Published on September 19th, 2011 | by Jake Dalli0
Fac. of Education Explain Admissions Situation
Press Release – Faculty of Education
With reference to the news items in connection with students’ admissions to the B.Ed.(Hons.) and PGCE programmes of study aired on ONE News (Friday 16th September) and PBS (Saturday 17th September), the Faculty of Education, University of Malta, would like to clarify that:
- Teaching practice is a compulsory and highly-valued component of the B.Ed. (Hons.) and PGCE programmes. This component includes periods of training, assessment and examination of student-teachers’ ability to teach and interact with children and students in classrooms.
- Every year, the Faculty invites school authorities in the three sectors (State, Church and Independent) to provide information about the number of students they can accommodate at their schools for Teaching Practice. For the secondary sector, schools are invited to inform the Faculty of the number of students they can take for each subject area taught at their schools.
- As per usual practice, the Faculty initiated contacts with the competent authorities in December 2010 to secure the highest number of teaching practice placements, available for the scholastic year 2011-12, as early as possible. Once schools provided the Faculty with the available placements, the University published the list. Efforts are still on-going to secure more places.
- When students submitted their University applications in July, the Admissions office of the University of Malta informed them that the number of places which can be offered on the programme depends on the number of placements available in each individual study area. Applicants were also informed that where a limited number of teaching practice placements would be available, the number of students to be accepted would have to be restricted if the number of applicants was greater than the number of placements available.
- The intake in the following subject areas had already been limited in past years: PSD, Maltese, Social Studies, Business Studies, Spanish, Geography and Music. On the basis of the number of teaching practice placements available to date and considering the number of applications received, the following areas of study could also have a restricted intake this year: Primary Education, Computing, French, History, Maths, PE and Science.
- The number of teaching practice placements depend on a variety of variables, such as the number of students/children in schools and hence the number of classes. The decreasing birth rate means that there are fewer children/students in schools, fewer classes and thus fewer placements can be offered.
- Decreasing student population is in contrast with increasing applications for the university teaching courses, namely B.Ed. (Hons.) and PGCE. In the current three cohorts, 218 students are reading for a degree in primary education. To date, the University of Malta received 213 applications (first and second preference) for the same course. It is clear that there has been a dramatic increase in applications for the teaching profession.
- All stakeholders will continue to do their utmost in identifying the maximum number of student placements.
September 19th 2011