There is no reason why the site earmarked for the American University of Malta’s Zonqor campus and the Inwadar Park announced during the Budget should overlap, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has said.
Speaking in an interview with The Malta Independent’s sister newspaper the Malta Business Weekly, Caruana said that the two projects are “very separate and very different” projects, and that the site in question is a large one – meaning that there is no reason why the two would overlap.
Caruana was asked whether the land designated to the Inwadar Park would affect land already designated to the AUM.
The Inwadar Park idea was first mooted by a group of architects under a project called ‘Help Malta Breathe’, and was announced during last Monday’s Budget.
The project, which is expected to cost around €20 million, will see an area on the coastline between Xghajra and Marsascala which is larger than Buskett be afforested. The project is expected to take around five years to complete.
The AUM’s Zonqor Point campus meanwhile has always been subject to controversy. The university had initially planned to build a 90,000 square metre campus on ODZ land at Zonqor Point, but after public outcry it was split in two, with part being built in Cospicua at Dock 1 and the other being a scaled-down campus in Zonqor.
While the Dock 1 campus has been completed, plans for the Zonqor campus are yet to take shape – something which is mainly down to the fact that the AUM has failed to attract the droves of students which it had promised to attract.
The possibility of using Zonqor point for the AUM extension however has never been taken off the table.
Asked whether the government still believes that the area should be earmarked for AUM, Caruana washed his hands of the matter: “I am not involved in the discussions between the government and AUM. I cannot tell you more than that.”