Read this report in specialist industry online publication Inside Higher Ed about the mass dismissal of all but one academics employed by the so-called American University of Malta.

The perspective of the cheated employees is interesting of course. But it is representative of how an entire country has been hoodwinked by what in all accounts appears to be a scam. One of the interviewed former staff members expresses the suspicion we have long had that the university project was designed with the express intent of ensuring its failure in order to subsequently maximise the profits from public land.

Keith Schembri’s directorship in SmartCity just down the road from the AUM site gives credence to this view. Chunks of that site, originally reserved by Parliament to develop an ICT township, has now been given away to developers to build “luxury waterfront apartments”.

Unlike SmartCity, AUM appears to have actually been initiated with that malicious and covert intention to start with.

Former employees at AUM cannot say much about what they know. They have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements that are extremely unusual in the education sector and are now being threatened with legal letters in the same style used by other private agents of Malta’s public space: Pilatus Bank and Henley and Partners. ‘Shut up or we’ll bankrupt you’.

Entire chunks of Malta’s public framework have been dished out to obscure, often even anonymous, acquirers. In the meantime we the people have lost the right to ask what is being done with our assets.

It surprises no one to find Adrian Hillman move into the AUM as everyone else meaning to join a university to teach in it is thrown out.