The Journey of UM – Part 2

The Journey of UM – Part 2


Now, where were we? Ah yes! We’re approaching the 19th Century in our journey through the University’s history. Malta in the 1800s was part of the British Empire. It was at this point that the Language Question became central to University and the wider politics of Malta. At the time, Italian prevailed over English both academically and nationally, until a series of changes, particularly from the 1870s onwards, began sowing the seeds for English to take precedence. At the turn of the century, a major milestone was reached. The University’s very own Student Council was established in order to safeguard and represent the students’ interests, and is now considered to be the oldest national student union in Europe. Among the many key figures to feature in the pages of the University’s history is Tessie Camilleri, who in 1922 became the first female graduate of the institution. Since then, the number of female graduates has steadily increased. Seeking to enhance the identity of our alma mater, in 1923 the University’s administration adopted the coat of arms and motto: “Ut Fructicemus Deo” ‘We should bring forth fruit unto God’ The turmoil of the Second World War caused many University buildings significant damage from the heavy bombardment upon the island. After the War, the then-named “Royal University of Malta” became an autonomous Institution in 1947. The stage was set for further growth and development that would eventually see the University break through into the 21st Century.

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