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The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) will be rolling out its Master of Science degree and distance education programmes early next year, as the Institute seeks to reinvent itself and plot a strategic path towards gaining university status by 2010.
Executive Director of the Institute, Fritz Pinnock, who was addressing the Institute’s graduation and award ceremony held on Thursday (Nov. 22) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, stated that “come March 2008, we’ll be rolling out an 18-month Masters of Science Degree in International Shipping Management and Logistics, in collaboration with Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM) and the University Council of Jamaica.”
He informed that the course will be taught by a number of lecturers from Ivy League institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge, and the University of Hong Kong and so far, 30 students have registered for the programme.
The Distance Education programme, which will come on stream in September 2008, will provide for the delivery of bachelor and associate degrees, including the flagship Associate Degrees in International Shipping and Logistics (DISL) and Industrial Systems and Maintenance, to candidates in six Caribbean countries.
Mr. Pinnock informed that the programme will be facilitated through the new CMI on-class Distance Education System, which “comprises the latest interactive video conferencing technology and will become a reality by February 2008.” He added that the Institute is in the process of procuring five new state-of-the-art servers to facilitate this distance teaching programme.
In September of this year, the Institute successfully launched five new Bachelors of Science Degrees in Port Management; Cruise Shipping and Tourism Management; International Shipping; Logistics and Supply Chain Management; and Industrial Systems Operations and Maintenance.
“These degrees are offered no where else in the entire Caribbean”, Mr. Pinnock boasted. “As a matter of fact, our Cruise Shipping Degree is the very first one in the world.”
He expressed equal pride at the role played by the CMI in training the region’s maritime administrators. “We have successfully delivered our Associate Degrees in six (6) Eastern Caribbean countries including Barbados, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica since 1998. We are proud to report that we have over 500 graduates occupying senior executive positions throughout the shipping and logistics industry,” he stressed.
Turning to student enrollment, Mr. Pinnock noted that new student admissions for the 2007/08 term increased by more than 66 per cent, from 392 in September 2006/07 to 653 for the current period. “We’ve exceeded our projections of 600. This includes 180 students enrolled for five Bachelor of Science Degrees, launched this year,” he informed.
He said there were also new staff additions, including a new Dean of Studies and a Director of Marine Division, and “we are in the process of securing captains and marine engineers to triple the enrollment of seafaring students over the next two years, in an attempt to satisfy a minute percentage of the global shortage of marine officers that now stands in excess of 11,000.”
Since receiving a new administration in July 2006, the CMI has been challenged to break away from the competition by exploring and exploiting uncontested market space and has restructured and expanded its curriculum to educate and train persons to fit into the land, sea and air sub-sectors.
In addition, the Institute has identified three schools – the Academic School, which offers Pre-CMI, diploma and degree courses; the Professional School, which offers courses for Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch (OICNW), Officer in Charge of Engine Room Watch and Multi-Purpose Rating; and the Vocational School, which offers training in Gantry Crane, Basic Safety Training and Fire Fighting.
Mr. Pinnock cited a number of Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) that have been signed as the CMI embarks on forming partnerships with some of the most prestigious maritime organizations in the international and regional community. “Our Maritime Institute is on the International Maritime Organization’s white list, and we are one of the top training institutions in the hemisphere,” he stated.
Further promulgating the respected position and recognition enjoyed by the Institute in the maritime sector, he informed that “all degrees are fully endorsed by the top three maritime universities worldwide, namely the World Maritime University, Sweden; the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, Cardiff University in Wales and the CIIM, among others”.
Forty-one of the 128 graduates, who attended the ceremony, received associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in various programmes.