UMASA (University of Malta Academic Staff Association) decries the lack of involvement of academics in the process for the election of Rector of the University of Malta. As a position at the helm of the national University, one of the country’s major employers, we believe it is important that the process is as open and participatory as possible. In the discussions on the draft University Act in 2017 UMASA had insisted that reforms in the elections for Rector should involve the wider University academic community in a direct democratic process. Under the current procedure only 3 out of the 31 electors are elected representatives of academic staff with half of the members appointed directly by Government.
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In light of the above for the elections of the post of Rector in 2021 UMASA, as the only recognised union representing tertiary research and lecturing staff at the University of Malta, has held a consultative poll among its members. Members were asked to indicate their preference for Rector after the vision statements of both candidates were circulated by UMASA. With a total of 222 votes cast the poll results were as follows:
Prof Alfred Vella: 62%
Prof Frank Bezzina 38%
UMASA will be looking towards greater reform in the process and we trust that the newly elected rector will, together with the union, work towards greater democracy within the institution.
Dr Jean Paul Baldacchino