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Higher education for seafarers


Offering higher education to crew onboard will enhance overall well-being

Seafarers are known to deal with heavy workloads onboard and some can hardly afford rest times. Much has been said about ways to improve their well-being. However, employers are encouraged to look beyond short courses to facilitate upskilling.

Investing in long-term upskilling
To date, the most common way to keep seafarers updated while balancing their workload is through short courses. However, such training is not sufficient to ensure a full understanding of the subject matter. The next option is more extended programmes, which are difficult to accommodate – especially when the team is lean. Despite advocating upskilling, employers need to manage the team’s mentality towards education. Some may not be ambitious to acquire new skills for career development.

Distance learning is a good option to strike a balance between upskilling and managing seafarers’ approach towards education. The team is allowed flexibility to select a course aligned with their career aspirations and will be more prepared to commit throughout the programme. With distance learning, seafarers will not neglect their work. Having control of their preferred subjects will encourage their commitment and initiative in balancing education with workloads.

Impact of higher education
Findings from the United Nations (UN) revealed tertiary education is proven to improve an individual’s quality of life. Studies show that graduates have longer life spans, better dietary and health practices, greater economic stability and security, more stable employment and greater job satisfaction. They also have increased community service and leadership and self-confidence.

An often overlooked benefit of distance learning is that employees doing a Master’s programme can focus on a theme relevant to their day job. Particularly for organisations operating in highly specialised technical fields, which is commonly the case in the maritime sector, can lead to fruitful cross-fertilisation and open up new opportunities. However, implementing such programmes require more than just delivering the syllabus. Enrichment sessions are essential through personal online tutoring throughout the duration of the programme.

By investing in higher education, organisations demonstrate they value their teams. This can boost morale. Moreover, it signals to clients – both current and potential – a lasting commitment to maintain standards and quality and elevate them.



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