Class of 2017 Inauguration – Record Enrolment and Record Female Students
On 19 September, the inauguration of the Class of 2017 MSc in Maritime Affairs, took place in the WMU Sasakawa Auditorium. For the new academic year that began today, 130 students are enrolled in the 14-month programme making this the largest class in the history of WMU. It is expected that six additional students will join the Class of 2017 in January for the accelerated programme. The Class of 2017 represents 49 countries with a record enrolment of 48 women comprising 37 percent of the intake, up from last year’s record of 32 percent. This speaks to WMU’s commitment to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in the maritime industry in order to ensure their full and effective participation with equal opportunities for leadership at all levels in line with Goal 5 of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, welcomed the Class of 2017 and highlighted some of the new directions of the University, which includes the oceans agenda under Goal 14 of the SDGs. She drew attention to the first intake of students for the two new MSc specializations in Maritime Energy Management, and Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management. The President emphasized the important role of WMU in advancing the SDGs as well as furthering capacity building so that students on their return home will be in a position to assist their countries to make progress on implementation. President Doumbia-Henry also referred to the critical role that shipping plays as the engine of world trade and its impact on the global supply chain. "The maintenance of a high quality fleet and the effective implementation of the internationally applicable standards for the safety of life at sea, the security of ships and port facilities, the protection of the marine environment and the standards for decent work on board ships, remain fundamental to the global economy," she stated.
The Class of 2017 is benefiting from new fellowship donors including from the Government of Norway, the Government of Qatar and the Stena Group of companies. The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, through The Nippon Foundation, remains the largest fellowship donor with a total of 29 Sasakawa Fellowship Students including the first fellowships for students from developed countries. Continued and increased levels of fellowship support are provided by the International Maritime Organization, Government of the Republic of Korea, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, TK Foundation, the Government of Germany, the American Bureau of Shipping, BP Shipping, Orients Fond, the Danish Maritime Authority, Gard AS and the International Chamber of Shipping. In addition, many of the students are funded by their employers clearly demonstrating the importance their home countries place on the valuable education offered at WMU.