Two candidates will vie for the post of rector of the University of Malta after nominations were submitted by council members.

Incumbent Alfred J. Vella is seeking a second five-year term but will be contested by Frank Bezzina, dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy.

The deadline for nominations was noon on Thursday. It comes after academics expressed concern about the lack of debate in the run-up to the election of the head of the university. 

An extraordinary meeting of the university council will be held on March 25, during which members, presided by president Karmenu Vella, will vote in a secret ballot.

Both candidates will be asked to give a presentation and reply to questions posed to them by members of the council during the extraordinary meeting.

The rector represents the university within the community, act as an intermediate between students and the academic body, and chairs meetings of the council in the absence of the chancellor. He is assisted by the pro-rectors in the day-to-day running of the university. 

The council includes representatives who are nominated by the government, representatives of the senate, members elected by academic staff, others representing administrative, technical and industrial staff, as well as student representatives.

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