Post Written by Lt. Cmdr. Mark Sawyer, Instructor at the World Maritime University
Few are aware of the Coast Guard’s contributions to the success of the World Maritime University (WMU). In fact, it wasn’t until my assignment to the University as a U.S. Coast Guard Instructor that I fully understood the unique, positive relationship the Coast Guard and WMU have shared for 27 years. Further, I gained a better understanding of the immense importance the WMU plays in the international maritime community.
“WMU benefits from the professional and operational expertise of the presence of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Dr. Björn Kjerfve, president of WMU. “As a mutually beneficial outcome, both WMU alumni and Coast Guard are better equipped for the future to communicate, develop and implement global initiatives to enhance international maritime safety, security and environmental standards and also support maritime commerce.”
Recognizing the need for well qualified, educated maritime professionals, the International Maritime Organization established WMU on July 4, 1983 in Malmö, Sweden. The University is considered the center of excellence for advanced maritime education and the January 2010 revised charter puts emphasis on the particular mission of capacity building in developing countries. Over the last quarter century, the WMU international faculty has educated over 3,000 maritime professionals from over 162 countries (See Table below).
“WMU graduates hold key maritime leadership positions around the world. They lead as mariners, shipping executives, energy and transportation specialists, heads of Coast Guards, and UN policy makers,” said RADM James Watson, deputy commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “U.S. Coast Guard instructors at WMU enhance international maritime operations through their interaction with WMU students. Ultimately our access to WMU graduates strengthens U.S. Coast Guard operations through industry collaboration to facilitate commerce, maintain law and order on the high seas, and for life-saving emergency response cooperation.”
Currently, the University offers postgraduate degrees including Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MSc) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGD). In addition to its facility in Malmö, Sweden, World Maritime University operates two satellite campuses in China, Dalian and Shanghai with both master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as professional development courses and seminars.
“The World Maritime University greatly appreciates the support from the U.S. Coast Guard since the inception of the University in 1983. WMU has built up an impressive network of alumni [as of today 3,040] who occupy influential maritime positions in most countries around the globe.” said Kjerfve.