Special thanks to USCG Lieutenant Commander Mark Sawyer, supervisor of the group from World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, for this great post.
On June 16 while docked in Copenhagen, Denmark, the ms Rotterdam proudly hosted 40 students from the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden. The students represented two postgraduate specialties: the Marine Safety and Environmental Administration Specialty and the Marine Environment and Oceans Management Specialty. While onboard, the students watched a video about HAL’s Environmental Management System, then they were escorted through the ship hearing presentations from senior crew members on waste stream management, onboard safety, drills and bridge navigation.
They also had the opportunity to witness an inflated life raft during our boat drill, and visit the waste management facilities. Very few of the students had ever been onboard a ship, not to mention a passenger ship of such size and advanced technology. The information passed onboard significantly enhanced their understanding of safety and environmental regulations. It also gave them an appreciation of the challenges faced with putting these safety and environmental regulations into practice on a daily basis.
WMU was chartered by the International Maritime Organization in 1983. Students come from around the world to receive a Master’s degree in Maritime Affairs. Each year there is a throughput of approximately 100 postgraduate students. This year’s class consists of 104 students representing 46 different countries. To date, WMU has graduated over 3,000 students from 158 different countries. As a prerequisite for the program, students must have experience in the maritime field. Thus, most students represent maritime administrations, classification societies, maritime training institutions, navies/coast guard, shipping companies, etc. students specialize in five different areas: Maritime Training and Education, Shipping and Port Management, Maritime Law and Policy, Shipping/Port management, Marine Environment and Oceans Management, and Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration. Students live in a hostel and are often away from their families for the duration of their studies.
The program is an intensive 14-months, beginning in October and finishing the following year in December. The program consists of three semesters: foundation (all specialties), specialty and electives. Each semester consists of approximately six courses of three-four weeks in duration. WMU has leading executives in the international maritime industry come and provide lectures as visiting professors. This serves to fill gaps in faculty members’ expertise and it gives the students the most current information on international maritime affairs from the industry leaders. WMU also augments the students’ classroom learning experience with field studies, such as the visit to the MS Rotterdam.
Through lectures, field studies and seminars, the students gain a firm grasp of the often complex world of the multi-faceted international maritime industry. Furthermore, during their studies, they forge relationships with classmates, alumni and prominent leaders in the maritime community, which gives them access to an extensive maritime network. This network serves them well after graduation, as many of the WMU graduates are serving in a variety of influential positions within the maritime industry. Some are CEOs of shipping companies, Ministers of Maritime Administrations, Head of Delegation to IMO, etc.,