Barts Medical School

When Steward International took over the concession in 2018, the Government of Malta stressed the urgent need for the construction of a brand new Barts Medical School on Gozo as an absolute priority. The existing relationship with the school’s partner, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), was at breaking point. QMUL were threatening to terminate the partnership due to the lack of educational facilities, and due to students being housed in temporary premises that were not fit for purpose.

Steward International and Steward Malta firstly initiated regular high-level meetings with the QMUL leadership teams in London and in Malta to re-engage, re-align objectives, and re-build trust. Monthly steering group meetings resumed involving all key stakeholders within Steward Malta, QMUL, and the Government of Malta.

Summary of total spent on Barts Medical School

Total amount: €35,005,365


€ 1,621,402


€ 1,876,284

IT costs

€ 897,547

The Anatomy Centre was immediately built by Steward Malta to allow existing first and second year students to continue their medical education. This was a crucial development; failure to action this would have resulted in the medical students transferring back to London and abandoning their Maltese education. From June 2018 to October 2018, Steward Malta actioned an accelerated refurbishment of the Anatomy Centre to ensure the success of the QMUL programme and to repair the Relationship.

Steward Malta rapidly designed and built the Barts Medical School in 17 months, from April 2018 to November 2019. This is the first medical school on Gozo, constructed in partnership with Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry – a faculty of QMUL, one of the three largest colleges of the University of London and a member of the prestigious Russell Group.

The Government of Malta and QMUL increased the projected size of the facility from the requirement in the initial concession from approximately 4,000 square metres to 8,800 square metres. Steward Malta delivered a high-tech, state-of-the-art four-storey building that includes:

  • A 140-seat auditorium; 
  • Two smaller lecture theatres that can combine into a 120-seat facility;
  • Two computer labs, each with capacity for 70 students; 
  • Teaching rooms and clinical skills rooms; and
  • The building hosts a library, student support facilities, a large canteen/social space and offices.
    Barts Medical School has been operational since November 2019, and the facilities have been praised by both QMUL and students. Both the Gozo General Hospital teaching staff and the hospital facilities are inspected and audited successfully by the UK General Medical Council on a yearly basis.

    The school now offers two undergraduate programmes in Malta and Gozo: a one-year Certificate in Clinical Foundation Studies and a five-year Medicine MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). The programmes are taught by Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Most of the doctors working at Gozo General Hospital are now involved in teaching. This has made the hospital far more successful in recruiting and retaining top specialists who provide better quality services to the Gozitan community.

    In July 2022, Steward Malta was proud to have played an important role in the first graduation ceremony at Barts Medical School. Nineteen graduates were celebrated as they conferred their degree in Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). The graduates represented 12 countries including the UK, Belgium, Cayman Islands, Uganda, Philippines, Austria, Malta, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ireland and Canada. The ceremony took place at the historic Cittadella on Gozo.

    In recent years, the students and the staff of Barts Medical School have participated in various community initiatives and outreaches on Gozo, such as supporting the Department of Health in providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Barts Medical School also hosted a “Mental Wellbeing in COVID Times” conference, in partnership with the Mental Health Association Gozo, and provided additional space to Gozo General Hospital to enable the hospital to provide safer care for COVID-19 patients.

    Steward Malta has gone over and above and delivered far more than what was expected with the construction of the new Barts Medical School, which puts them at the forefront of medical education. Steward Malta has unequivocally achieved its goal, which was to support the Government of Malta’s activities in upgrading healthcare across the country.

    NOVEMBER 2015

    Services Concession Agreement

    March 2016

    Emphyteutical Deed

    September 2016

    First intake of QMUL Barts students at Sir MA Refalo Sixth Form College on Gozo

    February 2017

    Planning permission obtained for Barts Medical School

    March 2017

    Existing building demolished and site boarded off for Barts Medical School

    February 2018

    Steward International acquired the shares of VGH and assumed control of the concession

    April 2018

    Contract signed with Sirimed for Barts Medical School

    May 2018

    Schematic design signoff and start of construction for Barts Medical School, schematic design signoff for Anatomy Centre

    July 2018

    Contract signed with Sirimed for Anatomy Centre

    July 2018

    Detail design signoff for Anatomy Centre

    December 2018

    Detail design signoff for Barts Medical School

    December 2018

    Service Commencement Certificate / full completion of the Anatomy Centre

    October 2019

    Practical completion of Barts Medical School and building occupied

    March 2020

    Full completion of Barts Medical School