Follow us

Training the 21st Century Marine Professional: A new vision for marine graduate education and training programmes in Europe (Future Science Brief)

As the Ocean continues to be a focus for development in Europe through the European Commission’s Blue Growth initiative and through the Blue Economy, the importance of the marine and maritime industries will continue to grow. The knowledge, experience and innovative ideas needed to enable this development will be largely supplied by future marine professionals, or the marine graduates of today. Subsequently, the envisioned growth will require a skilled workforce of highly training and multi-skilled graduates from a wide variety of marine and maritime professional backgrounds. In addition, less established areas such as marine biotechnology and marine renewable energy may require new knowledge, skills, collaboration and innovation.

It is therefore timely to examine the current marine graduate education and training system, identifying issues, challenges and opportunities. This Future Science Brief explores this complex landscape, to better understand the current status of education systems, and research and training funding mechanisms. It then looks at options to improve current capabilities across Europe at both Masters and Doctoral levels, and outlines a vision for the future of marine and maritime education and training in Europe. Case studies are presented to illustrate good practice, alongside interviews with recent marine graduates who have themselves benefitted from innovative training opportunities. The Future Science Brief then identifies ways in which to improve and broaden the skills and capabilities of the next generation of graduates. This includes enabling exposure to industry, encouraging interdisciplinary research and promoting the importance of transferable skills to graduates and industry alike. It closes by presenting 6 key recommendations for the future development of marine graduate training in Europe, and calls for collaboration between key actors from the marine education community, the marine and maritime industries, and research funding to come together to jointly develop an education and training system which will benefit all.

Preview cover: 
Publication categories: