Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri presided over the signing of an agreement between the University of Malta and GamingMalta, an agreement aimed at accelerating careers in the video game development sector.
Through this agreement, students within the UoM AI Department will be receiving certification of the Unity Game Engine programming, a programme that is sought after within the esports and video game industry.
‘Education is at the core of our vision for the esports and video game development industry. Today’s agreement is an important step forward. The Unity Game Engine programming certification by the University of Malta is more than praiseworthy; it adds valuable prestige to the excellent educational programmes already provided at Post Grad M.Sc and Doctorate levels by the Institute of Digital Games’ said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.
Parliamentary Secretary Schembri explained that through the Unity certification, future game developers are being offered a complete package, sound theoretical foundations, intensive practical sessions based in Unity’s own experience, an industry valued certification whilst equipping these students on their way to a successful and bright future within the industry.
‘The fact that by 2020 Malta will have a cohort of 50 certified Unity programmers thus placing Malta in a very attractive position vis-à-vis foreign gaming companies that want to settle here, is another encouraging affirmation that we are definitely on the right track’ said Schembri.
Parliamentary Secretary Schembri thanked the University of Malta for its valuable efforts and its commitment in helping the academia bridge any gaps that might exist between its education programmes and the skills required at the workplace.
Prof Alfred Vella, the rector of the University of Malta said that the agreement is a sign of University’s commitment to serve the students, tomorrow’s workforce which will be an essential part for Malta’s economic growth.
The Head of the Artificial Intelligence Department within the University of Malta Prof Alexiei Dingli said that the agreement ensures that AI graduates within the University of Malta get the best of both worlds. ‘AI graduates will get a valuable degree from the University of Malta and the unity certification which is sought after in the video gaming industry thus making them very attractive to potential employers and will help towards boosting the success of the video gaming sector in Malta’ said Profs Alexiei Dingli.
Ivan Filletti, Head of Business Operations for Gaming Malta emphasised that education and the renewal of skills within the digital sector and game development is of utmost importance. ‘This collaboration within the University of Malta will enhance the vision which was launched by the Government together with GamingMalta in order to sustain this emergent sector in a sustainable manner’ said Filletti.
The Unity Game Engine programme is one of the most successful gaming engines in the world. In fact, half of all the games in the world are written using Unity and it has a market share of around 48%. Because of this, we use Unity to teach our students. Since Malta is eyeing the digital gaming industry as one of the industries of the future, the Department of AI wants to assert that its students finish their degree with a Unity programming certification.