World Maritime University to get $740,000 IMO aid

Council agrees to provide cash from its Technical Co-operation Fund reserves to assist financially struggling university

THE International Maritime Organization Council has agreed to £500,000 ($740,000) from its Technical Co-operation Fund reserves to bail out the financially troubled World Maritime University.

The WMU has run into financial problems due to the withdrawal of funding from some donors and a lack of new sources of finance to replace the lost funding. This has resulted in substantial budget shortfalls this year and next year, which if not remedied could threaten the future of the institution.

Under the agreement the funds of up to a maximum of £500,000 will be transferred in two tranches, one in each of this year and next year.

But this short-term funding is not sufficient to resolve the longer-term funding issues for the university, which is based in Sweden a relatively high cost country making the WMU expensive to maintain. It is still not certain that sufficient long-term funding can be agreed to keep the university operating in its present form.

IMO secretary-general Efthimios Mitropoulos, who is Chancellor of WMU, submitted proposals to the Council and Assembly on the future, long-term financial sustainability of the WMU. A number of proposals are under consideration to provide long-term financial security, including a levy on IMO members, but no decision has been made.

A correspondence group has been set up, led by Sweden to consider the various proposals regarding the long-term sustainability of the university. It will report to the next IMO Council meeting in November when the situation will be reviewed, but it is not clear if any final decisions will be taken at that meeting.



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