Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split got Recognition for contribution for maritime science and education by Ministry of Sea and Transport
At the ceremony of the Academy, today at the Feast of St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, at the central celebration in Opatija, State Secretary Maja Markovčić Kostelac awarded the prize to the Maritime Faculty of the University of Split for contributing to the development of maritime science and education.
The award was taken by dean of the Faculty, prof. dr. sc. Nikola Račić.
This valuable award is the result of annual work at the IMSC conference, the ToMS journal, CEKOM projects and the 3F project.
Students of maritime studies will have professional training practice at Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS)
In accordance with the Agreement of Cooperation signed between the University of Split – Faculty of Maritime Studies and Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS) as the teaching base, CRS appoints advisors who monitor students’ performance.
Maja Markovčić Kostelac, Damir Roje, Šimun Anđelinović and Nikola Račić after signing the Agreement of Cooperation between the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split and CRS. Vojko Bašić/Hanza Media
Students of the University of Split – Faculty of Maritime Studies can now perform a part of their professional training practice at Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS) as one of their teaching bases. This has been settled by the Agreement of Cooperation signed by the Faculty of Maritime Studies, University of Split and CRS in the presence of Maja Markovčić Kostelac, State secretary at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.
This will improve the education of maritime students as well as the competitiveness of Croatian maritime resources at the demanding global market, says the State secretary. Congratulating the Faculty of Maritime Studies on making a major step forward by signing the agreement with CRS, she points out that Croatia’s government and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure continue to support the education processes in the area of maritime affairs.
– We have been committed to raising the competitiveness of our seafarers and improving their working conditions. The state has been granting subsidies to the students of maritime high schools and faculties, subsidies to the assistants on board Croatian vessels, and the incentives for the employers. This is the way to assist our seafarers when entering the labour market – says the State secretary, adding that it is essential to go with the time and familiarise with emerging technologies and trends in automation that require new competencies year on year. She also announced a number of amendments to the Maritime Code to be discussed at Croatian Parliament next year.
Šimun Anđelinović, Rector of the University of Split, underlines that the agreement between the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Croatian Register of Shipping represents the continuation of the concept of establishing high-quality teaching bases whose aim is to enable students to acquire practical knowledge and skills/competencies.
– This is about creating good partnership relations, says the Rector, and I am pleased to see the Ministry supporting the maritime sector development. I am also glad to see that the people at the University have realised that we cannot remain behind academic doors – it is essential to cooperate with the industries, through research and otherwise. Students deserve to have practical training and an opportunity to acquire practical know-how under best possible mentoring.
Nikola Račić, Dean of the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split, points out that, in addition to CRS, the Faculty has established teaching bases with Jadroplov Shipping Co. Ltd. and other companies in the maritime industry. He asserts that the maritime study programme improvements directly contribute to the development of Croatia’s economy.
– According to this Agreement, CRS mentors will design tasks to be carried out by students and their performance will be carefully surveyed. It is a controlled process, integrated with the study programs, which really adds a particular quality to the education, concludes Mr. Račić. – Under the supervision of their advisors, students acquire working practice and take full responsibility for completing the assignments.
Damir Roje of Croatian Register of Shipping says that, in return for acting as a teaching base, his company will benefit from the partnership with the Faculty of Maritime Studies in line with the international regulations on research and development. – We have the social responsibility to familiarise students with practical issues and with part of the activities performed by CRS.
After signing the Agreement, the State secretary made a tour of the new premises of the Faculty of Maritime Studies on the University Campus, including the training facilities and the cutting-edge nautical and marine engine simulators.
Universitas | September 2017 | No. 95, p. 9
Text by Alen Soldo, full professor
Vice-dean at the University of Split
One of the most respectable rankings of the world university performance, The World University Rankings published by Times Higher Education (THE), has listed the University of Split among top 600 universities for the year 2018. This is the first time that the THE table features the University of Split, whereas the University of Zagreb is ranked in the category 801-1000 for the second year in a row.
