At this year’s Freshers week, ASCS asked the University students what they wanted to see in tomorrow’s budget. This is what the students’ main concerns and proposals were.
The greatest concern of students was the limitations present in the educational opportunities available in Malta. Many lamented the lack of funding when it comes to the carrying out of student research and proposed that this should be increased. Increases in funding for student organisations were proposed alongside an increase in the funding and importance given to civic education funding and the arts. Many students felt that they were under too much financial pressure and therefore asked for more student rebates. More opportunities for educational internships were also requested.
On a similar note, accounting students requested that courses which lead to a masters degree with a warrant should be included in the tax free scheme that masters degree without warrants benefit from.
Environmental concerns were close at heart to us students. Multiple policies in line with increasing the number of trees in our community, embellishing our environment further and the setting up of community gardens were proposed. Concerns about the enormous volume of construction were voiced with a proposal to decrease the overall number of construction permits given in a year. A proposal was also mentioned as to increase the promotion of electric cars to decrease pollution.
Transport proposals also ranked very high on the agenda. Traffic and lack of parking has been weighing greatly on students mind. Students in general wanted better alternative transport options for Malta. Some of their proposals for this to happen were:
● An increase in the number of safe bicycle lanes and safer streets
● The doubling of buses due to their current overcrowding
● Greater promotion and subsidies of car pooling as to reduce the total number of cars on the road at all times
Students were also concerned on if they would be able to afford to purchase or rent a flat or house when they graduate and find a job. They proposed to solve these fears by increasing the minimum wage and increasing the total number of social housing.
The budget for next year (2020) will be announced tomorrow. Let’s hope to see that our concerns as students are addressed and given the prominence they deserve!
Author: Daniel Grech