Education in Malta is provided by state, church and independent schools. All of the three sectors offer education from kindergarten to Post-Secondary. Attending school is compulsory up to the age of 16. State schools are free to all students and can be found in all the main towns or villages in Malta and Gozo.
Primary education lasts for six years and is co-ed in state and Independent schools. Students study for 6 years and then move on to the secondary level. Both types are regulated by the Ministry for Education.
At secondary level, studies last for five years divided into a two-year orientation cycle and a three-year cycle of specialisation. At the end of this cycle, learners sit for the Secondary Education Certificate. Learners will then choose whether to move on to a post-secondary academic institution or a vocational one, or start work. Academic post-secondary schools (sixth forms) prepare pupils for the Matriculation Certificate which gives them access to university.
Tertiary education is provided by the University of Malta, the main University in Malta. Complementing tertiary education is the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta’s leading vocational education and training institution which also provides qualifications at MQF Level 7. State education at tertiary level is publicly funded and is also free, and students receive a stipend as well as an allowance for academic-related expenditure.