MDB celebrates milestone as loans for further education exceed €20 million

The Malta Development Bank (MDB) has successfully facilitated loans exceeding €20 million under its specialised education financing schemes, the Further Studies Made Affordable (FSMA) and the Further Studies Made Affordable Plus (FSMA+). These loans are a testament to the Bank’s commitment to drive human capital growth, skills and innovation.

By the end of November 2023, the two schemes generated €20.8 million in loans, supporting 545 students in their endeavours, supporting a diverse array of study areas with the most popular courses relating to aviation (29%), economics and finance (26%), and medicine or health related subjects (11%). IT, arts and law-related courses also feature regularly in the courses supported by the Bank.

The MDB’s FSMA+ scheme is the successor to the original FSMA scheme, with the two schemes designed to help individuals who are committed to advance their abilities and expertise. Through these schemes, the Bank continues to play a pivotal role in bridging gaps between banks and the Maltese community.

Dedicated to foster the pursuit of further education, these two MDB loan schemes specifically targeted students seeking specialist courses, and particularly those not readily available within our shores. This accomplishment reflects the Bank’s commitment to provide financial solutions where there are market gaps in the Maltese financial and credit markets. 

The Managing Authority (MA) allocated funds to support these two schemes, thanks to the European Social Fund and European Social Fund Plus. The MDB was entrusted by the MA to implement the schemes as a blended financial instrument, combining two components: a grant element in the form of an interest rate subsidy that makes the instrument more appealing for students, and a guarantee that enhances student access to bank financing by absorbing a substantial part of the risks. This is making educational loans significantly more accessible and affordable for hundreds of students in Malta, intermediated by MDB’s partnering commercial bank, Bank of Valletta plc.

Mr Leo Brincat, MDB’s newly appointed Chairperson, expressed his satisfaction and appreciation of the bank having achieved this important milestone, stating that, “At the Malta Development Bank, we strongly believe in the transformative power of education for the Maltese economy. Our commitment to provide financial support and guarantees for specialised courses has plugged a market gap in Malta and is a testament to the Bank’s dedication to fostering economic growth and development.”

Mr Paul V. Azzopardi, Chief Executive Officer, remarked how “Before these schemes, education related loans were often beyond the reach of many students. The two schemes have opened widely access to education, whatever a student’s resources, ultimately increasing human productivity through greater egalitarianism.”

In a time where access to specific educational opportunities is of crucial importance, the MDB remains steadfast in its mission to make the financial and credit markets in Malta work better.

The Bank also looks forward to continuing its support to education, with the MDB FSMA+ scheme still open to enable even more individuals to embark on transformative educational journeys.


L-MDB jiffaċilita aktar minn €20m f’self għall-edukazzjoni avvanzata

Il-Bank Malti għall-Iżvilupp (MDB) iffaċilita b’suċċess aktar minn €20 miljun f’self taħt l-iskemi Further Studies Made Affordable (FSMA) u l-Further Studies Made Affordable Plus (FSMA+). Dan is-self jirrifletti l-impenn tal-Bank biex jixpruna t-tkabbir tal-kapital uman, il-ħiliet u l-innovazzjoni.

Sal-aħħar ta’ Novembru 2023, dawn iż-żewġ skemi ġġeneraw €20.8 miljun f’self, b’appoġġ għal 545 student fl-istudji tagħhom, f’bosta oqsma ta’ studju, bl-aktar korsijiet popolari jkunu dawk marbuta mal-avjazzjoni (29%), l-ekonomija u l-finanzi (26%), u mediċina jew suġġetti marbuta ma’ saħħa (11%). Korsijiet marbuta mat-teknoloġija, l-arti u l-liġi wkoll kienu regolarment appoġġjati mill-Bank.

L-iskema FSMA+ tal-MDB hija s-suċċessur tal-iskema oriġinali FSMA, biż-żewġ skemi maħsuba li jgħinu individwi li huma kommessi biex javvanzaw l-kapaċitajiet u l-għarfien tagħhom. Permezz ta’ dawn l-iskemi, il-Bank ikompli jsaħħaħ  ir-rwol importanti li jkabbar il-finanzjament bankarju.

Dawn iż-żewġ skemi ta’ self tal-MDB li huma ffukati fuq it-tkomplija tal-edukazzjoni avvanzata huma mmirati speċifikament għal studenti li jridu jsegwu korsijiet speċjalizzati, speċjalment dawk li mhumiex faċilment milħuqa lokalment. Dan ir-riżultat jirrifletti l-impenn tal-Bank biex jipprovdi soluzzjonijiet ġodda.

L-Awtorità Maniġerjali allokat il-fondi biex tappoġġja dawn iż-żewġ skemi, grazzi għall-Fond Soċjali Ewropew u l-Fond Soċjali Ewropew Plus. L-MDB kien fdat mill-Awtorità Maniġerjali biex jimplimenta l-iskemi bħala strument finanzjarju li jiġbor flimkien element ta’ għotja, jiġifieri sussidju fuq ir-rata tal-imgħax, flimkien ma’ garanzija biex hekk l-istudent ikun jista’ jissellef anke jekk ma jkollux x’jagħmel tajjeb. Fl-istess ħin bank kummerċjali jieħu riskju anqas.  Dan iwassal biex is-self għall-edukazzjoni jkun aktar aċċessibbli għal mijiet ta’ studenti f’Malta. Is-self huwa intermedjat mill-bank kummerċjali li huwa msieħeb mal-MDB f’din l-iskema, il-Bank of Valletta.

Is-Sur Leo Brincat, Chairperson ġdid tal-MDB, esprima s-sodisfazzjon tiegħu u l-apprezzament li l-Bank laħaq dan it-tragward importanti u qal li: “Fil-Bank Malti għall-Iżvilupp nemmnu fis-saħħa trasformattiva tal-edukazzjoni għall-ekonomija Maltija. L-impenn tagħna li nipprovdu appoġġ finanzjarju u garanziji għal korsijiet speċjalizzati wassal biex imlejna nuqqas li kien hemm fis-suq f’pajjiżna u huwa riflessjoni tad-dedikazzjoni tal-Bank biex nixprunaw tkabbir u żvilupp ekonomiku”.

Is-Sur Paul V. Azzopardi, Kap Eżekuttiv, qal li “qabel dawn iż-żewġ skemi, kien diffiċli ħafna għal bosta studenti biex jaċċessaw self għall-edukazzjoni. Dawn l-iskemi wessgħu l-aċċess għall-edukazzjoni b’mod sostanzjali, irrispettivament mir-riżorsi tal-istudent, u dan jgħin biex insaħħu l-produttività nazzjonali permezz ta’ ugwaljanza sħiħa”.

Fi żmien fejn l-aċċess għal opportunitajiet edukattivi speċifiċi huwa ta’ importanza kruċjali, l-MDB jibqa’ impenjat fil-missjoni tiegħu li jgħin lis-swieq finanzjarji u ta’ kreditu jaħdmu aħjar.

Il-Bank iħares ‘il quddiem li jkompli jappoġġja s-settur edukattiv, hekk kif l-iskema MDB FSMA+ għadha miftuħa biex aktar individwi jaqbdu vjaġġ edukattiv li jagħti spinta lill-karriera tagħhom.

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