As part of its constant effort to attract more students interested in maritime education, the Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport branch in Sharjah has successfully participated in the 3rd Academic Discipline Virtual Exhibition organized by Sharjah Libraries. The Academy presents to all attendees from students, parents and all government and private entities, its advanced capabilities in the field of maritime education. Hundreds of students have attended the Academy’s session as the official admission has been opened for new patch in both Maritime Transport Technology and Marine Engineering Technology.
The e-conference session was held with the participation of Mr. Yousif Yacoub Al Mansouri, Director, Office of the Chairman for the Board of Trustees, AASTS; Prof. Mohamed Khedr, Dean of Admission & Registration, AASTS; Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean, College of Maritime Transport and Technology, AASTS; Dr. Mohamed ElGohary, Director of Admission & Registration Dept., AASTS. Speakers emphasized the importance of receiving the right kind of education, training and preparation in order to pursue a successful career in the sector.
Reinforcing UAE Maritime Capabilities
In this regard, H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, pointed out: "Capitalizing on the strategic location of the UAE at the heart of global trade routes, in addition to the UAE’s advanced marine infrastructure, the country is ranked as one of the best global maritime hubs according to many international reports. In line with the UAE preparation for the next 50 years, it is a significant step for us to participate in such event in order to create more awareness about the benefits that we provide to students who are looking for highly competitive new educational opportunities in the maritime sector as there has been a strong demand for qualified local cadres, especially in the GCC.”
H.E Dr. Farag added, “Our mission is to graduate skilled professionals who will add value to the industry. By offering them a true hands-on practical experience. We also encourage them to think outside-the-box and focus on innovation and the utility of technology-enabled solutions. We are confident that these interactive e-sessions that unite competent maritime professionals and school students will inspire the younger generation to be a part of the industry."
Attracting the young Emirati caliber
Mr. Yousif Yacoub Al Mansouri, Director, Office of the Chairman for the Board of Trustees, AASTS said, “Over the past years, the UAE has maintained its competitive rank in the global maritime sector. Therefore, we consider ourselves key partners in the UAE’s pioneering maritime journey. We work in line with the government’s strategic goals and H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah’s vision aiming to qualify the UAE caliber, and especially in empowering women in the maritime sector. We are proud that the Academy has the highest percentage of female students in the Middle East; with 40% of the total students. This achieves the UAE’s gender balance goals, and will make us a global model for empowering women in the maritime sector, which is usually dominated by men.”
He added, “Our purpose behind participating in this networking platform is to inform and educate the future generation by facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences by well-established maritime professionals. We are working in line with the goals set by the wise leadership of the UAE, in alignment with the UAE’s National Youth Agenda that hopes to empower the younger generation. To help students make an informed career choice, we believe it is our responsibility as the leading maritime academy in the region to provide them with the right resources and give them access to key industry leaders.”
About the strategic value of the maritime sector in the UAE, Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean, College of Maritime Transport and Technology, AASTS, highlighted, “The UAE is one of the key destinations for maritime business, as the volume of the industry exceeds 280 billion dirhams, and it hosts dozens of international marine companies. Moreover, the UAE owns more than 19 ports, some of which are ranked among the top ten ports globally. For this reason, the maritime industry needs great support from academic institutions. The Academy plays a central role in bridging the shortage of Emirati cadres needed by the local and regional market in general, in addition to contributing to the enhancement of the UAE's position as one of the most important international maritime centers, not only in terms of infrastructure and maritime facilities, but also as a scientific center for the latest in research, development and innovation.”
He clarified, “At AASTS, we provide a cohesive learning experience. We give utmost importance to academics and theoretical knowledge, but we also firmly believe that practical experiences are essential. Interactions with industry experts will enrich their learning and give them a clear picture of the industry and the success they can achieve as maritime professionals. Eventually, by inspiring our students, we hope to contribute to the success of the national, regional and global industry that is in dire need of talented individuals.”
The academy offers two specializations in the first phase: Maritime Transport Technology, which contains two specializations: port operations and offshore operations. Thus, graduates will be qualified with a Bachelor of Maritime Transport Technology and 2nd Mate Certificate of Competency. As for the second major, the Department of Marine Engineering Technology will qualify students with Bachelor of Marine Engineering Technology in addition to a 3rd Maritime Engineer Certificate of Competency. Both disciplines qualify students to work on board of merchant vessels and onshore in diverse port and maritime careers.