– Today’s meeting opens a dialogue with the government of the RSA. I hope that at the end of my four-year term, your universities will be attended by students from our country – said the South African Ambassador to Poland, Nomvule Mngomezulu, during a meeting held at the University of Gdańsk on 19 November this year.
Nomvula Mngomezulu, the South African Ambassador to Poland
The RSA has nearly 2,500 km of the sea coastline and is looking for an educational programme that would strengthen the national maritime economy. The representatives of the FarU presented ambassador Nomvule Mngomezulu with an offer of Gdańsk universities, which comprised not only engineer’s studies at the Gdańsk University of Technology, but also a preliminary idea of an intercollegiate course. The representatives of the UG and MUG indicated that medical, economic and legal competences are needed for the development of the maritime economy.
– It should be noted that the FarU will be ranked much higher in the ratings of Polish and international universities. According to estimates, we rank third among universities in the whole of Poland – said the FarU Director, Prof. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska during the presentation of the achievements of each university. After a brief introduction, Prof. Janusz Nieznański, the Gdańsk Tech Vice-Rector for Internationalisation and Innovation, presented the university’s competence in maritime technology expertise.
Prof. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska, Director of the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk
– We pride ourselves on having unique laboratory equipment. This is, for example, a 40-metre pool which may generate regular and irregular waves, as well as test models of a tanker, trawler and yacht – said Prof. Nieznański. He also pointed out that for many years the Gdańsk University of Technology has been teaching students from Albania, Algeria, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Hungary and the United Kingdom.
– You are probably surprised that the representative of the Medical University of Gdańsk is present at a meeting about the organisation of a course related to maritime economy – began Prof. Michał Markuszewski, Vice-Rector for Science at the MUG. – However, part of our university is the Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine. We also offer many courses taught in English.
Prof. Michał Markuszewski, Vice-Rector for Science at the MUG
The Maritime Telemedicine Assistance Service was also one of the main topics of discussion.
– The Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine offers a service that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The masters of ships sailing on the Baltic Sea can call us to receive instructions on how to treat a sick crew member. Such a telephone call should be answered by well-trained doctors, who can answer all questions asked by people without medical education. We are happy to share the knowledge and experience needed to provide such a service – explained Prof. Maciej Grzybek of the MUG Department of Tropical Parasitology.
Ambassador Nomvule Mngomezulu noted that these were aspects that were not always obvious, yet needed for the development of the maritime economy.
The UG’s educational offer was presented by Prof. Anna Jurkowska-Zeidler, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation.
– At our university, we have many departments connected with the sea. Firstly, the Faculty of Oceanograph – said Prof. Anna Jurkowska-Zeidler, when handing over the floor to Ewa Szymczak, Ph.D., Deputy Dean for Education at the UG Faculty of Oceanography and Geography.
– Our studies are practical as well as theoretical. We are very well-equipped to train students. Part of our biggest apparatus is the R/V Oceanograf vessel, which is one of the best vessels of this kind in Europe – said the UG Deputy Dean.
Then the Vice-Rector presented the competences of the Faculties of Law, Management, Biotechnology and Economics, and talked about the alliance between the UG and five other coastal universities within the SEA-EU project.
The comprehensive presentation of the educational offer positively surprised the Ambassador of the RSA.
– Thank you for this informative presentation. At first I only considered studies in shipbuilding, but now I can see how complicated education for the maritime economy is –said Ambassador Nomvule Mngomezulu.
The future of the educational offer for South African students will become clear next year, when the President of the RSA, Cyril Ramaphosa, visits Poland. The Ambassador said that it will be precisely during this visit that the discussions about educating South African youth in Poland will take place.
– I can assure you that today’s meeting was a success. I believe that our President will certainly be pleased with the FarU’s educational offer – concluded the Ambassador.
Photo: Paweł Sudara/MUG