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Marine Graduate Training

Training the 21st Century Ocean Scientists

The final publication for this working group was luacnh in April 2018, and can be found here.


Magda Vincx WG Graduate TrainingThe workforce for tomorrow’s marine and maritime industry, policy and research fields will be largely drawn from a pool of graduates who are currently receiving training in higher education institutions. European programmes and systems of training in marine science and technology are, therefore, of the highest importance. Currently, dedicated marine science programmes account for less than 10% of higher educational (degree) programmes in Europe, although training relevant to marine scientific fields or applications is also included in broader disciplinary training programmes, e.g. environmental courses.

The marine and maritime sciences have a significant role to play in supplying high-quality graduates through training programmes and initiatives which are designed to address the needs of industry, science and policy. In order to facilitate the envisioned growth and job expansion envisioned by the EU Blue Growth initiative, a skilled workforce will be required, comprised of graduates from many different levels of the educational system. Education and research are, therefore, central components of the blue growth strategy and it is recognized that training itself, and the delivery of high-quality graduate programmes, is part of the engine which drives innovation and technology development in maritime sectors.

A strong vision for the future of marine science education and training must identify ways to improve the capabilities of the next generation of marine scientists and engineers to work at a systems level, applying multi-disciplinary knowledge to address complex marine issues which cut across scientific, environmental and social systems. To achieve this, it is necessary to examine the very complex educational landscape that currently produces our professional marine experts, identify some of the key issues and challenges faced by educators, and make recommendations on how to improve marine higher educational training in Europe.

Working Group Objectives

  • Conduct a high-level analysis (e.g. SWOT) of the current marine science education landscape in Europe
  • Identify the main barriers to better collaboration at national, regional and pan-European level to avoid fragmentation and duplication of effort
  • Contribute to identifying the right balance of bottom-up initiatives by scientists and educators, and top-down initiatives at several hierarchical levels including the EU, member states and universities
  • Consider innovative training instruments to identify and accommodate the needs of society, policy, industry and young scientists themselves
  • Develop a vision for the future of European marine science education and training
  • Make high-level proposals towards improving the educational landscape of marine sciences in Europe and creating a coherent framework for the training of 21st century marine experts


See the list here

  • Chair - Prof. Magda Vincx Marine Biology Section, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Co-chair  - Dr. Tim Deprez, University of Ghent, Belgium

Picture from 2nd WG Training Meeting


  • Kick-off meeting, 15-16 September 2014, Ghent, Belgium
  • 2nd meeting, 14-15 January 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Relevant Events

  • Workshop 'How innovative training can support Blue Growth' was organized by the European Marine Board, co-organized by the EuroMarine Network and the JPI-Oceans Secretariat, and took place at European Maritime Day 2016 (28 May 2016, 9:00-10:30). For more info click here.
  • 5th Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference "Blue Economy in the Atlantic Area: Fostering Sustainable Jobs, Competitive Skills and Career", 23-24 October 2018, Vigo, Spain

WG contact at Marine Board Secretariat: Kate Larkin Email

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