Since the 2003 AGM the University of Plymouth has moved forward on many fronts. The report below attempts to highlight some of the important events which have occurred, particularly those which have had a direct impact on the provision of mari tim e education.
The report looks at four areas of change – organisation, buildings, people, courses – and also states the winners of the PYNDA prizes.
The City of Plymouth is also passing through a period of change. The vision of Plymouth as a “ World City ” and developments which are sympathetic to its maritime location are releasing a new vibrancy which is exciting and challenging.
The academic reorganisation of the University as agreed by the Governing Body on Friday December 13 th 2002.and reported at the 2003 AGM went ahead as planned. The major objectives were achieved by the end of the 2004 / 05 academic year.
Part of the reorganisation included the closure of the Institute of Marine Studies The result was that by August 1 st 2003 , staff of the Centre for International Shipping & Logistics were transferred to the Plymouth Business School within the Faculty of Social Science & Business. Staff involved with Ocean Sciences including hydrography and navigation became a part of a new School – the School of Earth Ocean and Environmental Science, placed in the Faculty of Science. Staff involved in teaching marine technology had moved to the Faculty of Technology in 1996 and were largely unaffected by the closure of the Institute In December 2003 the final Graduation & Prize giving Ceremonies of the Institute of Marine Studies took place.
It was noted in the 2003 AGM notes that a cross faculty Research Institute of Marine Science would be developed, but progress has been slow. The latest idea is that a Marine Institute is being considered, which will focus on, although not exclusively so on marine science and technology research. The Marine Institute may acquire a new building within the redevelopment of the Millbay area of the City, but nothing is certain...
September 2004 saw staff of the Centre for International Shipping & Logistics and staff of the Hospitality and Tourism Group - Seale Hayne Agricultural College move to the Cookworthy Building , home of the University of Plymouth Business School In the same month a new format to the academic year was introduced consisting of two twelve week terms and one five week term
In June of 2005 it was announced that the University of Plymouth was bidding for funding to develop a new Dental School at Plymouth .
July 2005 saw an inaugural meeting of what is presently known as the Maritime Interest Group. The group is being developed to ensure effective communication between the disparate groups of marine and maritime activity of the University
In July 2003: the new £30 Million Portland Square building was opened. A year later a Farewell party was thrown for 22 Portland Square , a building which for over forty years had supported maritime activities acting as a hall of residence for cadets, the Faculty office for the Faculty of Maritime Studies and more recently as the home of the Centre for International Shipping and Logistics. October 2004 saw the demolition of 22 Portland Square – it took a weekend for demolition, The land is now temporarily being used as a car park.
By the beginning of the 2004 academic year a £12 Million extension to the University Library had been completed.
In early 2005, recreational sailing moved from the University Diving and Sailing Centre (Seamanship Centre) to Mount Batten Water Sports Centre as a joint venture between the Mount Batten Centre, Plymouth City Council and the University. The Diving and Sailing Centre is presently retained as accommodation for diving, academic study and workshops.
Spring saw the opening of a new £2.5 Nursery, a useful asset and a help for both staff and students of the University.
With the closure of the Arts School at Exeter it had bee decided to provide a new home for the Faculty of Arts at Plymouth In June 2005 demolition work on the Roe Street site and planning permission was given to start the £34 Million building to house the Facuilty of Arts. The building is of futuristic design and will be completed by 2007. Demolition involved a change in the University main Entrance. June saw the closure of Seale Hayne Agricultural College , marked by a service in the College Chapel. .
In July 2005 it was announced (subject to final agreement) that Rolle Teacher Training College (Exmouth) would close and all teacher training activity would be transferred to the Plymouth Campus. It is proposed that a new Building to be known as the Rolle Building will be erected on the James Street car park – and will be completed by 2008. Also in July refurbishment of the Fitzroy Building (Maritime Teaching Block) was commenced which includes the destruction of the ship manoeuvring and wave tank. In addition funding has been received to convert the ‘William Day Planetarium’ into an “Immersive Vision Theatre” .
