Education in Malta

Dive deeper into Malta’s educational system. Learn how the island nation is the best option for your children’s education.

Education in Malta has exceptionally high standards. As a result, numerous foreign individuals participating in Maltese residence and Citizenship programmes opt to have their families educated in Malta.

Malta is a former British Colony country, hence influenced by the British educational system. Like Britain, school uniforms are compulsory in Malta, with every school having its distinctive uniform.

Some schools, particularly private schools, have a co-education with classes having both boys and girls. The majority of schools distinguish between gender. The majority of Maltese schools follow the British curriculum.

Types of Schools in Malta

There are three types of educational institutions in Malta. Students may study in State, Church, or Private schools. The Ministry for Education regulates all three of them.

State Schools

The Government funds state schools. All children between 4-16 years old have the right to free education in all state schools. This right also applies to EU nationals.

Church Schools

The Catholic Church in Malta funds church schools. These schools range from pre-primary to upper secondary education. Church schools distinguish between gender, having schools for boys and others for girls. 

Private Schools

International and independent private schools provide education at a cost. They are available to both Maltese citizens and foreign citizens alike. 

English is one of Malta’s official languages, making the country favourable to foreigners interested in a Maltese education. Both English and Maltese are spoken on the schools’ premises.

Schools tend to favour one of the two languages. State schools’ language of instruction is Maltese, except for English lessons. Maltese tends to be the selected language outside classes, too.

English, on the other hand, is preferred by the church and private schools. Students will speak a mix of English and Maltese outside class, depending on their home language.

Educational System in Malta

The Maltese educational system is structured in four stages: 

  • pre-primary (ages three to five);
  • primary (ages five to 11);
  • secondary (ages 11 to 18); and 
  • tertiary education (18+).

Attending school is compulsory up to the age of 16.

Tertiary Education

Like primary and secondary education, tertiary education excels in Malta. The University of Malta is one of the high-regarded universities in the Mediterranean.

Currently, there is no university in Gozo, meaning that many Gozitans move to Malta to complete their studies. The university offers a wide range of full-time and part-time degrees as well as diploma courses. The primary language of instruction at the university is English.

The Government also funds education at the tertiary level. Every student receives a monthly salary (stipend) and a yearly allowance for academic-related expenses.

Around 11,000 students study at the university. Of these, approximately 700 are international students coming from 77 countries. Every year almost 3,000 students graduate in Malta. 

Another institution famous for tertiary education is the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). MCAST is a vocational education and training institution. Set up in 2001, it expanded to 10 institutes located around Malta and Gozo throughout the years.

Students can study a wide range of subjects, from agribusiness to applied science, ALE art and design, building and construction, business and commerce, community service, electrical and electronics engineering, information and communication technology, mechanical engineering and maritime studies.

The college offers 170 full-time and over 300 part-time vocational courses ranging from certificates to degrees, preparing students for careers in different sectors of higher education.

What makes it different to the University of Malta is that MCAST works closely with local businesses from various industries. It ensures that students get hands-on experience and gain the necessary contacts and exposure to the sector they wish to work in whilst they study.