BLUE4SEAS project aims to build a strategic partnership between five maritime academic institutions “to bridge” the Baltic, Black, and Mediterranean Seas. 

The project intends to place a “brick” in the foundation of European universities in order to obtain competitive advantages through the exchanging of good practices and knowledge within the network, aiming to improve teaching skills and learning methods through simulation, providing a solid ground for excellence in teaching and skills development processes. 

Maritime officers are educated and trained in naval academies and maritime universities and the specific curricula have also to comply with Bologna higher education requirements and their related quality standards. The differences between national education maritime systems can lead to problems with the recognition of educational qualifications from other countries and of periods of study taken abroad. 

Into the maritime European space, BLUE4SEAS will lead to an increase in the competitiveness of maritime higher education provider institutions (MHEI)  supporting the implementation of the Bologna principles, implicitly by giving and recognizing ECTS credits and developing a successful EEA. 

The protection of the environment has now become a topical issue and IMO initiatives provide ample opportunities and catalysts for maritime education and training institutions to review their provisions while at the same time incorporating changes in STCW requirements. The risks of an incident likely to cause massive pollution by oil or other hazardous substances continue to be high and organized, equipped, well-trained, and competent human resources able to cooperate with all stakeholders is absolutely necessary. Regional cooperation and mutual assistance are indispensable when dealing with a major marine pollution accident. Also, in the context of the current crisis created by COVID 19, it is even more important to focus on developing online courses and creating virtual online simulation platforms. A prerequisite for such cooperation are best practices and knowledge sharing, education, keeping up with new technological achievements, and development of information system. 

BLUE4SEAS will facilitate the use of the digital technologies and of innovative and open pedagogies in MHEI through a virtual online training platform (VOTP) on the environmentally friendly maritime shipping industry, as an open-source. The innovative educational resources and training facilities developed could be shared as a pilot module to other interested MHEI. 

The intensive training courses are multidisciplinary and are recognized in all HEI involved in this project, facilitating the exchange of students through ERASMUS + programs and flatting the skills gaps and mismatches in maritime education and training system, based on networking with a high potential not only in education but also in research. These courses will use new innovative tools for teaching, research, and innovation to prepare future maritime graduates to deal successfully in increasingly demanding international labor markets. Models and scenarios simulated in teaching activities are based on real-world applications. Courses are based on ICT being designed to be modular; the assessment will be both online and face to face; based on the collaborative practices of all partner universities involved in the project. Target groups teams are made of students/professors from all 5 countries participating in the project.