Valerie Sollars has been appointed Pro-Rector for Strategic Planning and Sustainability at the University of Malta, with effect from 1st July 2023.

Prof. Sollars initially graduated in education in 1987. She then continued her academic journey as a Commonwealth Scholar, pursuing postgraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After, she embarked on her doctoral research at the Royal Victoria University of Manchester. Her doctoral work centred around examining the influences of home and school factors impacting emergent literacy experiences as well as the teaching of English as a second language in young children’s classroom and school environments.

As a faculty member of the Department of Early Childhood and Primary Education within the Faculty of Education, she has taken on the responsibility of introducing and advocating for early childhood education and care (ECEC) through various programmes of study at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Prof. Sollars was also the coordinator of the joint master’s degree in ECEC with five European Universities, from 2005 to 2009. Subsequently she served as the local coordinator for one of the initial Erasmus Mundus programs in which the University of Malta participated from 2010 to 2016, amongst many other prestigious roles in the tertiary education sector.

Moreover, Prof. Sollars has held several administrative roles, both locally and internationally. She served as the Head of Department of Primary Education from 2004 to 2011 and became the University of Malta’s first female Dean in 2007, a position she held for eight years.

She also contributed as a member of the Council for the Teaching Profession and the National Institute for Childhood within the President’s Foundation for the Well-Being of Society. She was part of the European Network for Teacher Education Policy (ENTEP) and currently serves as the country coordinator for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA). Additionally, she is a member of the Lisa Marie Foundation and serves on the Education Committee/ Board of Governors at St Edward’s College.

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Anthea Cachia

Anthea has a passion for writing, meeting new people and telling stories. With an insatiable curiosity Anthea loves roaming localities in search of long-established small businesses. When not scribbling away on a notebook or tapping on her computer, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or traveling.