off public land to the Middle East. At least the peasants that cannot rationally think for themselves will be appeased.

Oh and BTW, does MCAST in Paola qualify as being in the ‘South’? It does, but that isn’t a university now is it. How much has the ‘South’ prospered since MCAST started providing degrees? Nuff Said.

Join the discussion

  1. Jackie Montalto

    How can you write in English and then complain about “English speaking twats”? Your article, although I agree in essence, is filled with logical fallacies. If you are keen on publishing, do think things through before you blurt them out. You are not furthering the environmental cause by talking without duly thinking things through.

  2. David

    I’m with you on this; published something on similar lines a couple of days ago:

  3. Brazzle

    People who live in the ‘North’- that area which is a whole 20 mins away from Sliema by car if you take the coast road- are at a greater geographical disadvantage than people living in Zejtun. I know this because as a child my family and I would move to a flat there and going anywhere beyond Mistra village seemed completely inconvenient.

  4. Jonathan Gauci

    I think what you are not getting is the fact that with a lproject like this, foreign money is injected directly into local economy through property rental and local services…. That is the main difference. I personally live in the south, born and raised in fact..and nowadays work in ta xbiex. And i can certainly percieve quite a difference, in the people of course but mostly i can percieve the difference in the local economy, so don’t just dismiss this project as just being all gimicks. Yes the government has bulldosed over public opinion and that is what should be critisized.

    With wealth comes better education ( travel, freetime to read and browse the internet, mingling with other people with different opinion..etc etc).

    • Antoine Borg Micallef

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you fr your reply. This is where I find myself at a difficulty with your statement – you mentioned property rental but this is not going to happen as all these students will have dormitories on campus which they will rent at upmarket prices, but every cent will go to the Sadeen Group. Furthermore, local services will also not benefit so much – I explained this in the post above. we shouldn’t forget that this is a private university for rich foreigners – Maltese people have limited spaces at this university, so I do not envision such a big contribution the the education level of Malta. But I still have to emphasise that no matter if this is a university, or it was a hospital, retirement home etc, it will be abusively built on natural public land, and there should be no justification for it

  5. Franswa

    Firstly the campus will not have enough space for 4000 students.
    Are you going to pretend that you don’t think this will raise property values of people who live close by?
    Do you think the employees at the university will live in the dorms with the students as well?
    Or that bus routes will not have to be improved to accommodate the new influx of people?
    Or that these students will not perhaps prefer to go to Marsascala for a casual night out?
    You think they will always go to Saint George’s bay to enjoy the beach?
    They won’t eat more often at Marsaxlokk than the foreigners living in Sliem/Saint Julians do?
    Or that they will not do all their shopping in the vicinity?
    Do you not see a difference between MCAST and around 4000 PAYING foreign students?

    You are being very short sited here. I think the only thing that should swing us to one side or the other is the quality of the university. If it is just some for-profit college than I am against it. If it is something that could become a respectable university I say full steam ahead. But some people do not want this government to succeed.

    • Antoine Borg Micallef

      “But some people do not want this government to succeed”. – what a stupid comment. Of course I want the government to succeed. A successful government is by definition a successful economy and a prosperous country. This is about the environment – if you are happy with the government selling off public land for such a project such because it is ‘expected’ to bring in money, then you should be living in a concrete lined city and not an island which I am sure you celebrate for its natural heritage. If you are satisfied with bowing your head to 4000 PAYING foreign students, be my guest. I am not about to allow a couple of Middle Eastern hoteliers to dictate how our environment should be managed. Yet our government expects us to be on board with it, and the second we criticise it, we get told off for it. It doesn’t even matter to me if Oxford or MIT was establishing a campus here, the process was not transparent and reeks of corruption.

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