The University of Malta (UM) received two grant awards with a total worth of €740,000 funding during the Grant Award Ceremony 2019 on 1 August in Valletta, according to a press release sent to Business Malta. The awards were given by the European Union Programmes Agency (EUPA) under the ERASMUS+ KA2 Strategic Partnership for Higher Education funding scheme.
The university says it will coordinate two projects focussed on digital training for higher education and continued professional development.
On the one hand, the DIG-IT project is coordinated by Maria Cassar from the Department of Nursing and Prof Colla J. MacDonald from the rectorate while the ICARUS project is conducted by Emmanuel Francalanza from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.
The DIG-IT project will deliver support related to training and resources academic staff at EU universities in order to adopt digital technologies and innovative approaches to their teaching.
Furthermore, this project aims at creating an international learning community that shares and distributes innovative training and teaching resources in an open access repository.
It also aims at reducing the redundancy, time and cost required to design digital education products and processes with a view to increasing uptake, and innovation in a knowledge-based economy.
In addition, UM is also planning to collaborate with other stakeholders. For instance, the healthcare sector sees a large number of practitioners wishing to continue education while trying to maintain patient services, according to the press release sent to BM.
DIG-IT will also explore how healthcare experts can collaborate with digital experts of universities EU-wide in order to pilot English and Italian bilingual online resources in a healthcare context.
On the other hand, the ICARUS aims to bring together a number of experts and leaders in Industry 4.0 from European Higher Education Institutions (HEI), lead by the University of Malta in order to collaborate on developing specific training content and support HEI trainers and learners.
The project supports the need for HEI trainers and learners to handle Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Collaborative Robotics, Cybersecurity, Industrial Networking, Big Data Analysis and drones.
Therefore, ICARUS focuses on the developing of an innovative digital training toolbox, which supports educators and learners in order to improve their skills.