As well as organisational and building changes November 2003 saw a “new blood” research appointment to the Centre of International Shipping and Logistics Group in the person of, Dr Pasukeviciuta. Professor David Head was appointed Director of the Plymouth Business in January 2004. IN his first plenary address he described Shipping and Logistics as a “specialist provision that is very Plymouth ”
Also in spring 2004 Mr Michael Everard CBE (Chairman FT Everard & Sons) agreed to become a member of the Plymouth Business School Industrial Advisory Board. Mr Don Millar (Fleet Training Manager) for Princess Cruises was also appointed ot the same Board.
It was with sadness that in June 2004 Dr Harry Heijveld and Dr Vince Valentine both resigned. Harry to join the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church and Vince to undertake a new role with UNESCAP based in Bangkok . In July 2004, after a period of poor health Shaun Jarvis resigned.
In September 2004, Jae Sundaram & Vivek Jain, both maritime lawyers identified with the International Shipping & Logistics Group, were moved to the School of Sociology Law and Politics. Their interests in maritime law are retained and although separated they are heavily involved in the undergraduate and postgraduate course in International Shipping and Logistics
Replacements for Dr Harry Heijveld and Dr Vince Valentine were appointed in Oct 2004. The new staff members Dr Dongping Song (International Logistics) and Dr Tengfei Wang (Port Management) took up their posts until March 2005. Dr Dongping Song’s last appointment was at Imperial College , London where he shared research interests in the optimisation of worldwide container traffic. Dr Tengfei Wang joined us from Newcastle University where he has been undertaking research in to container port efficiency.
December 2004 saw the retirement of Dr Richard Gray after 25 years of service. Professor Mark Cleary, first Dean of Faculty of Social Science & Business was promoted to the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor and Dr Joan Chandler moved to the position of Dean for FSSB. Dr Chandler’s academic interests have involved the ’marriage of naval personnel’ and ‘integration of women into sea service’.
Finally in July 2005 after 36 years of service to the University and its predecessors, Harry Churchill, last of the original academic staff who developed the original MSc International Shipping, retired.
Least among the changes to date have been the courses provided. However during the next academic year the undergraduate Maritime Business courses will be reviewed - the principle being towards greater efficiency in delivery and increased subject focus.
Demand for the postgraduate study. particularly in International Logistics has been strong. and for the MSc International Shipping steady. Applications for the MSc Port Management have seen an increase. The student cohort is internationally well diversified..
In September 2003 a new programme BSc (Hons) Cruise Operations Management commenced This was led by the Hospitality and Tourism Group of the Plymouth Business School with the aim of providing a pragmatic education for hotel services staff involved in the expanding cruise ship market.
The integrated BSc(Hons) Nautical Studies for deck officer trainees (operated by the School of Earth Ocean and Environmental Science) was reviewed in 2004, rebadged and relaunched as the BSc (Hons) Marine Studies. The BSc (Marine Studies) course is focussed on seagoing activity and has the specialist titles Merchant Shipping, Marine Navigation and Ocean Yachting. Growth in nubers taking the BSc (Hons) Marine Studies (Merchant Shipping) has continued with students and shipping companies taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the UK Tonnage Tax regime.
Pynda prizes have been awarded as follows :
PYNDA Prize for outstanding performance in Maritime Business and Maritime Law
2003/04 Trina CHEVALIER
2004/05John T WIDDRINGTON
PYNDA Prize for outstanding performance In Maritime Business and Law Project
2003/04 Trina CHEVALIER
2004/05 Christian D BOLLETA
Over the last two years 16 members of PYNDA have contributed to the Visiting Speaker Programme. I am very grateful for the time and support they have and continue to give.
An article was published in the University Alumni Association journal “In Touch” entitled “PYNDA -Plymouth Nautical Degree Association” Photographs of our Chairman Phil Parry and Secretary, Julie Lithgow accompanied the article Contributions to “Up Front” are always considered
Finally four PYNDA members have provided “Graduate Profiles” which have been published in a brochure “Promoting a Maritime Future”(3) and the University Alumni Society’s journal “In Touch” (1)