DIKU and the expert panel together with members of the COAST consortium. Photo: Nils Andreas Kalve

September 4th, students, teachers, researchers, institutional leaders, alumni and industrial partners were gathered to present their intentions/strategy to become a Centre of Excellence in Maritime Simulator Training and Assessment (COAST). Among 7 finalists, a consortium of four institutions: USN, NTNU, UiT and HVL, were invited to discuss their plans with an expert panel and the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU).  

Building on existing expertise, the center aims to be the world’s leading provider of simulator training and assessment for maritime education. Our mission is to promote student-centred learning by innovative simulator-based education, says Prof. Salman Nazir, the scientific leader of COAST. The students, along with instructors, researchers, alumni, academic and industrial partners will be involved in developing new scenarios, student lab assistants, 24/7 capacity of simulator training, new curriculum and new forms of assessment practices across all four institutions.

The evaluation committee chaired by Professor Stephanie Marshall is set to forward their recommendation to the DIKU board for a final decision due in December this year.

COAST Background
Norway possesses a long and rich maritime heritage. It is one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced seafaring nations. The Norwegian maritime industry is knowledge intensive and contributes significantly to the national GDP, by employing 90,000 people and generating the value of 14.5 billion EUR per year. Norway is also the world’s fifth largest ship owning nation. The country has a recognized standing in maritime research as well as substantial competence in maritime education and training (MET). COAST is conceptualized to capitalize on this advantage and place Norway at the forefront in seafarer’s education. The objective of COAST is to equip students with necessary skills and knowledge to be able to excel in an evolving maritime industry.

Fact: Academic communities with the status of Centre for Excellence in Education (SFU) demonstrate excellence in teaching and education, and develop innovative practices in education (www.diku.no). The ambition of the prestigious national initiative is to foster excellent research-based education. The centre status is awarded for 5 years with a possibility to extend for another 5 years.