Regional Alumni Conference and MoU with Department of Marine Administration, Myanmar
From 27-28 January, the first WMU Regional Alumni Conference took place in Yangon, Myanmar and focused on Maritime Education and Training: Catalyst of Industry Growth, reflecting the 2015 World Maritime Day theme, “Maritime education and training.”
The event was co-organized by the Myanmar Department of Marine Administration and WMU, and brought together over 160 attendees including WMU alumni from the Asia and Oceania region (Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam), as well as local and regional industry representatives. It is anticipated that future WMU alumni regional events will take place every 2-3 years in cooperation with interested host countries.
Key speakers included Mrs. Pamela Tansey, Senior Deputy Director, Technical Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organization; Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation; Maung Maung Oo, Director General, Department of Marine Administration, Myanmar Ministry of Transport; Professor Neil Bellefontaine, Acting President, WMU; Birgit Sølling Olsen, Deputy Director General, Danish Maritime Authority; Dr. Max Mejia (MSc 1994 MSA(N)), Administrator, Maritime Industry Authority; and Dr. Takeshi Nakazawa, Secretary, International Association of Maritime Universities. Further speakers representing WMU included Dr. Peter Muirhead, Professor Emeritus; Clive Cole, Associate Professor; Dr. Michael Manuel (PhD 2009 and MSc 2005 MET), Associate Professor; Dr. Lisa Froholdt, Assistant Professor; Dr. Momoko Kitada, Assistant Professor; Kyaw Zeya (MSc 1996 MSA(N)), Adjunct Professor; and Johan Bolmsten, Lecturer.
While in Yangon, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Myanmar Department of Marine Administration and WMU to facilitate maritime education, environmental management, and expand educational opportunities at WMU for students from Myanmar. The five-year agreement provides for cooperation on e-learning and learning management systems, as well as the possibility of collaborating on joint research projects. To date, there are 47 WMU graduates from Myanmar, many of whom work in the country’s governmental organizations and training institutions.