Students benefit from Youth Specialisation Studies Scheme

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Ministry of EducationThis year another 16 students will be benefiting from the Youth Specialisation Studies Scheme (YSSS). The YSSS is a scheme offered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment and APS Bank Ltd. The aim of the scheme is to assist young people studying in specialised areas that contribute to the country’s economy.

Preference was given to those students wishing to carry out or further their studies in the following areas: Medical Studies, Veterinary Studies, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunications and Film Industry, Automotive Software Industry (IT), Agriculture & Marine Studies.

Whilst addressing the beneficiaries, Education Minister Louis Galea said that the YSSS is another scheme intended to help Maltese and Gozitan students continue their education at higher and more specialised levels.

The Government now offers thousands of euros annually in scholarships at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels though the Malta Government Scholarship Scheme.

Between 2006 and 2007 Government awarded ? 931,748 (Lm 400,000) to 70 students following Masters and Doctoral Programmes.

Through the Undergraduate scheme government which government launched this academic year government is allocating ? 395,993 (Lm 170,000) for around 150 students per academic year. It is expected that by 2010 this scheme would have helped more than 600 students.

Louis Galea said that in this year’s budget speech the Prime Minister had announced that assistance will also be given to those Maltese students following courses in Univeristies abroad. All these schemes continue to make it easier for Maltese students to continue their studies at high levels and to specialize in the areas which our country needs. “Malta has already come a long way with participation rates at post-secondary and tertiary levels climbing steadily and the trends show that this will continue in the years to come.

Government is already committed to increase resources and facilities at MCAST, University, Junior College, ITS and its other institutions as it has done for the past years. Our aim is to have 85% of our youth continue to post-secondary level by 2015 and to substantially increase the population of students at University” said Dr. Galea.

These schemes are aimed at accelerating the process for more research and specialisation at the highest levels of education and to provide the critical mass needed to continue to sustain Malta’s attractiveness as a destination for establishment and investment.

The first agreement for the running of the YSSS was made in 1994. Since then, more than 250 students benefited from over Lm1.76 million in benefits.

The YSSS allows young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who wish to pursue their studies or training abroad or else by distance learning, provided such studies are not available locally, to apply for loans from Lm 4,000 to Lm 10,000 for full-time courses or distance-learning courses. Loans may be repaid over a maximum term of 10 years, which will include a maximum moratorium of 5 years on capital repayments, depending on the duration of the academic course to be followed.

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