Together with the Shanghai Ranking and QS, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings is considered one of the three most relevant lists evaluating the performance of universities across the globe. The THE ranking lists the top 200 universities individually, place by place. They are followed by three hundred institutions grouped by 50. Then come the lower-ranked universities in the groups of 100 and the list ends with the group 801-1000. In total, 77 countries feature in the table. Apart from the universities in Split and Zagreb, there are only two institutions from the region featured in the list, the Slovenian universities of Ljubljana and Maribor, both ranked in the category 601-800.
Five areas of excellence
This year’s list of the best universities in the world is led by two UK universities for the first time. The University of Oxford has held on to the number one spot for the second year in a row, while the University of Cambridge has jumped from fourth to second place. They are followed by the US institutions California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The only top-10 institution outside the USA and the UK is the ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
In order to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings uses 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators across 5 core areas: teaching and learning environment (staff-student ratio, post-graduates vs. bachelors, institutional income), research (productivity, state subsidies), citations (research influence), international outlook (ratio of domestic to foreign staff/students, international cooperation), and industry income (knowledge transfer).
The University of Split has scored best results in the areas of citation, international outlook and cooperation with industry. Criteria that have been met less efficiently include the internationalisation of the studies and the quality of post-graduate doctoral studies. The certificates of quality recently awarded by the Agency for Science and Higher Education Croatia to three doctoral studies represent a significant step forward.
Among the growing number of international rankings, Shanghai, QS and THE are perhaps closest in their approach to assessing universities and presentation of results. However, these three rankings diverge significantly, due to differences in the indicators used, and the weightings applied when calculating overall scores. The Times Higher Education list takes into account the size of each institution and calculates the results per capita, i.e. per staff member of the institution, whereas the Shanghai list considers absolute figures, so that smaller universities have smaller chances to be listed.
Strategy of development
The Times list is typically created by inviting universities to send details on the overall number of students, distribution of student population across various areas, characteristics of the study programs, income, etc. Yet most of the relevant data are gathered and processed by the authors of the list.
The success of the University of Split results from the performance of all components and the university management. Despite the fact that the university was home to a number of prominent scholars, there was a lack of interaction among the university components, and the quality of the university as the umbrella organisation went unrecognised. The new management, headed by the deans and rector Šimun Anđelinović, has managed to create the first general strategy of development featuring annual action plans, scientific strategy and other fundamental documents.
Efforts put into the internationalisation of the study programs will undoubtedly improve the ranking of the University of Split. So far, the School of Medicine has been the leading university component, with around 300 foreign students. An increase in study programs conducted in English language has been planned and it is estimated that the university will accommodate three thousand students over the next several years. Extensive promotion at the international level is planned and the City of Split is expected to take part in these activities as the arrival of foreign students strongly affects the image of the city and the interest of tourists. Regardless of the diverging views on the university rankings and the relevance of these lists, the goal of the University of Split is to appear in all of them and make headway year by year. Criteria and relevance of these rankings may vary, but making constant progress in any of these lists says a lot about the attitude of an institution towards the quality and performance.
Unfortunately, the success relies to a great extent on the attitude of the state towards science and higher education. Given the fact that the European Union invests three times more resources in science and research than Croatia, any breakthrough is actually a miracle. Without investment, there is no development in science, and without progress in science, there is no development whatsoever. The University of Split is in an uncomfortable situation as it lacks the well-deserved governmental support, with respect to the number of students and – as the international rankings prove – the quality of performance. The synergy of individual efforts made by the academic community and the state’s adequate attitude towards science and higher education will certainly result in even better ranking of the University of Split and other higher education institutions in Croatia.
Text by Pero Vidan, associate professor
Vice-dean at the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split
Six months after indexation in Scopus, Transactions on Maritime Science has now been indexed with Web of Science databases. ToMS is a scientific journal launched six years ago with the purpose of presenting research and scientific ideas in the area of maritime affairs and transport technologies. Its categorisation numbers allocated by the Croatian National and University Library are 1848–3305 (ISSN) and 1848-3313 (ISSNe). It is published in print twice a year and is available in electronic form at www.toms.com.hr.
