Sport in Malta and the ABSSI

 

The Maltese sport is practiced by all type of people, those who practice it for fitness reasons, those who practice it on amateur basis, children for education basis, amateur coaches, professional and semi-professional coaches, full time employed part time and voluntary administrators, sport event organisers and physical education teachers.

 

Over time, and with the improvement of the Maltese Sport Facilities, Federations and private organisations have become bolder and started taking bigger risks and successfully bid to organise International sports activities. This is very good to the Maltese economy and should be supported by providing the organisers better backing and modern technology in sport management. Malta definitely has all the attractions for sport tourism and now needs to confront this sector professionally on all fronts without losing the friendly backing of the volunteers.

 

The Andrew Bertie Sport Science Institute

The Institute achieves this vision through direct contact with clients, partners who extend the reach of the Institute, and editorial coverage in TV, Internet or Print media.

 

Governing Principles

The Governing Principles of the Sports Science Institute are to:

  • ensure conformity with internationally benchmarked professional and ethical standards
  • respect for the interdependence and scope of activity of all stakeholders
  • ensure that programmes and activities are sustainable and show fiscal responsibility
  • provide teaching and service of the highest standard
  • endeavour to be at the forefront of international sports science, research and the provision of related services
  • maintain a responsible relationship with our Service Providers, Partners, Sponsors and those who make use of our services.

Background

 

The Bologna Declaration of June 1999 called for the establishment by 2010 of a coherent, compatible and competitive European Higher Education Area, attractive for European students and for students and scholars from other continents. The European Education Ministers have identified some actions at meetings since 1999.

  1. Adoption      of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees
  2. Adoption      of a system essentially based on two cycles
  3. Establishment      of a system of credits
  4. Promotion      of mobility
  5. Promotion      of European co-operation in quality assurance
  6. Promotion      of the European dimension in higher education
  7. Lifelong      learning
  8. Higher      Education institutions and students
  9. Promoting      the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area
  10. Doctoral      level (third cycle).

 

Other Priorities:

  • Link between the Bologna process and the Copenhagen process on enhanced European co-operation in Vocational Education and training.
  • Transparency of qualifications (EUROPASS), credit transfer (ECTSECVET), quality assurance (ENQA-ENQAV) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF for EHEA and EQF for LLL).
  • Cooperation with other parts of the world (ERASMUS MUNDUS).

 

‘Before 2008 Ministers were to look for progress in’:

  • Introduction      of proposed models for peer review of quality assurance agencies
  • Implementation      of the national frameworks for qualification
  • The      awarding and recognition of joint degrees
  • Creating      opportunities for flexible learning paths in HE, including recognition of      prior learning

 

The AEHESIS Project was accepted and started in September 2003, and it has been very well co-ordinated by the German Sport University, Cologne. From the beginning it was closely supported by the European Network of Sport Science, Education and Employment (ENSSEE).

 

The aim of the AEHESIS Project is to ‘Aligning Higher Educational Structures in the Sport Science Sector’ by focusing on two major aspects:

  • to integrate programmes and time frames of the educational structures
  • to ensure that the identified structures relate to the needs of the labour market in four main areas:
  1. Sport Management,
  2. Physical Education,
  3. Health & Fitness and
  4. Sport Coaching.

 

Our Experience in the Sport of Judo has shown that there is an interest and those who attend our Knowledge Based courses, immediately give results. With the ABSSI providing professional qualification on an on-going basis, we can send coaches for their qualifications

Through the educational programmes offered at the institute, participants will have the possibility to expand their knowledge of science applied to sports.  In this respect, the institute has the potential of increasing the output of skilled or specialised individuals that can potentially fulfil research and development needs in the area of sport science.

The gained skills or specialisations have the potential to empower participants to venture into new businesses related to sport health and science.  In this respect, the institute facilitates innovation and promotes entrepreneurship

Malta aims to make the educational system more flexible in order to respond to the individual needs of the students.[1] This Institute would respond perfectly to this objective since it offers various courses of studies which are not offered by the other Tertiary educational institutions.

 

The National Reform Programme (NRP) highlights the need to provide an inclusive educational experience for all pupils, thereby developing their confidence and self-esteem.[2]Since students at the Institute will not only be studying theory, but will have the opportunity to apply this into practice as part of their curriculum, this will help them develop confidence in their skills related to the job, thus as a consequence also developing their self-esteem.

 

Given that the Institute endeavours to focus on social inclusion, it will incorporate the employment strategy which is highlighted in the National Reform Programme 2008-2010 to increase capacity building so as to offer support to those students facing educational challenges or are at some form of educational disadvantage.

Given that the Institute will be the only educational facility offering Sports Science education, it will be an alternative to the MCAST Institution[3] which so far has been the primary further education and training institution contributing to a substantial increase in the overall number of students continuing with their studies beyond compulsory education age. Therefore, the Institute will offer a further opportunity for students beyond compulsory education age to further their education, thus increasing the number of students who continue their studies beyond secondary education. This will respond to the Government’s objective of sustaining higher rates of educational attainment.[4]

The NRP emphasises the need of students as well as adult returnees for upgrading and re-skilling within the national lifelong learning process.[5] Since the Institute will be offering full-time courses and also part-time courses with the option that the part-time courses be held in the evenings, this should encourage adults who are already in employment and would like to re-train in a different sector to better their employment opportunities or those who are already working in the sector and would like to further their skills. Furthermore, this can offer an

opportunity to those unemployed adults who have no or few skills related to Sports Science to take up courses at the Institute with the aim of finding employment in the sector.

With regards to this theme of lifelong learning, the Institute, being privately owned, targets the government’s strategy of promoting the importance of private investment and private consumption of education and training within the mainstream adult population.[6]

 

Given the growing demand for education and training in Medicine and Health Care, the NRP highlights the importance of ensuring that Malta continues to retain and attract doctors of the highest standards particularly in the wake of the continuous expansion in medical knowledge.[7] The Institute responds to this objective since it will offer opportunities for doctors to train in a specialized area of science namely sports.

 

The Institute intends to conduct research projects particularly research on the individual performances of athletes and sports persons. Such projects will provide a two-fold result whereby both the students carrying out the research and the athletes derive benefits – the latter by enhancing their performance, and the former by applying the knowledge and skills acquired at the Institute. This is in line with the objective of supporting research projects and developing an institutional research and innovation framework and monitoring the quality of the research output being produced.[8]

 

The NRP promotes the use of e-learning. Through its online courses the Institute responds to this thus entrenching an e-learning culture within its students.[9]

 

Most importantly the Institute represents a direct response to the NRP’s objective of increasing the number of graduates in Science and Technology, and the related aims of nurturing a positive attitude to science and technology, developing inquiry based learning and scientific skills, as well as strengthening science teaching.[10] This responds to one of the key objectives of the NRP 2005 – 2008, the implementation of which was continued in the NRP 2008 – 2010, which is that of responding to new occupational needs, key competences and future skills requirements; research and innovation and health being examples of this

The Andrew Bertie Sports Science Institute project aims to give equal opportunities to all students participating and specifically aims at reducing the gender gap and promotes social inclusion in general. According to the Operational Programme II Cohesion Policy 2007 – 2013, at Tertiary level, women are still predominantly present in teaching (73.7%) and health and welfare courses (63.7%) and are still significantly under-represented in engineering (27.7%) and the sciences (30%), thus restricting their potential participation in economic activity in these latter areas later in life. The fact that this project is focusing on sciences; it is encouraging females in particular and entices females to participate due to low employment circumstances. Amongst, the governing principles of the Sports Science Institute, one may find that this institute wants to ensure and provide equal opportunities in adopting an all-inclusive approach. In fact, the Selection Board within this Institute will prioritize the promotion of equal opportunities. In addition, the infrastructure of this Institute will accommodate the disabled as well, since the premises will be accessible for them. Furthermore, the Institute follows carefully Chapter 456, Equality for Men and Women Act and is adopting a zero tolerance approach for discrimination. Additionally, the Sports Science Institute project will support equal opportunities as it will include a module in the sports courses for the disabled aimed at understanding disability and diminishing barriers.

 



[1] Malta National Reform Programme 2008-2010, pg73

[2] Ibid pg 74

[3] Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology

[4] Malta National Reform Programme 2008-2010, pg75

 

[5] Ibid pg 76

[6] Ibid pg 79

[7] Ibid pg 77

[8] Ibid pg 78

[9] Ibid pg 79

[10] Ibid pg 74