Malta Boosts Blockchain Education With €300,000 Scholarship Fund
The idea that Malta is becoming the blockchain capital of the world may be a bit stretched, but the truth is that the country is setting trends.
Just two months ago, the nation’s parliament passed three bills that set up a regulatory framework for the use of blockchain technology. Now the country’s higher education has set the ball rolling with a big scholarship fund.
The University of Malta and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) recently signed an agreement that sees the launch of a scholarship fund worth €300,000.
The fund will be used to support university students pursuing higher education in the fields of blockchain technology.
The target beneficiaries are students specializing in ICT, finance, law, and engineering. The agreement makes scholarship funds available to Master’s and Ph.D. students in the above fields, with applications in blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
The program will provide full sponsorship to qualified students in the next academic year, and will be spread over a three-year period.
Making Malta attractive to blockchain companies
Malta, a small European island in the Mediterranean Sea, has quickly taken on the mantle of a global blockchain hub.
The Maltese government continues to make it possible for blockchain and distributed ledger technology companies to set up offices in the country.
Evidently, the country’s leadership believes that blockchain and DLT will play a big role in various sectors of the economy-, especially the transportation industry, and education.
According to the country’s Junior Minister for Digital Economy Silvio Schembri, that is primarily the reason they are positive about the industry.
He commented about the launch of the scholarship, saying that it is yet another step towards attracting more blockchain-based companies into the country. He added that that would only be possible if the local human resources were enough and ready.
Schembri said that the companies setting up base in Malta need technical resources that would help them build and operate the blockchain projects. In addition, they need to find experts with experience in fields like finance, law, and management.
He then added:
“We look forward to seeing the first Maltese occupying these important and well-paid roles whilst also hoping that these will expand considerably in the future as the industry continues to grow here in Malta.”
Similar sentiments came from the University’s rector Professor Alfred Vella. He said that the institution would embark on an internal review of its degree and Master’s programs in ICT, law, and finance.
The aim would be to develop mechanisms that would see the introduction of study units that relate to the blockchain, DLT, cryptocurrency, fintech, and AI. These reviews would lead to educational programs that support the country’s vision of becoming a blockchain hub.
Similar efforts expected elsewhere
The agreement between University of Malta and MITA is expected to be the first among many such initiatives around the country.
According to Tony Sultana, the agency’s executive chairman, the government will initiate similar efforts in other educational institutions across the country. There will also be training sessions targeting the public sector to familiarize the general public with blockchain technology.
Malta has attracted several blockchain-based companies and cryptocurrency businesses. Some of the top crypto exchanges have found the island’s authorities more crypto-friendly. They include Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.
Others are OKex and BitBay, which have all found it easier to operate in the country.
The Malta Blockchain Summit scheduled for October/November will only serve to market the Mediterranean nation to the world as a major blockchain destination.