The University of Malta (UoM) has signed an agreement with the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) to create a $350,000 scholarship fund for students to specialise in blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The scholarship fund will be split over three years, local media outlet the Times of Malta reported.
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“Students starting their studies in the coming academic year can benefit from the scholarship for Master’s and PhD research dissertations related to blockchain and DLT,” the news website added.
Who is eligible for the grants?
The scholarship fund includes various scenarios. For example, the UNic Proof-of-Work Merit Scholars’ scholarship which will be granted on a merit basis with $1,170 to students with a GPA above 3.5.
The Genesis Block Scholars scholarship grants $3,500 to students with an extraordinary record in the field of cryptocurrency.
The Blockchain Scholars $2,330-grant is for those in need of financial assistance. To be eligible, these students have to write an application with documents that verify their economic status.
The Blockchain Global Scholars grant provides $9,300 to students who require residence and then there are the Elliptic Curve Dean’s Scholars for students with exceptional achievements and work experience and consists of $13,700 for an MSc Digital Currency.
Part of Malta’s blockchain strategy
The scholarship would support the Mediterranean island nation’s objective to attract blockchain companies to Malta by ensuring the country can provide these firms with the required human resources, says Digital Economy Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri.
“These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law and managerial roles”, adds Schembri. He says he looks forward to seeing Maltese tech experts taking on significant roles within the industry.
MITA Executive Chairman Tony Sultana says his agency is exploring similar initiatives with other educational institutions. MITA is also offering training sessions for public sector employees to familiarise themselves with blockchain and DLT.
University of Malta Dean Alfred Vella says the UoM is continuously reviewing degree and Master’s programmes in law, finance, technology and other areas to include DLT, the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, FinTech and RegTech courses. The ultimate aim, he adds, is to help the government in its strategy to transform the country into “the blockchain island”.