Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he is hopeful that more students will flock to the American University of Malta in the coming years, comparing the campus to a start-up. 

Almost two years after it first opened its doors, an official ceremony on Friday inaugurated the Cospicua campus, which according to the AUM currently hosts fewer than 100 students. 

During Friday's ceremony, guests outnumbered the roughly 60 students in attendance. 

In his speech, Dr Muscat said that despite criticism about enrolment numbers, the university was now gaining traction.

He reiterated that a campus planned for Żonqor would still be built, but only once the Cospicua campus was full. He did not reply to questions about how many students that would take. 

When questioned, Dr Muscat said he had no problem with the government nominating Adrian Hillman as its representative at the university.

Mr Hillman previously served as managing director at Times of Malta publishers Allied Newspapers before quitting after being accused of having received secret payments from a company owned by Dr Muscat's chief of staff, Keith Schembri. 

Mr Hillman and Mr Schembri are currently the subject of two magisterial inquiries, after the FIAU found that they were involved in suspicious money laundering activities. 

AUM has been mired in controversy since its inception. Originally, the Prime Minister announced that the university would open its doors in September 2016 with more than 300 students in the first year.

However, the opening was delayed by a year and only a handful of students were attracted in the first academic year.

The AUM also scaled back its operations, dismissing all its faculty just a few days before their six-month probation was up.

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