The Ministry for Education is responsible for the provision of grants and scholarships, literary awards, as well as the sponsorship of awards to students and teachers in state and private schools. Other scholarships of a cultural nature are distributed through the Scholarships Section of the Foreign Affairs Department of Malta and the International Department and Student Services at the Division of Education.
Grants for new-comers and established artists, as well as scholarships for further training, travel bursaries or residency programmes, are also provided in part by foreign bodies.
On the basis of reciprocal agreements signed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all major foreign embassies in Malta provide some form of sponsorship, mainly in the field of music training. Another very important agreement is with Italy, a country that receives a constant flow of young Maltese people to train in areas such as the fine arts, music, and restoration and, less frequently, theatre techniques.
Prior to the discontinuation of the Chevening Scholarships programme awarded by British Council Malta, young professionals in cultural management and film studies were supported in their post-graduate studies.
In 2007 the Directorate for Lifelong Learning within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport launched a EUR 10 million scholarship programme part-financed by the European Union Operational Programme II – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, European Social Fund. The scheme aims at providing more opportunities to promote further specialisation at higher levels of education particularly at a Masters and Doctoral level.
Until 2005, another EUR 24 000 were reserved for the annual scriptwriting competition awarding the best three theatrical works written in Maltese, with additional funds allocated for the actual production of the first-placed entry. The award was stopped on the basis that this sector was showing signs of crises and added to the general sense of malaise assailing local drama forms, a condition that the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA) promised to tackle. The competition was reinstated in 2008.
National Awards for Innovation and Creativity
The Award for Innovation and Creativity was launched in 2009 for 2010, with a fund of 100 000 EUR which helps incentivise more investment in creativity and innovation in the educational, arts, technology and manufacturing sectors. This also includes recognition for the Young Creative Entrepreneur.
Arts Scholarship Programme
Following the success of the scholarships financed by the government and from European Funds, in 2010 government pledged to continue strengthening the educational aspect in the cultural sector for those wishing to develop their artistic talents. Consequently, the government introduced the Arts Scholarships programme. These scholarships are dedicated to visual arts, which include studies in paintings, sculpture, media, and design, amongst others, and also performing arts such as music, dance and drama. Through this scheme, students wishing to specialise in arts have the opportunity to apply for scholarships in programmes recognised locally and abroad. This initiative, in which government allocated 250 000 EUR for 2014, will provide the opportunity for each individual to continue developing and cultivating their talents.
President’s Creativity Award Scheme
Started in 2011, the President’s Creativity Awards scheme targets the development of young talent and the dissemination of arts-driven projects which engage with children and young people in the community. Its focused approach on young people and its emphasis on promoting social and community development programmes through art, reflects the drive to reward and fosters talent from an early age, supports the recognition of excellence in art and creativity, and ensures that opportunities for developing creativity are freely accessible to all. The awards programme focuses on three categories. The first strand addresses disadvantaged students in primary and secondary schools with exceptional talent, wherein nominations must be presented by educators in formal, informal or non-formal learning, and awards are up to EUR 1 000. The second strand grants up to EUR 2 500 to be awarded to young people between 17 and 25 who would like to conduct research and development in a creative project in collaboration with a cultural operator. Co-producers are required to be part of the project. The third strand grants up to EUR 5 000, to be awarded organisations and institutions working with creators to develop projects for disadvantaged children and young people.