The first semester of the academic year 2021/2022 has started at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport Sharjah Branch (AASTS) in Khorfakkan. This supports the Academy’s strategy to empower the Arab maritime sector with academically-and-professionally qualified personnel.
Study has started in person, while continuing to take all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. AASTS organised an induction programme for new students, and has communicated with all students to inform them about methods of the academic and practical study programmes. The Academy has confirmed that the physical presence of students and faculty members is in accordance with the measures and recommendations set by the competent authorities. All students and staff on campus are required to take regular Covid-19 tests.
H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, said, “The Sharjah Branch is the largest and most equipped so far, and is on a par with the most prestigious maritime and academic institutions in the world. With the beginning of this semester at the Academy, we continue our journey towards achieving the Academy’s vision and strategic objectives. The Academy will always be a continuous resource for academically-qualified professionals from the UAE citizens as well citizens of neighbouring countries to meet the growing demand for national professionals in this vital sector, which is key to the region’s economy and its maritime security. The Academy also enhances investments in the region’s maritime sector by providing continuous training for maritime companies’ staff and enabling academic partnerships with the maritime sector through its specialised staff. This will support the Arab maritime economy and provide it with advanced research and development capabilities.”
Abdel Ghaffar added: “Study at the Academy is totally different from other universities, in several respects, including the opportunity to join the maritime field, which opens a world of unlimited adventures, ambition and benefits for student. This is consolidated by learning leadership skills and developing disciplined personalities capable of facing challenges and turning them into opportunities for success and excellence. This is evident by the leadership positions our graduates occupy in major marine organisations and companies. On the other hand, study at the Academy focuses on teaching students to maintain their physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, which leaves a significant lifelong impact on their lives. It also contributes to achieving positivity and happiness at both the professional and social levels. We urge students to seize this opportunity, because studying at the Academy is a key to real success in various areas.”
Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean, College of Maritime Transport and Technology, AASTS, explained that out of over 500 applicants, 130 students have been accepted for the fifth batch at the Academy after passing the medical fitness tests. this is a reasonable number and is close to the target number of students. This brings the total number of the Academy’s students at the Maritime Transport Technology to 293, which is the largest number in the GCC.
Youssef added, “At AASTS, we work in line with the Government’s strategy, especially in terms of women empowerment in the maritime sector. With enrolled female students accounting for 45% of the total number of students, we are proud that the Academy has the highest percentage of females compared to other maritime academies in the Arab World. This is an indication of empowering Emirati women in the National maritime sector. Women work alongside men in building key economic and developmental capabilities in the UAE.”
The College of Maritime Transport and Technology offers two specialisations: port operations and maritime operations. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Maritime Transport Technology + 2nd Mate Certificate of Competency; or a Bachelor of Marine Engineering Technology in marine mechanics or marine electricity + a 3rd Engineer Certificate of Competency. Both disciplines qualify graduates to work on board commercial and offshore service vessels. AASTS also seeks to attract professionals working in maritime companies in the UAE who wish to take specialised training courses as part of its professional development and continuing education programmes. AASTS provides maritime passport renewal for marine officers, engineers and seafarers, and cooperates with the training departments of shipping companies to design specialised training programmes in various maritime technical and administrative areas, benefitting from the Academy’s state-of-the-art simulators.
Beyond academic study
Commenting on the study environment at the college and the added value for students, Youssef said, “The Academy’s management realises that working in the maritime sector requires certain competencies. That’s why, we have designed a number of recreational, social, and practical activities alongside the academic programmes. These aim to make study and learning at the Academy a distinguished journey to build personality in a happy and fun-filled environment, while giving students incentives to excel and be creative. This extends beyond the limits of the typical study relationship with the Academy. These activities include filed trips inside and outside the UAE to major marine companies and in addition to sports, recreational and artistic activities. These activities refine students’ personalities, develop their life experiences, and make their study years at the Academy useful for their careers as well as their personal and leadership capabilities.