ZAGREB, April 5 (Hina) – The Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies, the first and most important institution of higher education in the field of seafaring in Croatia, on Thursday celebrated its 70th anniversary, with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attending the event.
The Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies was established in 1949 as a two-year college and in 1992 it changed its name to the Faculty of Maritime Studies.
More than 13,550 students from Croatia and 30 other countries have graduated from the faculty, and it has awarded more than 127 master’s degrees and more than 100 doctorates.
“The Adriatic Sea gives Croatia geo-strategic importance, and Rijeka and its port are the shortest bridge to Central European countries and all the way to the Baltic. That was so in the past, when Rijeka was the most important Mediterranean port for the entire Central Europe, a natural point of access to the sea and the main maritime point of economic development,” said Grabar-Kitarovic, adding that this fact had not been valued sufficiently, which was why she participated in launching the Three Seas Initiative.
“We can use our maritime sector much better, primarily as a lever of overall economic development as well as a support to neighbouring and other European countries. Tourism is important but it must not be the only branch of our maritime sector,” she said.
Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic, who also attended the event, said that maritime development and education enjoyed the unquestionable support of his ministry and the government, noting that his ministry awarded seafaring and naval engineering scholarships.
In the last five years, of a total of 370 scholarships for students of all maritime faculties, 100 went to students of the Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies, said Butkovic.
“By reforming the national maritime legislation we are trying to improve the working and living conditions of our seamen, who are known for their professionalism and competence. With our measures we are sending a clear message of support to current and future students… and affirming the role and importance of the maritime sector,” said Butkovic.