Transactions on maritime science (ToMS) is a scientific journal with international peer review. Prior to being accepted for publication, each article receives three reviews, including one from a foreign reviewer. ToMS uses double-blind review, which means that the author’s identity is concealed from the reviewer, and vice versa.
Research areas covered by the journal include: Marine Engineering, Navigation, Transportation, Yacht and Marina Management, Safety Systems, Marine Ecology, Fisheries, Hydrography, Automation and Electronics, Marine Information Systems, Maritime Law and Finance, and Cutting-Edge Marine Technologies. The journal was launched in 2011 owing to the editorial enthusiasm of assistant professor Ivica Kuzmanić, associate professor Pero Vidan, associate professor Igor Vujović, assistant professor Joško Šoda, associate professor Nikola Račić, encouraged by the management and teaching staff of the Faculty of Maritime Studies and the University of Split.
Advisory support was provided by full professors Matko Marušić and Ana Marušić of the School of Medicine who, as the editors of Croatian Medical Journal – CMJ, facilitated the admission of ToMS to the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and provided precious advice, enabling the journal to become recognisable and indexed among technical science databases in a relatively short time.
Several issues later, the editorial board was reinforced by associate professor Zvonimir Lušić and assistant professor Josip Lorincz. The quality of the journal was further improved by well-known European editors such as Pippa Smart, along with regional editors and the Advisory Board consisted of scientists from the neighbouring countries, Europe, South Africa and the USA.
Transactions on Maritime Science (ToMS) has been indexed with major national and international citation databases: Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index (WoS ESCI), Scopus , Inspec, Hrčak, Copernicus, TRID, BMT, UB Braunschweig and Google Scholar. Since April 2017 (Vol. 6, No. 1) the journal has been included in Scopus database, while since October 2017 (Vol. 6, No. 2) it has been indexed with WoS ESCI database, owing to the excellence of papers and the quality of reviews and selection process. By entering the Scopus and WoS citation databases, ToMS has become even more visible and recognisable in the research world. The evaluation process at WoS ESCI lasted 18 months.
Decisions on further advancement of the journal might take place in 2018. WoS provides the metrics, i.e. the ranking of the journal’s citation impact based on the annual report of JRC (Journal Citation Reports).
Improved visibility of ToMS
The Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) is a new scientific citation indexing service maintained by Clarivate Analytics (previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters), which was introduced in 2015. It is one of the essential citation databases on the EoS platform and represents the first step for the journals wishing to be indexed in one of the three WoS indexing databases: SCIE, SSCI and AHCI. They do not measure the impact factor of the journal but the citation frequency of the papers published in the journal. In addition, for journals indexed with ESCI, an overall metrics of the journal is measured and is allocated to the authors of the papers, i.e. an h-factor is calculated (the productivity and impact of citations of an individual researcher or scientist).
The advantage of the ESCI database is the improved visibility in the scientific community and the higher quality of the journal. The essential selection criteria for joining WoS databases are: a) Basic publishing standards including: peer review of articles, clear publication ethics, journal publishing format (with an accent on xml and pdf formats), regularity, international editorial conventions, and texts written in English language; b) thematically, the journal must be new, i.e. must deal with issues not discussed in WoS so far; c) international diversity of editors and authors, whereby the journal reflects the global context in which scientific research takes place; d) citation analytics.
According to the Regulation on the conditions for awarding scientific titles, Transactions on Maritime Science (ToMS) is listed as an A-category journal. Sadly, this Regulation uses double standards as it appreciates foreign A-category journals more and states that certain number of papers must be published in A-category abroad. Therefore the editors of ToMS and the management of the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split wonder whether the quality of this journal would be higher if the publishing address was shifted a few miles away to a dislocated office, for instance, in Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina.