Class of 2022 Inauguration, Malmö

Inauguration of the World Maritime University’s (WMU) Class of 2022 in the Malmö MSc in Maritime Affairs, took place on 20 September in the Sasakawa Auditorium. Due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 70 students had arrived in Malmö to date. Those who had yet to join the Class in Malmö, or who were in isolation after traveling, were able to join the inauguration via video conferencing. The Class of 2022 includes 132 students from 53 countries. 

In her welcome remarks, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, noted the challenging times due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the overwhelming and continued support of donors to WMU which has returned the Malmö programme to enrolment that is comparable with numbers prior to COVID-19. “WMU is a microcosm of the United Nations. We come together here in Malmö to help make the world a better place from a maritime and oceans perspective. We work together to address the problems of sustainable development, gender equality, economic empowerment and ocean governance,“ she said.

The Guest Speaker was Mr Norbert Brackmann, German Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry. He identified three main issues that are impacting the maritime industry today. The first relates to the need for innovative approaches to ensure a maritime energy transition with a view to protecting the climate and the environment. The second concerns the importance of raising awareness with respect to the Oceans which are more than just a mode of transport. Oceans are also ecosystems with natural resources that should be used sparingly and responsibly. The third relates to new technologies and digitalization which are transforming, and will continue to transform, the maritime industry. He also spoke of the unique nature of WMU and its role as a center of excellence in maritime education, research, capacity-building and expertise. He said, “There has never been a more exciting and promising time to study at WMU. You, the students, are the key to the future of the maritime and ocean industries. The challenges before us today are great, not only in Europe but across the whole world. As stewards of the sea, you will make an important difference.”

Closing remarks were made by Professor Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, WMU Vice President (Academic Affairs). He emphasized the diversity of the incoming class of students with 51 students from Africa, 41 from Asia, 10 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 from Europe, 2 from the Pacific region and 11 from Northern Africa and Middle East, with strong delegations from Nigeria, South Africa and the Philippines. “There are not many universities in the world who have such a unique mix of different nationalities in their programme. This is a very special feature of WMU and represents the true spirit of the United Nations with which WMU is affiliated,” he said. 

After the inauguration, Mr Brackman and a delegation organized by the Friends of WMU Germany delivered an afternoon lecture on Current Challenges to the German Maritime Industry. The delegation also met with students in the Class of 2021 and 2022 who are currently sponsored by Germany. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has supported WMU for many years. As the second largest provider of fellowships, the Federal Government and partners in the German maritime industry have supported more than 300 students. Among the maritime leaders financed by Germany to study at WMU is Mr. Kitack Lim, the current Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. 

To learn more about the Malmö MSc in Maritime Affairs, click here.

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