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University of Split University Department of Marine Studies

Introduction

General information on the programme

Adriatic Sea is for Croatia of inestimable economic importance. Further on, it is important for our historical, social and cultural heritage. Connection with the sea, from the early days to present, continually contributes to the quality of our lives and to our identity. Sea surface area over which Republic of Croatia has full sovereignty (territorial sea) and sovereign rights (exclusive economic zone) is approximately equal to our terrestrial surface area. Although, significant proportion of the GDP comes from the maritime industry and sea related services, available potentials are still higher than what is presently used. Namely, there is a wide span of priorities and possibilities for the use of the marine environment, its living and non-living resources, especially in relation to unexplored and unused potential, equally that of potentially renewable and non-renewable resources.

To enable reasonable and long-term sustainable use of potentials of the sea it is necessary to have knowledge about the marine environment, under sea world and especially about functioning of marine ecosystems. Only science can initiate development and enable practical application of cognitions derived from social, natural and biotechnological sciences related to the sea, and with the purpose of application of new and better solutions in economy. In this approach, unavoidable role is played by Universities in Croatia, which promote this concept of economic development and through systematic education of personnel enable its continuity. To achieve this, we need highly educated experts that will in close contact with European and global scientists search for best solutions for investigation and rational use of marine resources, enable sustainable exploitation of marine living resources, and direct regional development though comprehensive planning and adjustment of interests and needs of different users in space (e.g. tourism, transport, mariculture, traditional fishery etc.). Some of the above mentioned activities are not complementary and can have negative impacts on each other. Therefore, the national development strategy of every country requires experts that will know how to exploit the sea in sustainable way and for the well being of its inhabitants and marine ecosystems. This task can be achieved through systematic education that has following fundamental goals: (2) gaining understanding of the marine social sciences that will enable appropriate creation and application of legislation; (2) enabling prediction of changes in marine ecosystems as response to different impacts; (3) controlled and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, and (4) developing application of biotechnological processes in the exploitation of potentially renewable marine resources.

Estimate of purposefulness with respect to needs of research activities in public and private sector, especially in relation to scientific-research and technological development of the country and corresponding national strategic priorities

Nature of different jobs related to research, control and protection of marine ecosystem, as well as to the management and economy of its resources, requires hierarchical structure of personnel with respect to their level of competency for performing certain tasks, and that has to be a consequence of their knowledge and their skills. Doctoral study has the aim of educating personnel with higher competences and higher level of independent decision making. Proposed study program is in accordance with national long term and short term strategic priorities of the Republic of Croatia in which the Adriatic Sea is stated as one of the priorities for the research and with the purpose of planning and accomplishing economic development of the Republic of Croatia.

Foundation on competitive scientific investigations and competences needed for science based social development

Doctoral study in Applied marine sciences is by its contents prominently multidisciplinary. In this education cycle, on the basis of knowledge from the area of natural, particularly biological, chemical and physical oceanography, as well as from biotechnological sciences related to the sea, knowledge from specific areas necessary for establishing sustainable management and protection of the Adriatic Sea is built upon. Study will be organized at level of the new scientific findings and skills based upon them, in collaboration with scientific institutions that are involved in marine research - Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries from Split (IOF) and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (IMCR) from Dubrovnik, what provides great possibilities for practical education of students. Scientific programs at IOF and IMCR enable participation of students in scientific work that is a base for applied marine sciences.

Establishing collaborative investigations and education based upon them between higher education institutions, scientific institutes, private and public business sector

Study will enable gaining competences in applied marine sciences in collaboration with two Universities, University of Split and University of Dubrovnik, and two scientific institutions involved in marine research, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries from Split (IOF) and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (IMCR) from Dubrovnik. In addition, field work will be conducted on research vessels Bios (IOF) and Naše more (University of Dubrovnik). Collaboration is also established with private sector that poseses facilities for preservation and processing of fish and other marine products, hatcheries and aquaculture sites for fish and bivalve production, including tuna culture sites, at which students will be introduced to technological processes currently applied in Croatia (see list under 4.7.).

