From Regionalism to Internationalism
The AASTMT gives special importance to strengthening cooperation in the fields of education, training and research with the United Nations'' specialized organizations and on top of them is the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Maritime University (IMU). The purpose behind that is keeping abreast with developments on the international arena especially what is concerned with agreements and protocols signed among countries and also all recent events and recommendations issued on these specialized organizations.
International Relations and the Route to Internationalism
The AASTMT''s relatio ns with several specialized organizations and countries of a deep-rooted history in international transport, science and technology have been known for their diversity and excellence not only on the regional level, but also on the international one.
First: Specialized International Organizations
- In 1980, a project of training employees in maritime transport (TRAINMAR) was initiated in cooperation with the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
- In 1983, cooperation between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the AASTMT had continued to proceed further. This was through an agreement on importing floating quay equipment in Abu Kir in addition to some navigational instruments for the Nautical Department along with the implementation of satellite equipment on the ship Aida 3.
- In 1983, three experts from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) were delegated to provide consultation at the Examination Centre in addition to increasing cooperation with the International Maritime University (IMU) along with the AASTMT''s membership in the council of preservers. This is in addition to the participation of staff members at the AASTMT to teach in it along with participation in the meeting of the General Assembly and its membership in its board of directors since November 1983 until the present.
- In 1985, cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Organization of Nutrition and Agriculture and the technical cooperation programme between developing countries and the United Nations programme of technical support was reinforced.
- In 1985, the Arab Republic of Egypt was elected as a member in the IMO''s board of directors. In addition, contribution was made in increasing members of the IMO''s board of directors from Arab countries.
- In 1988, His Excellency, Engineer Soliman Metwaly, Minister of Transport in the Arab Republic of Egypt visited the World Maritime University (WMU). This was to discuss plans and detailed executive steps to inaugurate a branch of the WMU at the AASTMT. In 1989, an agreement was made with the WMU through which the AASTMT became a branch of the WMU in Egypt. In addition, the AASTMT participated in the executive committee of the WMU.
- In 1989, the TRAINMAR project, which is concerned with training and preparing national calibers in the fields of ports and ship transportations in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was pursued.
- On November 4, 1992, the AASTMT was nominated as a member in the International Association of Universities.
- In October 2001, a tripartite agreement between the IMO, ARE Ministry of Transport and the AASTMT was made to execute different training programmes for Arab countries. This agreement is considered the second of its kind on the international level following the agreement signed with Singapore. This is considered a great achievement which the AASTMT works on its continuation and support by all the concerned authorities. This agreement is renewed biannually and has been effective until now.
Second: African Countries
- In 1977, cooperation with the Arab Fund of Technical Aid for African Countries in Cairo and the secretariat of the African Union Organization of Training and Research in Lagos was initiated.
- Cooperation with the IMO to develop maritime education at the Maritime Academy in Abidjan continued from 1978 until 1983.
- In 1983, a team from the AASTMT was delegated to administer the Maritime College in Nigeria in addition to re-planning the educational system and training Nigerian registration personnel at the AASTMT’s headquarters in Alexandria.
- In 1983, a team was delegated from the AASTMT to participate in establishing, administering and implementing a work plan in the Maritime College in Ghana. An agreement of cooperation between the Ministerial Conference of West African Countries and the AASTMT to provide technical aid to the Academy of Akra was made.
- In 1983, participation was made in the meetings of the tripartite committee to assess the Maritime Academy in Abidjan upon the request of the United Nations. In addition, the technical aid which was previously provided by the AASTMT was pursued further by delegating experts to Ivory Coast.
- In 1985, cooperation was reinforced with the Maritime Academy in Akra, Ghana and the Maritime College in Oroun, Nigeria.
- In 1985, courses were held for African learners in accordance with the tripartite agreement between the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the government of Japan and the AASTMT.
- In 1988, cooperation with the Union of Maritime Training Institutes in Africa was expanded and the fourth meeting of the directors of Maritime Institutes at the AASTMT headquarters was held.
Third: Japan and Asian Countries:
- The history of cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dates back to 1974 by providing technical assistance to the AASTMT through the first agreement which was signed on the 6th of November, 1976. The agreement included equipping of AASTMT’s Technicians Training Institute , providing experts for setting up the study programmes, training for the Institute’s professors in Japan, providing a simulator for training on loading – unloading of freight, two-stroke diesel engine and its control room and a navigational training launch.
