Class of 2019 Inauguration, Malmö
On 17 September, the inauguration of the Class of 2019 MSc in Maritime Affairs, took place in the WMU Sasakawa Auditorium. For this new academic year, 126 students from 57 countries are enrolled in the 14-month programme, including the first student from Turkmenistan. The majority of the seven new PhD students were also in attendance at the inauguration.
The Class of 2019 was welcomed by WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, who noted that the students are joining the University in the year in which it is celebrating its 35th anniversary and the International Maritime Organization, to which WMU belongs, is celebrating 70 years. As part of the United Nations family, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a bedrock of their studies. She emphasized that when they graduate from WMU, each person in the room will play an important role in integrating the SDGs as part of their responsibilities, ensuring that their countries play their part in delivering on the goals at local, national, regional and global levels.
Each student has made a sacrifice to study at WMU, leaving behind their lives, families, and jobs for 14 months, and President Doumbia-Henry remarked that the rewards will be innumerable as they learn from maritime and ocean experts alongside classmates from around the world. “For the rest of your lives, you will benefit from the months you are now to spend in Malmö, sharing your lives and studies with students from 57 countries and supported by a world class Faculty and Staff. This experience will mark you forever as members of a global elite. Among you here today are people who will become the maritime leaders of tomorrow, taking up positions of huge responsibility in the maritime and ocean fields. Whether in your home countries or in international organizations, you will follow in the footsteps of your predecessors, including your Chancellor, Mr Kitack Lim, the Secretary-General of IMO,” stated President Doumbia-Henry.
The Class of 2019 is benefiting from fellowship donors, including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the MPA Academy (Singapore), which are new donors. The Nippon Foundation remains the largest fellowship donor with a record number of 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students again this year. Continued and increased levels of fellowship support are provided by the International Maritime Organization, the Governments of Germany, the Republic of Korea and the Busan Port Authority, Norway, Transport Education Training Authority (South Africa), and the United Kingdom, as well as organizations, foundations and industry actors such as the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, TK Foundation, Orients Fond, Gard AS, Stena Rederi AB and the International Chamber of Shipping. In addition, many students are funded by their employers who recognize the significant added value of educating their staff members at WMU.
The Class of 2019 will officially begin their studies with an intensive Marine Environmental Science course.