This year is the 250th anniversary of the launch of HMS Victory at Chatham and we were lucky enough to be in the region for a couple of days as part of our visit to the University of Greenwich Medway Campus.
After an interesting drive through the south east with some splendid views, we reached the Chatham/Gillingham region, one of the most historic areas, not only in Kent but in the entire United Kingdom; a location full of maritime history, and education and training to all intents and purposes.
Close to our hotel, one of Premier Inn’s latest additions, was the Historic Dockyard with, among other major exhibits, the three historic warships, HMS Gannet (1878), HMS Cavalier (1944)) and HM Submarine Ocelot (1962). We strolled around and visited the famous Pier no 5 where you can see a short but important video*, and the Old Pump House, the graving dock, the marina and marine club and other maritime buildings as well as a renovated open mall and market with shops and restaurants. We were more than fortunate as the weather was fantastic for the time of the year – an extended Indian summer, enabling us to enjoy the early evening, as if we were in the Med!
Our hosts came to fetch us, and guide us through the marina to the historic Ship and Trades Restaurant and Hotel where we had an excellent supper: fantastic seafood of all kinds and excellent wine, great discussions on maritime education and training as well as on current international affairs affecting shipping and maritime education. It’s well worth visiting the Ship and Trades to verify the unique architecture, the marine interior design and décor – depicting a ships engine room, with paintings and many maritime objects and memorabilia, and needless to say the service: all ship-shape!
After a good night’s sleep we set off early morning for the Medway Campus of the University of Greenwich. This is a unique campus occupying the old Naval Base, HMS Pembroke, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century and now houses the University of Kent, the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University. Fully renovated original grade II listed buildings form a unique academia establishment – a splendid Edwardian redbrick and ivy-clad campus, all devoted to education!
Education, Maritime Education, is the name of the game for all of us in the industry. Our task was to participate in discussions and approve the very interesting as well as important MSc courses at the Faculty of Engineering & Science, Department of Applied Engineering and Management on Global Oil and Gas Management as well as that of Global Shipping Management (at Medway, and a parallel course at New York College in Athens)
Our meeting and the relevant discussions with the panel members, academic and administrative stuff were very open and ended in successfully furthering the proposals and curricula set by the leaders of the departments which will start in the 2016 Academic Year.
We are confident that many of our viewers will visit this historic region, and that many prospective students will log on and see the excellent degrees offered there.
* video by Anny Zade