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Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA): An Overview


The Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA) plays a pivotal role in overseeing and regulating the standards of further and higher education in Malta. Established to ensure quality and relevance in educational offerings, MFHEA is instrumental in shaping the educational landscape of Malta. This article explores the history, functions, regulatory framework, and impact of MFHEA on Malta’s educational system.

Historical Background

Establishment and Evolution

MFHEA was established in 2012, succeeding the Malta Qualifications Council (MQC) and the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE). The formation of MFHEA marked a significant step towards consolidating the regulation of further and higher education under one authoritative body. The Authority's establishment aimed to enhance the coherence and efficiency of the education system in Malta.

Key Milestones

Since its inception, MFHEA has achieved several key milestones. These include the development of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF), recognition of various international qualifications, and implementation of quality assurance measures across educational institutions in Malta. These milestones reflect MFHEA's commitment to maintaining high educational standards and promoting lifelong learning.

Functions and Responsibilities

Quality Assurance

One of the primary responsibilities of MFHEA is ensuring the quality of further and higher education in Malta. This involves:

  • Accreditation: MFHEA accredits educational institutions and programs, ensuring they meet specific quality standards.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation: The Authority conducts regular audits and evaluations of institutions to ensure compliance with established standards.

  • Recognition of Qualifications: MFHEA recognizes foreign qualifications, facilitating academic and professional mobility for individuals holding international credentials.

Regulatory Framework

MFHEA operates within a robust regulatory framework designed to maintain high educational standards. Key components of this framework include:

  • Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF): The MQF classifies qualifications based on levels of knowledge, skills, and competences, aligning with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

  • Quality Assurance Policies: MFHEA implements policies and guidelines for quality assurance, covering areas such as curriculum development, teaching methodologies, and assessment practices.

  • Institutional Licensing: Institutions offering further and higher education must obtain a license from MFHEA, ensuring they meet necessary legal and quality requirements.

Promotion of Lifelong Learning

MFHEA actively promotes lifelong learning as a means of personal and professional development. This involves:

  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD): Encouraging institutions to offer CPD opportunities for professionals across various fields.

  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Raising awareness about the importance of lifelong learning and the opportunities available for further education.

  • Support for Non-Traditional Learners: Providing support and guidance for non-traditional learners, including adult learners and individuals seeking to upskill or reskill.

Impact on Malta’s Education System

Enhancing Educational Quality

MFHEA's efforts have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of education in Malta. Through rigorous accreditation processes and continuous monitoring, the Authority ensures that educational institutions maintain high standards. This, in turn, has led to improved educational outcomes and greater confidence in Maltese qualifications both locally and internationally.

International Recognition

MFHEA's alignment with European standards has facilitated the international recognition of Maltese qualifications. The Authority's work in recognizing foreign qualifications and establishing equivalencies has made it easier for Maltese graduates to pursue further studies or career opportunities abroad. Additionally, Malta has become an attractive destination for international students seeking high-quality education.

Supporting Educational Innovation

MFHEA encourages educational institutions to innovate and adopt new teaching methodologies and technologies. This support for innovation has led to the development of modern and flexible learning environments, catering to the diverse needs of students. Institutions are increasingly incorporating digital tools, blended learning, and competency-based education into their programs, ensuring they remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Strengthening Lifelong Learning

MFHEA's promotion of lifelong learning has had a positive impact on Malta's workforce. By encouraging continuous learning and professional development, the Authority helps individuals stay competitive in the job market. This focus on lifelong learning also supports Malta's economic growth by ensuring that the workforce is equipped with the skills needed for emerging industries and sectors.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Addressing Challenges

Despite its successes, MFHEA faces several challenges. These include:

  • Adapting to Rapid Changes: The rapid pace of technological advancements and changing labor market demands require continuous adaptation of educational programs and policies.

  • Ensuring Equity: Ensuring equitable access to quality education for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, remains a priority.

  • Maintaining High Standards: Balancing the need for high standards with the flexibility required to accommodate diverse learners and innovative educational approaches.

Strategic Goals

Looking ahead, MFHEA has outlined several strategic goals to further enhance Malta's education system. These include:

  • Strengthening International Partnerships: Building and strengthening partnerships with international educational bodies to enhance collaboration and knowledge exchange.

  • Promoting Research and Innovation: Encouraging research and innovation within educational institutions to drive continuous improvement and relevance.

  • Enhancing Digital Education: Supporting the integration of digital tools and resources to enhance the learning experience and increase accessibility.


The Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA) plays a crucial role in shaping the educational landscape of Malta. Through its commitment to quality assurance, regulatory oversight, and promotion of lifelong learning, MFHEA has significantly enhanced the standard and recognition of Maltese education. As the Authority continues to address challenges and pursue strategic goals, it remains dedicated to fostering an education system that meets the needs of students, professionals, and the broader society.


  1. Malta Further and Higher Education Authority. (2021). Annual Report. Valletta: MFHEA.

  2. European Commission. (2019). Education and Training Monitor: Malta. Brussels: European Union.

  3. Zammit, L. (2020). Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Maltese Experience. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 42(3), 217-231.


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