Photos by Daniel Studio
The Institute of Financial Services-Malta recently held its annual graduation ceremony where it celebrated the academic achievements of over 600 students who successfully completed a course of studies in the area of financial services in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Not being able to hold this event in recent years due to the global pandemic, this year’s ceremony was even more special as it was presided over by His Excellency George Vella, President of Malta and coincided with the 60th anniversary of ifs Malta.
ifs Head of School, Ms Grace Debono compered the graduation ceremony. Ifs Malta President, Kenneth B. Micallef commenced proceedings by delivering his Introductory Address. Congratulating all successful students, Mr Micallef highlighted that this is the Institute’s most important event and it was encouraging to see so many successful students as financial services today has become more complex and requires distinct skills and competencies to keep up to date in a fast changing industry. Mr Micallef stated that he was also a student during various stages of his career and fully understands the personal sacrifices and commitment needed to achieve one’s academic goals. As qualified professionals, we also have a collective responsibility to demonstrate the right ethical standards to act with the utmost honesty and integrity and uphold the reputation of the Maltese financial services sector and ensure its sustainability.
Mr Micallef said, “at the Institute we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of developments taking place within our industry and are always on the lookout and working towards offering the latest and most relevant courses for our sector. Today, we offer a vast array of qualifications and training programmes related to the general provision of financial services and advice, Risk and Regulation, Compliance and Financial Crime Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering in particular. We are proud to have established ourselves as the training institute of choice in a number of areas but most notably for our homegrown MQF level 4 award in Home Loan Finance which was successfully completed by more than 230 students since its launch in 2019.” Mr Micallef also mentioned that the Institute started offering an international qualification in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) and is working with a local leading educational institution to offer another joint ESG qualification.
This was followed by an address from Profs. Marion Spatafora, President of the Centre for Research and European Studies and former President of the European Banking & Financial Services Training Association who spoke about adapting training to the new challenges in the financial services sector and highlighted the important topic of microcredentials.
In a video address, Dr Jesus Zaballos, Chair of the EFFAS Executive Management Committee, commended the Institute on its success and that of its students and welcomed future collaboration to continue to build and strengthen the good working relationship that has developed.
Top student Mr Clayton Scicluna, a professional banker who recently completed the Certified European Analyst qualification then shared his thoughts, experiences and personal reflections about his academic journey.
Afterwards, H.E. George Vella and Kenneth Micallef handed out certificates to all successful candidates. Following this, the awards to the top local candidates were given.
H.E. George Vella concluded the graduation ceremony by commending IFS Malta for its role in facilitating financial services education in so many diverse areas, stating that “together with a commitment for excellence ifs has been an incubator for hundreds of young minds and prospective professionals in finance” and reminded students that your educational journey in the banking and financial fields is propelling you into the world of work where in your career as qualified professionals “you have the opportunity to advance economic policies and development programs which promote the well-being of humanity and our shared environment.”
IFS Malta is licenced by the MFHEA to deliver and award Further and Higher Education programmes in the area of financial services and today offers more than 30 internationally recognised financial and academic programmes ranging from Certificate level (EQF level 3) up to Masters level (EQF level 7). Most of these study programmes are offered together with internationally renowned professional educational bodies such as the London Institute of Banking and Finance, the International Compliance Association, the Chartered Banker Institute, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), CLT International, and European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS).
More information about ifs Malta’s courses is available on www.ifsmalta.org.