MDB and Managing Authority secure additional EU funds following successful take-up
Studies Plus+ fund to €8,250,000, after the Malta Development Bank (MDB) secured additional European funds with the support of the Managing Authority. Bank of Valletta was awarded this top-up from the European Social Fund as part of a public call organised by the MDB.
The BOV Studies Plus+ is a financing solution for those seeking to further their studies in Malta or abroad, undertaking full-time, part-time or distance learning courses leading to MQF levels 5, 6, 7 or 8 qualifications or other internationally recognised certificates. Since its initial launch, Bank of Valletta channelled €5.5 million worth of European funding to aid students and professionals invest in their education.
During the signing of the fund top-up agreement, Albert Frendo, Chief Credit Officer at Bank of Valletta stated that BOV is proud to have been “instrumental in assisting 145 students further their studies towards the career of their choice. This extension in the studies fund will open doors for even more individuals who would have been otherwise held back by financial barriers to pursue high-cost development opportunities. Its impact will be wide-reaching, resulting in a more skilled local talent pool.”
“The Malta Development Bank is pleased to collaborate once again with Bank of Valletta in supporting more students and professionals develop their potential, reducing their need for financial dependence on others,” said MDB CEO Rene Saliba. “The rapid take-up of the initial fund prompted us to apply for an extension and bring more funds to Malta. Loans under this scheme can cover tuition fees, accommodation, transport, subsistence and other study-related costs, while interest due during the studies period will be fully covered by the European Social Fund (ESF) placing no payment obligation on students during this period of low or no income.”
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Hon Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that “with funds from the European Social Fund, we are continuously investing in people.” He explained that “through an additional €1 million that will serve as an add-on to the originally allocated €2 million in European funds, we will be giving an opportunity to 180 persons to benefit from these financial instruments.” Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi continued saying that the European Union is envisaging more growth in the digital sector. This will bring about changes in the economy, so more people need to be incentivised to continue studying and keep up with these developments.
“These European funds will provide assistance so more individuals will have the opportunity to advance in their careers. Investment in education is an investment in our country and Malta can continue to progress,” concluded the Parliamentary Secretary.
“The BOV Studies+ eradicates two major barriers – collateral requirements and unaffordability,” declared the BOV Chief Officer. “Students can repay the loan after they conclude their studies through the income they earn upon employment. This product has been designed to ensure that the financing of studies is both affordable and accessible to as many prospective students as possible, offering a number of benefits such as an attractive interest rate, a moratorium period of up to 5 years and no upfront contribution or collateral requirement.”
The BOV Studies Plus+ (Further Studies Made Affordable Financial Instrument) is supported by the Operational Programme II, co-funded by the European Social Fund and managed by the Malta Development Bank.