One of the main topics of discussion over the last week is definitely the law that is being proposed by the government to introduce a board that oversees the University of Malta. This government appointed board will ultimately manage the UoM.
Minister Evarist Bartolo tried to to play down everyone’s worries this afternoon when he said that they have no intention of crushing the university with some kind of heavy hand. Yet, it’s good to remind Minister Bartolo that no matter how the crushing is done, either with a heavy hand or with subtle interference, a crushing is still a crushing!
While reading about KSU’s debate about this controversial topic all of a sudden something click and I remembered a conversation I had with a constituent back in the last election campaign. I remembered that just two days before the election I got a phone call from someone that I personally know. His family are all life members with PN and I was sure that they will all be voting for PN. With a worried tone he told me that he would like to see me because his son was telling everyone that he won’t vote PN. Obviously I agreed that I will be going to his house later that same day.
When I was talking to his son I asked him bluntly, what did they promise you? He told me that he had met someone from Evarist Bartolo’s team and promised him that if Labour are re-elected, within two years he will be able to enrol to the medicine course even though his requisites weren’t all met. He told me that becoming a doctor was his dream and Labour were guaranteeing that if they’re in power, they will let him commence the course even though he didn’t meet the entry criteria. He asked me that if I promise him the same thing, he will vote PN since that’s his preferred choice.
At that stage I tried explaining that what he was promised is impossible as it can’t be done since the University of Malta is autonomous and the government (rightly) doesn’t have any power on who’s admitted and who isn’t. I told him that I won’t be promising something that is impossible because I would be lying to him. At that stage I left it like this however I was convinced that unfortunately this person was going to vote based on a lie.
Today, I don’t think it was a lie at all, it was actually always the plan to introduce this law to ensure that the government is in direct control of what happens in the University of Malta.
The University of Malta must remain totally autonomous without any government interference. Only this way we can ensure that entry requirements are followed for everyone without any favour, only this way we can rest assured that all the students that graduate have been treated fairly and equally!