- The same agency along with the AASTMT and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded the second agreement which offered training courses for students of all African nations. The courses were held at the AASTMT headquarters in Alexandria instead of Japan and lasted from 1985 to 1995.
- The Agency, the AASTMT and the Egyptian Ministry of Maritime Transport signed the most important agreement which stated the donation of a modern ship for training students. The ship weighs 3000 tons with the capacity of approximately 160 students. On the 23rd of March, 1992, the ship arrived to the port of Alexandria after being named (Aida – 4) and was officially celebrated on April 13th of the same year. Thus, the total Japanese aid to the AASTMT is amounted to nearly $24.6 million
- The cooperation with the IMO for curriculum and teaching development enabled the cooperation with the maritime institutions in Indonesia and Bangladesh from 1982 to 1986.
- Exchange of academic visits, and having acquaintance with the maritime universities of China (Dalian and Shanghai).
Fourth: European Countries:
By the end of 1983 and up till now, the AASTMT has been keen on the cooperation prospects and fostering communication channels with European universities and institutes:
In the United Kingdom:
- University of Strathclyde
- Southampton Institute
- University of Wales for Science and Technology
- University of Hederzfeld
- London School of Economics
- College of Paisley
- Institute of Marine Engineers
- Fort Bovezand Institute for Diving
- University of Brunel
- The Federation of International Diving School
- Plymouth Polytechnic Institute
- Liverpool Polytechnic Institute
- Examinations of a British Ministry of Commerce
- Faculty of Garnett for Teachers’ Preparation
- University of Bremen
- Institute of Scientific Research in Hamburg
- University of Rostock
- University of Mannheim
- French Research Centre ( The ECO Centre)
- University of Sorbonne
- The French company Sekotrat.
- Gdansk Institute
Also in 1987, the cooperation bonds were strengthened with the UNCTAD organization, the NOARD (Norway), the DANIDA (Denmark), as well as supporting the French IKTIM activities in 1987 through the exchange of academic visits, missions and experience in various areas of maritime transport industry.
Fifth: USA and Canada:
The cooperation with the United States started in 1982 when The United States Agency for International Development (US AID) provided technical assistance in the form of equipment, scholarships and short training courses for about quarter a million dollars. Moreover, in 1994 the cooperation was renewed with the same agency to supply the AASTMT with the world’s biggest and latest simulators, costing about $33 million, through the Ministry of Maritime Transport and the Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation in the ARE. Throughout cooperation with the U.S. side, the total project of complex simulators’ cost amounted to $ 65 million. After that, the project has been extended to include a transfer of technology to other transportation sectors. In 2008, an additional sum of $ 100 million was granted for purchasing training equipment and simulators, workshops and qualifying calibers in the Railways Authority in the ARE and the concerned Arab countries. Also in 1990, The AASTMT started to negotiate the cooperation procedures with George Washington University, North Carolina University and other various American Universities.
According to the conventions signed with Canada in the field of engineering and technology, the AASTMT along with the Carleton University cooperated in the fields of marine sciences with the Higher Institute of Marine Sciences.
Therefore, the outstanding cooperation between the AASTMT and several international bodies has pushed the AASTMT from regionalism to internationalism. Consequently, the distinguishing performance of training and educational services in the field of maritime transport led to changing the Academy’s title to a new one that reflected the new image of the clear distinction of the position and the performance of the Faculty of Maritime Transport and Technology, represented in:
- (Aida – 4) the most modern training ship, as an grant from Japan (not to be returned), at an estimated cost of about $21 million, equivalent to approximately LE 70 million at that time, and at the amount of LE130 million at present.
- The world’s latest simulators complex, as a grant from the United States administration at an estimated cost of $ 33 million, that has been implemented in two phases and then extended for a third phase of cooperation to bring the total to $65 million.
Distinguished performance of the education service and training in the field of maritime transport has resulted in:
- The AASTMT received two awards and a certificate of excellence in the maintenance of equipment in 1994.
- An award of excellence from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which was the first and only award given by the Agency since its foundation 25 years ago.
- In the tender of the World Bank to provide technical expertise for the development of the Maritime Institute in Bangladesh, the AASTMT has been chosen among 4 international bodies (College of Maritime Transport in Denmark – College of Maritime Transport in the Netherlands - The Norwegian Ship Classification Agency – College of Maritime Transport of the AASTMT) to implement that project.
- The AASTMT was granted the IMO Award in 1997.
- The president of the AASTMT was granted the global award of innovation for the year 1999 from the Sea-Trade Foundation (OSCAR for Maritime Transport Industry) in the UK.
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