The University of Malta traces its origins to the founding of the Collegium Melitense in 1592. Situated at Tal-Qroqq, it is the highest teaching institution of the State by which it is mainly financed and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are over 11,000 students including some 650 international students from 80 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, most of them run on the modular or credit system. Some 3,000 students graduate in various disciplines annually. The degree courses at the University are designed to produce highly qualified professionals with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general. There are a further nearly 2,500 pre-tertiary students at the Junior College which is also managed by the University.
The University of Malta is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association (EUA), the Utrecht Network, the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), the European Access Network (EAN) as well as the Santander Network and the Compostela Group. Through its International and EU Office, University of Malta students participate in programmes such as Erasmus, Leonardo and Comenius. Over the years, the University has participated in various EU Programmes and has won several projects under the Framework Programmes in collaboration with a number of partner universities. The University is geared towards the infrastructural and industrial needs of the country so as to provide expertise in crucial fields. There is ongoing collaboration with the public and private sectors whilst various services are offered to industry.


The Department of Geosciences was established within the Faculty of Science in April 2015. The Department brought together academic members, research and support staff who had been working in the Earth Sciences, mainly in the Department of Physics and the Physical Oceanography Unit. It has started off with 10 full-time resident academics and a number of research and technical officers, as well as postgraduate students. The three broad areas of research are Atmospheric and Climate Studies, Geophysics, Seismology, Marine Geology, and Operational Oceanography. Within each of these areas, the members of the Department have, over the years, developed  monitoring activities which have become established on a national level, mainly the National Seismic Network, the Global Atmospheric Watch  station at Gordan Lighthouse, the  permanent sea monitoring systems and meteo/marine forecasting, and most recently the Air Quality Mobile Laboratory. All these systems boast state-of-the-art equipment that has been procured mainly by active participation in internationally funded projects. A wide range of academic research is also conducted within these areas. Presently the Department offers two taught Masters courses, one in Applied Oceanography and another in Petroleum Studies, as well as Masters and Ph.D. programmes by research.  It also provides servicing to other entities through the delivery of a number of undergraduate study-units included in programmes of study offered by other departments and institutes. An undergraduate programme in the Geosciences will be launched soon in October 2017.


The Seismic Monitoring Research Group (SMRG), within the Department of Geosciences,  operates the Malta Seismic Network, which consists of three permanent broadband seismic stations - WDD (Wied Dalam, B'Bugia), MSDA (University Campus, Msida and XLND (Xlendi, Gozo) and a set of three roving portable broadband seimographs. It also possesses three portable tromographs for site response and building investigations, a geophone array, and other geophysical field equipment. WDD was installed in 1995 as part of MEDNET - a Mediterranean-wide network of such instruments, managed by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Rome – and upgraded to form part of the VEBSN in 2003.  The other stations were acquired through the SIMIT project (Italia-Malta Operational Programme 207-2013).  The Malta Seismic Network was officially registered (code ML) with the Federation of Digital Seismic Networks in 2015. The SMRG also operates a Virtual Mediterranean Regional Network based on  SeisComP3 software.  This enables it to acquire real-time data from a large number of Mediterranean and global stations and perform rapid earthquake locations.  Alerts about important earthquakes are sent to the Civil Protection Department. The SMRG is  a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre  in France, whose major objective is to establish and operate a system for rapid determination of European and Mediterranean earthquake epicentres and transmitting these results immediately to the appropriate international authorities and to the members in order to meet the needs of protection of society, scientific progress and general information.