ASMA – YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Ahough the history of maritime education In Azerbaijan dates back to the late XIX century, the establishment of Azerbaijan State Marine Academy (ASMA) in the period of independence has marked the beginning of new development stage in maritime education.
The Road to Azerbaijan State Maritime Academy
Understanding the importance of higher educational institution training maritime personnel for our republic as a littoral state, on the initiative of visionary leader Heydar Aliyev, and by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of July 15, 1996, on the basis of the Baku Waterways School, Azerbaijan State Maritime Academy was established as a new direction in Azerbaijan education to train maritime personnel with higher education.
From the first day of its establishment the Academy, as continuation of great leader Heydar Aliyev’s policy to promote Azerbaijan in the world, has built its education system in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention “On Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) of International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Therefore, there have been prepared basic educational programs, curricula, as well as the state standards of education on all specialties and accordingly approved by the IMO. The Academy has been included in the catalogue of the world higher marine education system with the registration number 012.
The Academy, the diploma of which is recognized by far more than 170 world countries, is a member of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), as well as, of the Academic and methodological Council of CIS Countries’ marine institutions functioning under the auspices of Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, St. Petersburg. The Academy is also an active member of the Association of Higher Education Institutions of Caspian Littoral states and is a higher education institution cooperating bilaterally with 18 universities of 11 countries.
Our Academy actively cooperates with Astrakhan State Technical University, Novorossiysk State Marine University named after F. F. Ushakov, State Marine University named after Nevelski, as well as Szczecin Maritime University of Poland, Latvian Maritime Academy, Estonian Maritime Academy, Montenegro State University, Bulgarian Varna Technical University, Ukrainian National Shipbuilding Academy named after Admiral Makarov, Kyiv State Water Transport Academy named after hetman Petro Konashevich-Sahaydachniy, Caspian State University of Technology and Engineering named after S.Yesenin, Batumi Maritime Academy and Batumi Navigation Education University of Georgia, Klaipeda University of Lithuania, Istanbul Technical University of Turkey. Furthermore, ASMA has built a close relationship with Lithuanian Informacine Raida, JSC, and Turkish “Turksen Eğitim Ltd
Quality Management System
Quality Policy at Azerbaijan State Marine Academy is based on the fulfillment of instructions for the training of specialists in marine transportation in education and training centers, as well as on the unconditional implementation of national and international standards, norms and regulations for quality requirements. This encompasses all levels of organizational activities at the Academy. The quality policy at the Academy is grounded on the quality management system operating at the Academy.
Since October of 2002, the Academy has been regularly working with ISO 9001:2000 international standard on Quality management system for the training of professional marine specialists, and since 2010, the Academy has been exercising quality management system ISO 9001:2008 at the Academy. And since February of 2018, the Academy has been functioning with a new (renewed) quality management system certificate ISO 9001:2015.
Based on the results of the international audit carried out by one of the world’s most widely respected classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in the center for Training and Certification of Seafarers of ASMA in February of 2016, the compliance with "Standards for certification of educational institutions and training courses" was approved, and the Academy received ABS’s Conformity Certificate in 2016, respectively. All these ensure the compliance of services to meet international and national standards on specialties and training of seafarers.
Azerbaijan State Marine Academy has organized an education (teaching and learning) process meeting modern standards at all stages of education on maritime specialties (bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees).
At present, there are 2 faculties and 7 departments at ASMA. 1093 students are studying at the Academy, and 6 professors, 30 associate professors, 47 head teachers and 17 assistant teachers have been involved in their academic training and education. At the Academy, admission is carried out on four specialties:
Today, not only the young people from our country but also the students from Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Ukraine are studying at Azerbaijan Marine Academy.
The faculty of “Ship mechanics and electromechanics” provides training in the maritime field on bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels in the following specialties, as well as prepares academic and teaching staff.
The faculty has three departments:
The graduates of the faculty work not only in the Caspian Sea, but also on ships floating around the world, in leading international companies, ports and ship repair companies.
Specialists being prepared in the field of "Ship energetic installations and their exploitation" can work in the field of exploitation of ship internal combustion of engines and energetic installations. Upon graduation, along with higher education diplomas, they get a working diploma and relevant certificates that enable them to work as a ship engineer or engineer on duty in shipping companies in Azerbaijan and abroad.
