‘The voice above the sea speaks to the soul’
The above statement is true as the world acknowledges the importance of Maritime Education. To study the development of sustainable workforce capability across the maritime industry is the need of the hour. To ensure its existence and awareness across India, the Gujarat Maritime University was an endeavor introduced by the Gujarat Maritime Board.
The prime objective of GMU is to be a global centre of excellence in maritime education, research, development and professional training. It is the first of its kind in India with courses and program structure at par with the leading international universities. A unique fact about the University is that it offers commercial programs unlike Indian Maritime University (IMU), which focuses more on the technical programs.
To begin with, this year, in July 2019 the first-ever batch has commenced its first academic year under the School of Maritime Law, Policy and Administration. The programs offered by the university are designed after detailed study and interaction with the stakeholders (Industry experts, Govt. of Gujarat and various well-known academicians). Active-courses offered by the University are as follows:
- LLM (Maritime Law)
- LLM (International Trade Law)
- Post Graduate Diploma in International Trade Law
- Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Law
The school has a total of 43 students in its maiden batch across all the programs, which is an encouraging number considering that the first batch of PG courses at many of the reputed institutes/universities had started with single-digit batch strength. The LL.M program consists of 32 students, with 14 students opting for Maritime Law and 18 students taking up International Trade Law. Gender diversity has been a unique feature of this maiden batch which has girls outnumbering the boys. 19 girls (about 60%) formed part of the total batch of 32 students in the LLM programs.
The academic offerings of Gujarat Maritime University are highly unique and sector-specific. There are not many institutes across the country offering similar programs. For example - It is the only University in India, offering full time one-year LL.M specialization in Maritime Law, while the rest of the universities either offer two-year LLM programs, part-time programs or distance learning programs. Only a few Universities are offering International Trade Law as a specialization in their one-year LLM program.
Read about GMU Courses & Fee
Further, the Post Graduate Diploma program offered by the University is specially designed for working professionals in the industry who wish to further enhance their skillset and employability. These programs are a mix of classroom learning plus distance education, wherein the participants have to attend only a few days of contact classes in a semester. The rest shall be delivered through digital platforms. The duration of the program is 1 year. This program has also witnessed encouraging response and 11 admissions have been made so far. The 2-week international study tour offering is also extended to the candidates of the PG Diploma program.
Gujarat Maritime University aims to be established as an educational institute of international recognition. Taking the first steps towards becoming an international institute, MoUs have been signed with some renowned European institutes and universities. In recent developments, GMU has established collaborations with:
- Erasmus University – Centre for Urban Port and Transport Economics (Erasmus UPT) for sending students of GMU on a 2-week international study tour
- STC International and Erasmus UPT for conducting joint certification short term programs for executives and working professionals.
Also, realizing the need for the industry, GMU now envisions to start the Centre for Executive Education which will offer shorter duration Executive Development Programs in January 2020 in collaboration with Erasmus University and STC International, both reputed global maritime institutes. Under the center, GMU will launch short term Executive Development Programs (EDP) / Management Development Programs (MDP) programs for experienced professionals from the Industry and will be offered as a joint certification program in collaboration with International partners.
Going further, in the coming years, the University will also launch various Schools & Centres to cater to the needs of the entire value chain of the Maritime Sector.
- School of Maritime Management: This school would offer programs focused on management and commercial aspects of the maritime sector such as Shipping Management, Port Operations, Ship Finance, Transportation and Logistics Management
- School of Marine Technology: This school would offer programs focused on engineering, science and technology-related aspects of the maritime sector such as Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, Naval Sciences, etc.
- School of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: This school would offer programs focused on liberal arts and social sciences – maritime history, ecology, etc.
- Centre of Continuing Education: This centre would offer Continuing Education programs for professionals in the maritime sector
- Centre for Faculty Development: This centre will cater to the needs of faculty development in maritime education.
The career opportunities in the Maritime Sector are not just limited to ports or on the ship. The entire value chain of the maritime industry comprises fields such as finance, insurance, law, chartering, brokering, integrated logistics and other similar allied sectors. The University aims to create a benchmark for the sector-specific universities and is envisaged to evolve as a centre for excellence in the maritime sector.