Deputy President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna, has pointed to the strengthening of the institution’s faculty as a proven pathway to growth, through improved offerings.
In an interview with JIS News, Professor Ajagunna explained that this has been a significant development in the life of the university and that it will augur well for the institution, which is the only International Maritime Organisation (IMO)-accredited maritime training institution in the Caribbean.
According to Professor Ajagunna, over the past 13 years, the faculty has been bolstered by an increase in full-time members from five per cent in the 2006/2007 academic year to 75 per cent.
He added that the faculty members have also been taking the time to upgrade themselves academically to satisfy the requirements of the institution.
“These faculty members have upgraded from first degree to master’s degrees and now we have a number of Professors, a number of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) holders who are members of faculty and members of staff at the university,” he said.
“At the same time, we have members of staff that have just completed PhDs – one of our Vice Presidents from a university in the United States, one of our deans who also completed a PhD at Northern Caribbean University and another faculty member is completing a PhD at a university in Japan,” he added.
The Deputy President pointed out that over the same period, the CMU has seen exponential growth from a student population of just over 400 in 2007 to 3,500 full-time students in the last academic year as well as “approximately 2,000 students who are participants in short courses like IMO mandatory courses and other industry courses”.
He added that the institution has also grown very widely from offering just four programmes up to 2007, to 23 bachelor’s degree programmes, six master’s degree programmes and a doctorate programme in CMU’s specialised area of logistics and supply chain management.
The CMU, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, began as the Jamaica Maritime Training Institute in 1980, and has gone through several changes over the years.