Students specialized in “Electrical engineering” can work as electrical engineers on ships.
The faculty of navigation provides training on bachelor’s, master's and doctorate levels in the following specialties:
The faculty has 4 departments:
The graduates specialized in “Marine Navigation” can work as a first mate or as a captain on ships floating in the Caspian Sea or on all waters of the world.
The graduates specialized in “Organization of transportation and management”
may hold different positions in Baku International Sea Trade Port, as well as in many parts of the world, leading international companies, transport departments, shipping companies like logistics, coordinator, manager, operator, dispatcher, forwarding agent, stevedore, marine surveyor, agent and technician.
Specialists trained in the field of “Shipbuilding and Ship Repair” carry out the design, construction and repair of ships of various purposes. They can also work as technologists, designers (constructors), heads of shops and departments at shipyards and ship repair plants, and/or as researchers at research institutes.
One of the tools for providing a modern education at the Academy is a training ship. The training ship is used for teaching theoretical and practical studies of students specializing in conventional specialties, and conducting practical training. Our students both are studying and taking their practical training at the Baku Shipyard, on commissioned as a “General Asadov “ training ship of ASMA since September 15, 2015, and on a “Sabit Orujov” passenger ship since 2017, as well as on other ships meeting the highest international standards.
As a member country and having relevant certificates from a number of international maritime organizations, the Azerbaijan Marine Academy is extending its activities in this direction in the new academic year as in previous years. So, from the new academic year, ASMA is planning to provide teaching in the English language in “Marine Navigation Engineering” specialty.
Regular need for highly specialized personnel at Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company is maintained on a quality preference basis. All opportunities are created for the employment of the distinguished graduates of the Academy with successful results in education in “Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping” CJSC (on issuance of a letter of guarantee basis). Their career development and further education, improvement of their social protection are always among these priorities.
With a view to ensuring the development of marine personnel in accordance with international standards, every year a group of students of the Academy is sent to sailing experience on ships in the Black Sea.
The provision of education opportunities for students chosen appropriately among exemplary and excellent students at the higher maritime universities of foreign countries at the expense of “Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping” CJSC is also one of these priorities.
The process of improving teaching and strengthening its relationship with science and industry is always in the center of attention. All conditions for the effective activity of the teaching staff and students have been created at the Academy. The students studying at the Academy are provided with a thoroughly renovated dormitory, two meals per day and summer and winter clothing without payment.
The Academy has internationally recognized diplomas and certifications, as well as is characterized both by the training of highly qualified marine personnel and their in-service training and retraining directions. For this purpose, the Centre for Training and Certification of Sailors was established in conformity with the instruction №83 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated May 8, 2000. Since 2014 the training and certification of offshore specialists have been carried out by the Training Centre attached to the Academy. The main goal of the activity of the Training Centre is to train ship crews, specialists and sailors working in offshore objects in accordance with the requirements and standards of the International Convention on Training, Certification and rota of the Marine Personnel. The Centre also conducts the training of ordinary crew specialists for different spheres.
The Centre obtained GH-07/1 certificate dated 27.04.2014 from the State Marine Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan and ISO 9001: 2008 quality certificate 234.026 dated November 27, 2014, issued by the Russian Federation Certification System. The Training Centre offers 53 types of courses to its attendants. The Training Centre functioned in accordance with ISO 9001: 2015 standard of International Quality Management System and was given a certificate by “Bureau Veritas” International Certification Organization.
In accordance with the results of the inspection conducted by the delegation of the prestigious UK “Nautical Institute” on July 6-7, 2017, the Dynamic Position Keeping Simulator of the Training Centre of Azerbaijan State Marine Academy was given a certificate. This certificate allows the conduction of “DP Induction” and “DP Simulator” trainings.
The Dynamic Position Keeping Simulator is a computer controlling system to maintain the position and direction of the ship. Thus, the Training Centre is currently one of the 95 centers authorized to conduct both “DP Induction” and “DP Simulator” trainings in the world and is the only one in Azerbaijan.
