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MALTATODAY 13 March 2022

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20 Unity SUNDAY 13 MARCH 2022 Prof. Carmen Sammut Pro-Rector for Student & Staff Affairs and Outreach SOCIAL Wellbeing is the youngest Faculty in a University that boasts 430 years of history. Since its nascence, the Faculty of Social Wellbeing experienced signif- icant developmental milestones: it asserted its existence, developed its own 'language', and above else, par- ticipated in enriching collaborations with a range of other faculties, cen- tres and institutes, as well as with key governmental agencies and non-gov- ernmental organisations. The Faculty also evolved its spe- cial interests and championed the focus of each and every department. As its academic and administrative staff swelled to meet student de- mand, the Faculty contributed to the development of a Maltese body of research and knowledge, whilst it is also asserting itself at par with other long-established faculties in universi- ties overseas. The Faculty for Social Wellbeing assumed that organisational growth patterns are generally faster during early years, as any promising new set- up finds its feet and grows its own teeth. However, the Faculty soon showed that it had the potential to endure, to flex and expand its mus- cles and to enjoy esteem and atten- tion from both locally and on inter- national platforms. At ten years of age the Faculty is progressing from its infancy into its adolescence and adulthood. How will it meet new challenges? How will it face unexpected turbulences and un- avoidable growing-up pains? How will it deal with the attention that it attracts? How will it respond to a so- ciety that tends to present complex and perhaps contradictory pressures? What sort of reflection does it need to engage in, to check its impulses and to ensure reactions that are ma- ture and correct? In the coming ten years, I am sure that the Faculty will spread its wings even wider. Its development will certainly also depend on the existence of the Uni- versity vis-a-vis national goals and within the bigger global picture. We all need to keep responding to social, political, economic, and cultural pro- cesses in order to touch the pulse of our society and remain relevant. Each year the Faculty of Society Wellbeing generates an average of 260 professionals in crucial disci- plines that include the mental health professions, preventive therapies, so- cial and community work, the areas of inclusion and mainstreaming par- ticularly the fields of gender, ageing and disability. It also looks at issues that touch the heart of communities: families, chil- dren, youth and older persons. It does not merely provide a better under- standing of specific socio-economic groups, but also deals with policy and big questions that are closely related to social justice. The Faculty constitutes a pillar of the institutional development of the University of Malta. An inclusive university contributes to an inclusive society. The University of Malta Strategy 2020-2025 outlines our institutional commitment to the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. The Gender+ Equity Plan that was adopted by the University in early 2022 is a histori- cal commitment to these principles. Here, I wish to take the opportunity to commend and thank all those ac- ademics from the Faculty of Society Wellbeing who give their valuable time to support the rectorate in its endeavour to develop the various University policies and procedures and to implement numerous initi- atives that will help us reach these aims. At ten years of age the Faculty of So- ciety Wellbeing is commemorating its successes thanks to the energy and commitment of many. The whole University augurs you well and joins you in the well-deserved celebrations of this special anniversary. Energetic and spreading its wings And in closing... Alison Darmanin Faculty Manager I have worked at the Univer- sity of Malta for over 20 years, with these past four years as manager of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing. The day-in, day-out jour- ney of coordinating under- graduate and postgraduate programmes, managing over 20 members of staff and trou- bleshooting problems, is what takes up most of my day. As a faculty we have grown exponentially in these last years in terms of numbers, de- livering over 50 programmes, coordinating various logistics ranging from examinations to student special requests, supporting scores of PhD Candidates and consistently maintaining a high level of expectations and standards to make sure we deliver the goods. But what really keeps me go- ing is the Faculty's passion to provide the best possible ser- vice to students. Students choose to study with us and we want to return that trust and belief by mak- ing their experience a memo- rable one in the good sense of the word. The Faculty is focused on making sure our graduands are prepared to face life. Come on take the plunge and study with us! Running a faculty The Faculty is focused on making sure our graduands are prepared to face life GORG MALLIA

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