CARIBBEAN MARITIME INSTITUTE: Record enrollment and inching closer to university status
2016 February 1: The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) ended the year 2015 poised for a major transition in its status. A draft parliamentary bill which would create legislation to transform the institute into a university was finalized and has been submitted to the Jamaican Legislative Committee of Cabinet.
This means that the institution, which started as the Jamaica Maritime Institute before expanding its programmes to become a Caribbean institute, is now well advanced in its objective of becoming a full-fledged maritime university. With ISO certification and international endorsement from global partners already in place, the CMI is on course to become the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) as soon as both houses of the Jamaican parliament approve the bill, and the country’s Governor General signs it into law.
The CMI had a year of record enrollment in 2015, with the highest number of students enrolling in programmes across its three schools – the School of Academic Studies (SoAS), the School of Advanced Skills (SAS) and the School of Marine and Professional Studies (MPS). Approximately 2,900 students were registered during the year. The Logistics and Customs disciplines had the highest intakes.
The School of Academic Studies, with more than half of the CMI’s total student population (55%), delivers the Associate Degree, Diploma, Bachelor and Master’s Degree programmes, and spearheads general research-based activities.
The school of Marine and Professional Studies has 30% of the student population and delivers the core seafarers STCW 95 IMO courses – preparing officers for shipboard employment up to the levels of captain, chief engineer and chief mate.
The School of Advanced Skills concentrates on competency-based training to meet the needs of the growing shipping and logistics sectors, including: alternative energy, engineering projects, business development, entrepreneurship and the Career Advancement Programme (CAP). It caters to about 15% of CMI’s student body.
The comprehensive program offerings include:
- Master’s degrees: M. Eng. Industrial Systems Engineering, M.Sc. Logistics and Supply Chain Management, M.Sc. Cruise Shipping and Marine Tourism
- Postgraduate diploma: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Bachelor’s degrees: BSc. Marine Transportation, BSc. Marine Engineering, B.Sc. Logistics and Supply Chain Management, B.Sc. Port Management, B.Sc. International Shipping, B.Sc. Cruise Shipping and Marine Tourism, B.Sc. Security Administration and Management, B.Sc. Custom Processes and Immigration, B.Eng. Industrial Systems
- Diploma: International Shipping and Logistics
- Associate degree: A.A.Sc.: Industrial Systems Operations and Maintenance
The CMI also offers a number of customized (on demand) courses for public, private and international membership organizations including the Caribbean Shipping Association, and the Port Management Association of the Caribbean.
Supported by generous grant funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF), the CMI has completed installation of a suite of simulators and a 125-kilowatt solar energy system. The simulators are state-of-the-art, multi-functional equipment. In addition to curriculum courses, they also facilitate upgrade training for the current labour force. The solar energy system generates stable, renewable energy to support the simulator centre. CMI and Future Energy Corporation, suppliers of the technology, officially unveiled the facilities on June 2, 2015.
CONTRIBUTION TO REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The technical and academic expertise of CMI was of tremendous benefit to the Caribbean Examination Council in its introduction of Logistics as a subject area in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) for secondary level (high school) students across the Anglophone Caribbean. The CMI faculty – led by Dr. Ibrahim Ajagunna, Director of the SoAS and including Dr. Karen Adair, Head of Customs, Processes, Freight Forwarding and Immigration; and Quality Assurance Manager, Dr. Violet Wright – developed for CAPE the Logistics and Supply Chain management, Unit 1 and Commercial Shipping, Unit 2 courses. Training for delivery of these courses included capacity building in Trinidad, Antigua-Barbuda, Guyana and Jamaica. A bank of examination questions was also established.
The CMI has indicated that it will continue in 2016 to maximize the use of limited resources through greater operational efficiency, reduce energy costs, and continue efforts to attain a greater level of self-sustainability. All things being equal, it is the year when the Caribbean Maritime University becomes reality.