Global digital learning specialist Mintra has donated practical training course licenses to maritime under-graduates in Hamburg.

Twenty-six Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) have been given to students taking the Navigation in Hydrography module as part of the Geomatics/Geodesy master’s degree at Hafencity University.

Hafencity University, where students study Navigation in Hydrogaphy

Hafencity University, where students study Navigation in Hydrogaphy

It means the students will be able to learn how to apply the theoretical knowledge they developed in the classroom.

“The donation of the ECDIS licenses means that, during lectures, elements of ECDIS are not only covered in theory but can be demonstrated live to the students and tried out by the students themselves. This process improves the learning outcome and is a more varied form of lecture,” said Marcus Wöster, lecturer at the university.

This is one of two relationships that Mintra has with universities in Germany: the other is in Bremen and also involves supporting students with ECDIS learning. Prof Capt Ralph Becker-Heins – the founder of Safebridge which was acquired by Mintra in 2021 – previously lectured in ECDIS and navigation in both schools.

Mintra has been keen to help develop the skills of the next generation of seafarers entering the maritime industry.

“Our ECDIS elearning courses are used by seafarers around the world to develop their knowledge of navigation, so what the students are using during their study is exactly the same as they would experience outside the classroom,” said product assistant Andri Anastasiou.

The degree course centres on the science of recording, administering, analysing and presenting geospatial data and processes, dealing with the structures of our living spaces and economic areas. It covers an area ranging from geoscience to engineering and social sciences culminating in environmental sciences, land management and spatial planning.

The broad education offered through the degree means that students who successfully complete it can go on to develop careers in a wide range of professions across the maritime industry. ECDIS was introduced as an alternative to paper charts around 20 years ago and is essential for the safe navigation of all sizes of vessels.

Headquartered in Bergen and with offices in Oslo, Stavanger, Aberdeen, Cyprus, India and Singapore, Mintra says it supports more than 2.2 million people operating in the maritime and energy sectors.