New accreditation for Seychelles Maritime Academy could bring in more students
Young students on practical maritime training (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Maritime Academy can now receive students from other countries for their courses after receiving an international accreditation.
The maritime academy is the first educational institution in Seychelles to be accredited by the International Organisation of Standards, an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has a vast exclusive economic zone of 1.3 million square kilometres and maritime training is of high importance to the 115-island nation.
The certification, which confirms the academy’s good management practices, came after two years of preparation in collaboration with the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College. The news was announced Thursday.
“Before, students seeking a specific course had to go to other countries such as the U.K., Ireland and South Africa, but now they can do it within the SMA premises for the same certificate value,” said Vikas Yadav, the academy’s director to SNA Thursday.
Yadav says the academy is currently offering 17 short-term courses but hopes to be able to offer 50 more if demand increases given the new certification.
The academy takes in around 200 students every year ( Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
The academy takes in around 200 students every year on three full-time courses: advanced certificate in navigation and seamanship, advanced certificate in marine mechanics and advanced certificate in fisheries science and fishing technology. These courses are now recognized worldwide.
Veronica Bristol, manager of the academy’s students’ affairs told SNA, “It’s a gradual process. We are now setting up a marketing department and putting emphasis of the worldwide opportunities that still exist for students that follow courses in the Seychelles.
The academy has also placed Seychelles on the white list of the International Maritime Organisation. The list is comprised of countries having the Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) requirements for seafarers internationally.
Brandon Payet, a student at the academy, told SNA that he sees the new certification as an additional opportunity for students following an advanced certificate in navigation and seamanship.
“The course now includes navigation aspects that are not found in Seychelles and it will help us if we are to work outside of Seychelles when facing challenges,” explains Payet.
“I would love to work on a tanker, so I am going to give it my all this final year,” added Payet.
The academy has put in place a Quality Management System that ensures that all staff and procedures of the academy is followed by the rules in place, so as to maintain the ISO standards.
Yadav says negotiations have started for staff and students to have international training and exchanges.