University students are being offered internships to carry out research in areas linked to the wellbeing of society to help policymakers make more informed decisions.

This opportunity for internships stems from a three-year collaboration agreement signed between the University of Malta and the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

The University will undertake research commissioned by the foundation, and the two entities will coordinate to organise events focused on the development and wellbeing of society.

Foundation chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said: “It is crucial to better understand what constitutes the wellbeing of different groups of people within the same society. We look forward to collaborating in meaningful ways to actually help realise the potential of our population to the full.”

Prof. Alfred Vella, University rector, said this research would be useful for multiple stakeholders, including policymakers, and would help people be more productive and communicate in a better way with their peers.

The two entities have also agreed to retain an open dialogue to ensure critical engagement on the way society responded to today’s realities.

This collaboration follows another agreement, which the MFWS recently entered with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise to ensure vulnerable children did not fall behind in their education.

This agreement will ensure that the wellbeing of society will become an integral part of national socio-economic policies by exploring possibilities of collaboration, finding tangible ways to advocate and influence education policies to narrow the digital divide, and overcome the existing skills gap and the high rate of early school leavers.

It opens up further collaboration to seek ways of influencing the necessary discourse and policies that focus on investing in children, families, communities and business.

A first tangible project is aimed to ensure children from disadvantaged households receive computers and tablets to access online learning; a struggle that became more evident when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Apart from this, the agreement will double up as an environmental initiative for technological hardware to be recycled. The Chamber will also encourage its members to seek used laptops and tablets, and where necessary upgrade and refurbish the equipment.

The foundation is also hoping to identify children who are most in need of this equipment by collaborating with NGOs working in this field.

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