Sail The High Seas With CINEC Qualifications
By Ashwin Hemmathagama
CINEC Maritime Campus is the largest private higher education organisation in Sri Lanka and is highly rated as a demand oriented education and training provider in the country. It facilitates employment opportunities to maritime students and those who graduate in other disciplines. Following are the excerpts of an interview with CINEC Director – Development, Capt. Nalaka Jayakody, the country’s one and only Master Mariner with a Doctor of Science Degree.
Question – Can you tell us about CINEC and the services offered?
Answer – CINEC Maritime Campus was established in 1990 in a small room in Colpetty with few students. Then it was shifted to Crow Island, Mattakkuliya. Eventually we came to Malabe almost seven years ago. Now we have branches in Colombo, Trincomalee and Jaffna in addition to the main body in Malabe.
Our campus consists of four faculties including Maritime Science, Marine Engineering, Management, and Engineering. We offer more than 100 training programmes from certificate to PhD level under these faculties and the annual output exceeds 14,000 qualified students. At any given time you can find a minimum of 800 students inside the CINEC Maritime Campus premises.
Our campus is established on a firm foundation based on four internationally accredited Quality Management Systems: ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System, OHSAS 18001: 2007 Occupational Health and Safety System and DNV Maritime Academy Standard; which ensure that our students are served with a sense of professionalism and care. And also we maintain the 5S concepts.
Q – How would you see the industry competition in maritime education in Sri Lanka?
A – Including CINEC Maritime Campus there are only three institutions providing maritime education in the country. We are the largest trainer in all aspects where there is no competition for us. Our quality standards are set high in all courses taught in the campus. We have all necessary technologies, trained staff and equipment to conduct our courses starting from basic levels as seamen till high-ranking Captains and Chief Engineers of vessels.
Q – Is there a big demand for Sri Lankan seafarers?
A – Well, this is one of the most highly recognised and well-paid professions in the world. There is a huge demand for Sri Lankan officers and engineers. Our officers are well trained, qualified and they maintain good discipline on board ships at all times and they are always a cut above the rest of the world.
Q – Although CINEC has a high student turnover it maintains a low profile compared with other educational service providers in the country. Is there a reason for it?
A – Based on the quality standards found in CINEC Maritime Campus we were ranked as the Best Maritime Trainer in the Far East in 2009. Also we are the only organisation that won the prestigious National Quality Award three consecutive times in a row starting from 1999. In addition, we won the International Asia Pacific Quality Award – Best in Class Education Organisation 2010. The world knows about CINEC Maritime Campus where we need not go to the extent of placing advertisements to get students. Marketing is necessary but not in an aggressive scale.
In addition to local students we have participation from Maldives, India, China, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh. We have already signed agreements with the authorities to get students from Mauritius, Pakistan and Nigeria. We filter the student intake to maintain high discipline.
Q – What is the status of recognition for education programmes including the degrees offered at CINEC Maritime Campus?
A – We approached the University Grants Commission in 2005 for approval. At that time the policy of the government was against setting up private universities and degree awarding bodies in the country. So, getting CINEC Maritime Campus recognised as degree awarding body was not considered.
Then with the recent change of government policies we have approached the University Grants Commission again. There is a long procedure to follow to obtain the status and the decision is pending. The only available option was to get foreign collaboration. So, Dalian Maritime University of China was the chosen body for the degrees offered here at CINEC Maritime Campus. At any given time there are 25,000 students in Dalian Maritime University and is rated as the largest maritime educational establishment in the world. In addition to the above we have collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton and Australian Maritime College.
Q – Instead of getting necessary recognition from the University Grants Commission you could continue with foreign collaboration. What made you seek local approval?
A – The entire exercise is to save money spent on foreign education. When you have local recognition we could expand the foreign student programme where Sri Lanka receives an income. We are confident that the current government will recognise CINEC Maritime Campus as a degree awarding body.
Q – What are the future plans for CINEC?
A – At the moment we are working on expanding our service to some selected cities in Sri Lanka in addition to opening branches in Mauritius and South Africa.