19 March, 2020

COVID-19: WMU continues to deliver quality education, research and capacity building amid the pandemic

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global emergency. Since its outbreak, this epidemic has caused more than 220,000 infections and taken almost 9,000 lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The World Maritime University (WMU) since 28 January 2020, has been taking precautionary measures to safeguard its students, Staff members and researchers, taking into account that the University must continue to deliver quality education, research and capacity building to its students and partners worldwide.

As an immediate response to this emergency, WMU acts at the forefront to provide innovative teaching solutions through its virtual classrooms and other modern technological platforms to minimize educational disruptions. While the University remains open, all teaching activities are undertaken virtually. Students can attend classes from their residence or home. Staff members are performing their duties by telecommuting using modern technology that has been put in place by the University. In addition to frequent internal knowledge sharing relating to COVID-19, the University also ensured increased disinfection dispensers and other supplies for emergency use. 

In an email to all students, the President of WMU, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry emphasized that the most important thing at the present time is to do our best to stay safe, remain calm and continue to observe all the established precautions. The President has emphasized that the health and well-being of the students and Staff remain her top priority.  

“I am very pleased that you are adapting well to this unprecedented emergency and we hope that we will soon overcome this critical phase. I understand the stress and anxiety you may have during these uncertain times, especially for those of you, including me, who are away from our family and loved ones. Let us continue to take care of each other. I am confident that we can ensure the continuity of our operations using modern technology, team spirit and goodwill for the fulfilment of our mission”, said Dr. Doumbia-Henry in an email to all Staff members. “I would like to reassure you that, along with the Senior Crisis Management Team, I am monitoring the situation closely and continuously. Once again, thank you for your professionalism, dedication, compassion and commitment to our ideals and objectives including for the effective delivery of our programmes.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all donors and sponsors to WMU, for their continued support during this emergency,” highlighted by Dr. Doumbia-Henry. 

Established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1983, WMU is a world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and ocean education, research and professional training, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. As an entity within the UN system, WMU is an institution established by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) relevant to education, gender equality, peace and justice, decent work and economic growth, energy efficiency, sustainable industrialization and innovation, climate change, the oceans and partnerships. WMU alumni hold positions of prominence around the world. They serve as senior maritime officials in ministries, as directors of shipping companies and ports, as heads of maritime academies and naval organizations, and many represent their home countries at IMO and international forums and organizations. To date, the global WMU alumni network consists of 5,156 graduates from 170 countries and territories. 

There are currently more than 200 Staff, researchers and students residing in Malmö, Sweden where the University is headquartered.