In fulfilment of its primary mission to empower young Emiratis to work in the maritime sector, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport branch in Sharjah (AASTS) has opened admissions for their Spring semester that is scheduled to begin in February 2021. The academy’s College of Maritime Transport and Technology is offering Bachelor of Marine Engineering Technology +3rd Engineer Certificate of Competency and Bachelor of Maritime Transport Technology +2nd Mate Certificate of Competency courses.
With this announcement, the Academy has reaffirmed its leading status in the region, providing a robust foundation to young cadres through hybrid learning tools and an advanced distance educational system, in addition to in-person attendance for practical applications. The safety and wellbeing of their students and the faculty is the top priority and the Academy has emphasised its commitment to this cause by taking all the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While safeguarding the interests of its students and staff is integral, the Academy, since its inception, has given utmost importance to providing the highest degree of scientific and academic qualification.
Commenting on this announcement, Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport said: “The Middle East is one of the most important regions in the maritime industry globally. Its strategic location through which the most important global trade routes pass, the unparalleled environmental diversity and the abundance of natural resources are reasons for it being a front-runner. In addition, the human element is the key to making use of all of these capabilities to ensure the evolution and consistent development of the industry in the country and the region. As an institution that is affiliated with the League of Arab States, our vision is to empower the maritime sector in the region, enabling its growth.”.
Abdel Ghaffar added: “Although the Academy’s branch in Sharjah is the newest among the other branches, it is comparable in size to the Academy’s headquarters in Alexandria and has received exceptional support from the UAE’s leadership. The benefaction and generosity of H.H. Sheikh Dr.Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah allowed us to ensure that the academy is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and educational facilities. His Highness wanted this branch to be a role model for sustainable development and empowerment of national human resources in the UAE and the Arab region in order to boost this vital sector that contributes in a major way to the economy.”
Educating aspiring professionals
Emphasising on the importance of the academy’s Sharjah branch in moulding a new generation of maritime professionals, Yousef Yaqoub Al Mansouri, Office Director of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Sharjah, said: “The maritime economy is one of the most important pillars of a sustainable and alternative economy to oil in the UAE. More than 20,000 maritime organisations and companies operate in the UAE and more than 12 million containers are received by ports in the country, annually. This movement contributes greatly to the economic growth of the UAE and Middle East region. Additionally, each year, UAE ports receive over 21,000 ships. Therefore, it is essential to empower and inspire highly qualified Emirati youth to work in the maritime sector and enhance its status. The generous grant by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi to provide scholarships to students from Sharjah, female citizens’ children in Sharjah and expatriate Sharjah government employees to study at the Academy is a heartwarming gesture. This scholarship allows talented students to get a golden opportunity to build a career in one of the most sought-after fields, while availing financial benefits.”
Prof. Dr. Hussam Shawqi, Acting Director of the Academy in Sharjah, highlighted the efforts of the Academy to encourage the participation of female students in the maritime industry. He said, “Our goals at Sharjah branch align with the strategic vision of the government, especially in terms of women empowerment in the maritime sector. We firmly believe that women are a vital part of the overall development of the UAE and the maritime economy. We are proud to say that 45 per cent of our students are female. This figure gained us the reputation of being a maritime academy in the Arab world with the highest percentage of female students. The Academy always strive to achieve the goal of gender balance in the UAE and be a global role model in empowering women to work in the maritime sector, that is primarily male-dominated. Female students with a high school diploma can register for the upcoming Spring semester.
Promoting holistic development
Speaking about the competitive advantages of studying at the Academy, Dr. Captain Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean of the Maritime Transport Technology College, AASTS said: “Our teaching methods at the Academy are radically different from other public universities in several ways. The most important is that we provide opportunities that challenge the students, prompting them to work hard. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing them to explore unchartered paths in the maritime industry.”
He adds, “This is reinforced by teaching leadership skills to students, thus, transforming them into disciplined personalities, capable of facing a multitude of challenges and turning them into opportunities for success and excellence. We can proudly say that our alumni occupy pioneering leadership positions in major maritime companies. Additionally, the Academy focuses on teaching students about physical wellbeing and leading a healthy lifestyle. This apart from helping them professionally, also positively impacts their personal lives. Therefore, we invite students to seize this opportunity because studying at the Academy is the key to multidimensional success.”