On Sunday, 4 December, WMU's Chancellor and IMO Secretary-General, Mr Efthimios E Mitropoulos, conferred postgraduate degrees on the World Maritime University's Class of 2011. The Guests of Honour were Admiral Oscar Adolfo Arce, Commandant, Prefectura Naval Argentina, and Vice-Admiral Brian Salerno, Deputy Commandant for Operations, US Coast Guard.
Four graduates of the WMU PhD programs, Li Ying of China, Kofi Mbiah of Ghana, Rajendra Prasad of India and Azfar Mohamad Mustafar of Malaysia, received their degrees, along with 104 students graduating from the Malmo-based MSc programme in Maritime Affairs, and 23 from the distance-learning Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Insurance. Both Li Ying and Azfar Mohamad Mustafar are graduates of the WMU MSc programme in Maritime Affairs, when both were supported by Saskakawa Fellowships.
This was the first graduation ceremony for students following the newly structured, streamlined 14-month Malmo-based MSc program in Maritime Affairs, which has placed higher demands on the intellect and stamina of the students. This group of graduates includes the largest-ever number of women graduates (31), the largest number of students from Africa since 1989 (36 of whom 19 are from Nigeria), the largest-ever number of students funded by their employer, government or from personal sources (44) and the youngest group of students since the Class of 2001, with an average age of 33.3.
The WMU graduates of 2011 bring the total to 3,242, and all are now making a tremendous impact on the global maritime sector. The World Maritime University is a unique model of international learning and cooperation that meets important needs in both developing and developed countries, as well as in the maritime industry. WMU graduates are highly sought-after to fill senior management and policy-making positions in their countries or at international level.
During the ceremony, the annual special awards to students were announced:
Anne Bouyssou of France won the Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence, the Pierre Leonard Prize for the Best Female Student and the Lloyd's Maritime Academy dissertation prize
Zhao Jian of China won the Informa Law dissertation prize
Nyein Ei Phyu of Myanmar (Sasakawa Fellow) won the C P Srivastava Award for International Fellowship