Every year maritime government officials from across the world travel to Malmo, Sweden, to enrol at the World Maritime University (WMU). The WMU was founded by the International eMaritime Organization (IMO) in 1983 and holds a unique position as the only institution focused entirely on maritime education, research and capacity building.
One thing has been missing from the curriculum, however, and through a donation and partnership with Maersk Line, courses on corruption awareness and business integrity will now be mandatory for all students.
Announcing the partnership today also marks the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December.
Mandatory anti-corruption training
The project, titled CORA, has been long underway, explains Kristin Berglund, Senior Legal Advisor in Maersk Line. With approvals now in place from both WMU as well as Maersk Line management, detailed planning can commence, and students will be exposed to the new modules from the second half of 2016.
“Maersk Line has many years’ experience of fighting corruption, and by partnering with WMU we will be able to share our learnings and help build a platform for more collaboration between the private and public sector in tackling corruption together,” says Kristin. “We are excited about this initiative and its potential for changing corruption risks in the maritime sector.”
Maersk Line will support in developing the course material, as well as provide training for instructors, including visiting Maersk vessels to observe the environment captains and government officials around the world must navigate. Anti-corruption will be integrated in WMU’s regular curriculum and include corruption awareness, leadership, change and communication, and understanding the psychology of corruption.
While anti-corruption elements are mandatory for all students, they will also have the option of choosing anti-corruption as their final project, aimed at resolving a practical issue in their home base. Should they do so, Maersk Line will offer a mentorship for those students, where relevant and if requested.
Partnering helps raise awareness
“Corruption is a real issue in many parts of the world, and one that we face daily in the shipping industry,” says Maersk Line Chief Operating Officer Soren Toft. “Maersk has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption, but the battle is not won overnight and requires that we work together. As the largest container carrier we have an obligation to help resolve the issue more widely, and by partnering with the WMU we believe we can take another step towards a maritime industry free of corruption.”
Signe Brun Jensen, Maersk Line’s Head of Sustainability, adds: “The donation and partnership will support our business interests today, but also help shape the frameworks for doing better business tomorrow. It is our hope that this initiative will assist in reducing the trade barriers corruption create.”