DBPapers
DOI:10.5593/SGEM2013/BE5.V2/S22.011

HIGHER HYDROGRAPHY EDUCATION IN BELGIUM

A. De Wulf, Ph. De Maeyer, M. De Ryck ,T. Nuttens, C. Stal, M. Libert, A. Annaert
Tuesday 6 August 2013 by Libadmin2013

References: 13th SGEM GeoConference on Ecology, Economics, Education And Legislation, www.sgem.org, SGEM2013 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-05-6 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 16-22, 2013, Vol. 2, 429 - 436 pp

ABSTRACT

In 2012, a 1-year, English spoken, curriculum degree of "Postgraduate in Hydrography” was started in Belgium as a cooperation between the Geography/Geomatics Department of Ghent University and the Institute for Hydrography of the Antwerp Maritime Academy, which is the hosting institute.
Recent survey studies about hydrographic education in the Netherlands and in Belgium have pointed out a shortage in hydrographic training in these countries. Currently, the most active hydrographers in Belgium are engineers who received additional training within private companies.
For the construction and implementation of the programme, a round table discussion was set up to assess the audience, procedures and desired outcomes for the industry. Relevant higher education institutes, governmental organizations and the maritime industry participated in this discussion. For reasons of flexibility and administration, a postgraduate programme was established, based on IHO (International Hydrographic Organization) standards for certification and quality. Apart from the compulsory courses, the emphasis lies on on-the-job practice with the partners of the industry to ensure maximum competence.
An optimized flexibility is achieved by allowing any bachelor with a scientific background. All courses are lectured in English, and courses can be taken up over several years to facilitate part-time work. Furthermore, a selection committee has been installed to assess exemptions, in order to enable active hydrographers to study only the modules that are relevant for them. These procedures allow for a qualitative and professional yet accessible programme.

Keywords: Hydrography, Higher Education