The European University of the Seas (SEA-EU) initiative officially kicked off at a meeting held at the University of Cadiz (UCA), Spain, on the 18-22 November 2019. UCA Rector Paco Piniella welcomed around 30 delegates from the partner universities of Split (Croatia), Western Brittany (France), Kiel (Germany), Gdansk (Poland), and the University of Malta. The members of the UM delegation included Pro-Rector Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino, Ms Maria Calleja, Prof. Aldo Drago, and Dr Edward Duca, along with Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Malta representative, Mr. Luke Bonello Ghio.
The kick-off event included the first official meeting of the SEA-EU Executive Committee and the start of the project. The alliance focused on formulating a plan of action that includes the project’s main objectives of increasing the level of mutual knowledge and integration between the SEA-EU Universities, strengthening the European identity across the alliance, and supporting European values based on student and staff creativity and engagement.
The vision of SEA-EU is to establish an international, pluri-ethnic, multilingual and interdisciplinary European University. The SEA-EU’s driving force is expertise in marine and maritime disciplines, and the project will encourage excellence in teaching, research and community outreach in these areas. SEA-EU also shares a long-term strategy in building and sustaining the alliance of all partner universities as a whole.
The University of Malta will play a fundamental role in these long-term objectives as the Lead Partner of the Dissemination and Sustainability work package. Each university in SEA-EU has a series of intangible assets that add strong support to the sustainability of the alliance both in the mid- and long-term (e.g., infrastructures, personnel, working units, specialised capacities of staff). All universities in SEA-EU will commit resources to support and sustain the long-term vision of their 'European University'.