€5.5 million for over 400 students wishing to continue studying from diploma to doctorate
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Report: Keith Demicoli
Students wishing to continue with their studies, from diploma to doctorate full-time or part-time, and who do not qualify for scholarships offered annually, will now have access to 5.5 million euro through a new financial instrument in the form of guarantees or interest-free loans, which has been drawn up in the past year in collaboration between BOV, the Malta Development Bank and the Authority for Administration of EU Funds.
During the signing of the agreement between BOV and the Malta Development Bank, BOV’s Chief Credit Business Development Officer Albert Frendo stated that the aim of the BOV Studies+ is for students to avoid any financial burdens during the study period, so much so that the financing can be paid off up to ten years after conclusion of studies, when the student will have started working.
The President of the Malta Development Bank, Professor Josef Bonnici, explained that a loan under this programme covers payment for courses, accommodation expenses, living expenses and other expenses related to continuation of studies both in Malta and abroad.
The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue, Aaron Farrugia, stated that this is the first project being carried out from European Funds with the Malta Development Bank, and is guided by two principles: that social mobility in the country is not hindered by financial obstacles, and secondly, that Government addresses a gap in the private market.
“This type of financial instrument will be complementing grants like the Endeavour scheme and others, and will therefore be assisting the student to aim higher and succeed, particularly in the context of the next EU budget covering 2021-2027. Many are insisting that the loans should replace cash grants, but the Maltese Government will continue to stress that these should complement each other,” Dr Farrugia stated.
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