Comparison with programs from respected international Universities

Interdisciplinary posgraduate studies in sciences related to the sea have long tradition at many Universities all around the globe. Students that finish such interdisciplinary programs gain knowledge that enables them to start working in scientific institutions, Universities as well as in private sector, non-governmental organizations involved in nature and environmental protection and other similar branches. Sucessful examples of such academic programs include:

University of Massachusetts Boston (http://umb.edu), USA, postgraduate program:

  • PhD and MSc in Envoronmental Sciences
  • PhD and MSc in Marine Science and Technology

University of Plymouth (www. plymouth. ac. uk), UK, two postgraduate majors:

  • PhD and MSc in Envoronmental and Marine Sciences
  • PhD and MSc in Applied Biology

University of Bangor (www.bangor.ac.uk), UK, academic programs:

  • MSc in Ecology, Marine Mammal Sciences, Molecular Plant Breeding and Biotecnology
  • PhD in Biological Sciences

University of Delaware (www.ocean.udel.edu), SAD, academic programs:

  • MSc in Marine Studies, Marine Policy, Ocean Engineering, Marine Managament
  • PhD in Marine Studies, Oceanography, Ocean Engineering

Agricultural university of Szczecin, (www.ar.szczecin.pl), Poland, academic programs:

  • PhD and MSc in Food Science and Fisheries

Univerity of Olsztyn, (www.uwm.edu.pl), Poland, academic programs:

  • PhD i Msc iz "Fisheries and Environmental protection"

Previous experience in the implementation of similar programmes

University of Split in collaboration with the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries organizes and conducts undergraduate and graduate studies in Marine biology and ecology and Marine fishery, while University of Dubrovnik has undergraduate and graduate program in Aquaculture. Past experiences gained at these studies are positive, both from perspective of students and professors. Analysis of past experiences indicates trend of increasing quality of teaching as well as conditions of study. Interest of high school students for these programs is continually high. For example, for Marine biology and ecology program ratio between applied and accepted students for the past few years is about 3 to 1. Structure of accepted students, in relation to their accomplishments in high school is also more than good. About 95% of all accepted students had very good or excellent grades in high school. It is important to say that these study programs had outgrown local boundaries and that students besides from the entire Dalmatia also come from Pula, Rijeka, Zagreb, Osijek, as well as from other countries including Slovenia and Macedonia. Since graduating students show high interest for continuing their education, and taking into account need for life long education, as well as the need for education of personnel that comes from areas listed as priorities of the Republic of Croatia, we think that the proposed doctoral study is a logical continuum of education. On the other hand, content of the proposed program also enables enrollment of students that have successfully graduated from other related studies.

Student mobility scheme

Proposed program is open for the enrollment to students graduating from natural sciences and other related fields, with the possibility of selecting diverse elective courses. We believe that this wide offer of elective courses will attract students from different graduate programs and that they will find contents that satisfy their interests and concrete needs. On the other hand, proposed program enables collection of ECTS credits gained at other Universities with similar programs. Mobility of students will also be stimulated by other possibilities offered to them including stay and participation in scientific work at other scientific and professional institutions since proposed program includes more institutions. Further on, we will strive to include students in work on international project in institutions at which participating lecturers are working (see list under 1.4), and through work on project these students will be in contact with other scientists and potential advisors.

International partners / Joint study

Professors coming from several Universities in the United States of America, Greece, Italy, Turkey and France will be involved in this study program. From the University of Massachusetts Boston (http://umb.edu), Department for Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences visiting professor will be Dr. Anamarija Frankić. Dr. Alexis Conides, that teaches two courses in the area of mariculture, comes from Helenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute for Marine Biological Resources, Coastal Zone Management Department, Greece (http://www.hcmr.gr). Prof. Paulo Guidetti, from the University of Lecce, Italy (http://www.biologia.unile.it/), will teach Methods in ecology course, while Prof. Metil Kumlu, Cukurova university, Turkey (http://www.cu.edu.tr/Content/Asp/English/index.asp) course on Biology and culture of crustaceans. Dr. François René from the IFREMER, France (http://www.ifremer.fr) will teach course in mariculture. Through development of the program we plan to increase activities of foreign lecturers. Through involvement of collaborators from well known institutions dealing with different aspects of marine research we will strive toward establishing collaboration at the level of joint international doctoral study.

Other elements and necessary information

We think that in the proposed study program we have answered needs for the life long education. Proposed program is a logical continuation of education after completion of graduate studies at the University of Split (Marine biology and ecology and Marine fisheries programs), at the University of Dubrovnik (Aquaculture program), as well as other related programs, what is in accordance with Bologna education model (3+2+3).

Besides that, the interest for personnel that have completed study programs in Marine biology and ecology, Marine fishery and Aquaculture have been expressed by scientific institutions in Croatia that are involved in marine research including Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Split, Center for Marine Research Institute Ruđer Bošković Rovinj, and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research University of Dubrovnik, where some of these students have been employed. Interest had also been expressed by county services in coastal areas of the Croatia, where at positions related to environmental protection and marine fisheries certain number of graduates of the above mentioned programs have also been employed. Since proposed doctoral study program is in accordance with the national long term and short term strategic priorities of the Republic of Croatia in which the Adriatic Sea is stated as one of the priority areas for research, we expect that there will be increasing need for such personnel and its involvement in planning and accomplishing economic development of the Republic of Croatia.