A EUR 300,000 blockchain scholarship has been announced on the island of Malta in a partnership between the University of Malta and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).
As reported by local news outlet Times of Malta on 29 August, the fund will be allocated to students who specialize in ICT, law, finance and engineering. Split over three years and starting this academic year, students can apply to the scholarship and start blockchain- and DLT-related Masters and PhD research dissertations.
Dr Silvio Schembri, digital economy parliamentary secretary, said, “These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law and managerial roles”.
This year, Malta has been a prominent entity for the growth of the blockchain industry and community. Passing accommodating blockchain and cryptocurrency laws in July, becoming the new home of digital currency exchange giant Binance and topping the charts for initial coin funding gains are just occurrences in Malta that signify a blockchain-centric future for the island.
With education now being introduced as part of the nation’s blockchain-friendly infrastructure, blockchain companies will find it hard not to be attracted to Malta’s shores. According to the Times of Malta article, Dr Schembri is positively anticipating scholarship beneficiaries occupying “important posts” in the sector.
University of Malta rector Alfred Vella also described a plan to internally exercise and review other degrees and Master’s programs such as law and finance ICT to include units connected to DLT, blockchain, AI, fintech and regulatory technology.
According to MITA executive chairman Tony Sultana, the agency is presently making inroads with other educational institutions to get a similar program going. Further to this, public sector employees are receiving training with the tech.
Education for the next generation
Interestingly, Malta already has a blockchain degree in the works, which is part of civil servant training and will be on offer later this year.
The topic of blockchain education and degrees is becoming a familiar one; there is a global movement presently taking place that is attempting to apprehend a world heavily involved with blockchain technology.
A recent report found that 42% of the top 50 universities in the world are offering “at least” one course on blockchain technologies or cryptocurrencies. The findings were from a Coinbase survey that highlighted an increase in courses as well as a growing interest from students in a “range of majors”.
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