- The formalities to establish the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) were completed during the entity’s inaugural Charter Day ceremony, held at the National Arena in Kingston on September 28.
- Mr. Holness, who delivered the keynote address, said the CMU’s advent represents a “truly positive transformation” and is a historic moment in Jamaica’s and the region’s education landscape.
- The ceremony saw the conferment of two honorary Doctor of Science degrees on two of the CMU’s longstanding partners, Ishmael Robertson of Jamaica and Barbadian, Everton Walters.
The formalities to establish the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) were completed during the entity’s inaugural Charter Day ceremony, held at the National Arena in Kingston on September 28.
These included the installation of the Suapolor of the Shai Traditional Area of Ghana, His Royal Majesty Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, as Chancellor; and Professors Fritz Pinnock and Ibrahim Ajagunna as President and Deputy President, respectively.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; and Barbados Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, headed the list of officials and guests attending the ceremony, which coincided with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) commemoration of World Maritime Day, under the theme ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’.
Mr. Holness, who delivered the keynote address, said the CMU’s advent represents a “truly positive transformation” and is a historic moment in Jamaica’s and the region’s education landscape.
Citing the institution as the first specialised public university and the only International Maritime Organization (IMO)-recognised maritime education and training provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, the Prime Minister said its accreditation provides it with greater leverage to foster the necessary relationships and partnerships, access to global grant funding and expansion of research and development, which are necessary to offer cutting-edge training.
He reiterated the Administration’s commitment to invest in the CMU in order to accommodate the “growing appetite” for the institution’s programmes and further cement its role as a key contributor to Jamaica’s growth and development.
To this end, he said the Government is looking to establish a “full and permanent” campus, which would likely be in St. Thomas, “where we have already established various projects, such as a new town centre and new highway construction”.
Mr. Holness said based on the institution’s track record of achievements since its establishment in 1980, “I am confident that the CMU will continue, not only to be Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s leading source of talent and ideas in the areas of logistics and maritime technology, but will also be seen as one of the world’s best institutions for maritime training, and, therefore, a great export product”.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Stuart, who noted that Barbadians have benefited from training opportunities offered at the CMU, said he envisages the university “becoming the institution of choice for higher learning, training, research and consultation in the area of maritime matters in the western hemisphere”.
Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who read the Governor-General Proclamation for the CMU’s Charter, described the institution as “a living testimony that our positive collective will (in the pursuit of excellence) is stronger than any force that might seek to hinder progress”.
For his part, Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, commended the CMU’s management and staff, partners and stakeholders, “who have played an extremely key role in getting us to this milestone”.
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley said the CMU’s accreditation is a “fitting acknowledgement” of the role being played by the institution, “which is at the centre of excellence when it comes to tertiary education related to maritime affairs”.
In his remarks, the newly installed Chancellor welcomed the opportunity extended to him to serve in that capacity, and gave an undertaking “to bring my total heart, commitment, dedication and vision of expanding the… CMU into a major success story”.
“I’m also going to extend my expertise, my experience and my contacts to make sure that we raise the bar and create within this region a brand of education which is second to none,” he added.
Delivering his inaugural address as President, Professor Pinnock described the CMU’s establishment as a “revolution in the tertiary education and training landscape in Jamaica and across the region”.
He noted that the institution has “disrupted the pecking order” of tertiary education selection over the last 10 years, pointing out that “we have moved from being a mere option to topping the table as the institution of choice in Jamaica and the region”.
The ceremony saw the conferment of two honorary Doctor of Science degrees on two of the CMU’s longstanding partners, Ishmael Robertson of Jamaica and Barbadian, Everton Walters.