Since the shipping fleet is refitted with new and modern ships, the teaching process at the Academy is also provided with new simulators and its laboratory network is expanding. In order to bring the education process in line with international standards, the equipping process with up-to-date facilities and simulators is consistently continued. Over the last year, “Engine room simulator ERS4000”, “NT-4000”, “TQS” and “NS-3000” simulators meeting the requirements of Section B-1/12 of the International Convention have been bought and used in the teaching process. Additionally, “Radar”, “navigation”, “electronic map drawing”, “GMDSS” simulators used by the students of the Academy serve as an example of aforementioned.
The following equipment is used to provide practical training in the training center:
In accordance with Instruction 91 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 1, 1996, “On the Establishment of Azerbaijan State Marine Academy on the basis of Baku Marine School”, fundamental reconstruction works were carried out for the organization of the Scientific and Technical Library of the Academy on the level of higher school libraries. At present, the library has a rich literature fund covering all the fields of marine specialization. Since the late 1800s, it has approximately 80,000 books in various fields of science. “The Fund of Unique and Precious Literature”, “The Fund of Textbooks”, “The Fund of Fiction, “The Fund of Lectures”, “The Fund of Survey and News”, “The Fund of Research Papers of Azerbaijan State Marine Academy” are available for the readers. An “Electronic Library” hall functions in the library. The readers can easily use electronic versions of lectures, laboratory tasks, teaching aids, as well as materials from other libraries through the Internet. The Scientific and Technical Library provides the teaching staff, undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral students with bibliographic service. The reading halls of the library corresponds the modern standards and are equipped with new, comfortable furniture and computer equipment.
The Academy is constantly improving its material and technical potentials and is supplying the teaching rooms, laboratories, classrooms with the most advanced technical training devices for training highly qualified marine specialists. The new building of the Marine Academy opened for students in 2016. The four-story building located at 127, Kazim Kazimzade Street was renovated by Azerbaijan Caspian Marine Shipping Company.
As a result of the care and attention of President Ilham Aliyev to education for the first time in the history of the Academy a new rector was appointed to the Academy by the decision of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on July 24, 2015. The successful structural changes and purposeful personnel policy pursued by the new administration of the Academy allow built the teaching process on a higher level. At present, there is a high-level teaching process corresponding to the highest standards of education of all levels in marine specialties (baccalaureate, magistracy, and doctorate). Azerbaijan State Marine Academy is attended not only by the native students, but also those from Turkey, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.
“Caspian Marine Shipping” constantly recruits highly qualified personnel taking into consideration their professionalism. Azerbaijan State Marine Academy is the backbone of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and its chairman Rauf Veliyev cares for it and keeps in the focus of attention. As a result of this attention, the successful graduates are provided with jobs by giving them warranty letters, their career development, further education, and social maintenance are ensured.
Every year successful students of the Marine Academy are sent to the internship program of the ships of the Black Sea in order to ensure the development of the marine personnel of the Academy in accordance with international standards.
It also provides long-term training opportunities for the best students of the Academy in the marine universities of foreign countries on the account of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company making appropriate choices.
The development of education and the process of strengthening its relations with science and practice are constantly in the spotlight. The Academy has all necessary conditions for the effective activities of students and teaching staff. So that, students of the Academy are provided free of charge with completely renovated dormitory, spring-winter uniforms and meals twice a day. There is a canteen, a swimming pool, gyms and an information resource centre provided by the numerous books concerning the marine profession in Azerbaijani, Russian and English which need their needs.
By the order 197 of the Cabinet of Ministers, dated May 19, 2016, the Marine Fishing College under the Ministry of Education was attached to Azerbaijan Caspian Marine Shipping Closed Joint-Stock Ltd. Company and was renamed as the Marine College attached to Azerbaijan State Marine Academy.
The Students’ Scientific Board, the Student Youth Organization and the Students’ Trades Union Committee function at the Academy, which follows the priority directions of the state policy of youth. As an endorsement of this activity, it would be worth of mentioning the Republican Competition called “The Road from Language to Career” with the participation of the majority of higher schools, which was held in the Academy with the support of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan on November 26-27, 2015. Thus, the Academy hosted thrice similar competitions, which give the students of our Republic an opportunity to display their knowledge and skills.
Today, the youth of the Academy, who are a part of the Azerbaijani youth, has been surrounded with the thorough care of the state are making their contributions to the development of the society by their decisions and support rendered to President Ilham Aliyev, who confirmed his devotion to the youth policy of the national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, and makes his contribution to the development of society by “transforming oil profits into human capital”.