International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 2
Number 2
June 2008
Economic Constraints on Maritime Training
and Education in Turkey
K. Cicek & I.D. Er
Istanbul Technical University, Maritime Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey
ABSTRACT: The quality improvement of the Turkish Maritime Education and Training (MET) system is a
relevant political and scientific issue which strongly impacts the competitiveness of the shipping sector in
Turkiye. However, MET is quite an expensive Education and Training (ET) system since it requires high
investments and incurs high running costs. The existing situation enforces the training system to be able to
execute under the desired level of sector expectations in terms of graduates quantity. This study mainly
focuses on the investigation of the economic needs of MET facilities. And some of the relevant recommenda-
tions are drawn up to improve the efficiency of current MET system. In this respect, the proposed items
basically refer to the need of concentrating and integrating resources in order to exploit some degree of
economies and pursuing quality in MET.
One of the most outstanding economic aims for a
country (or region) is the optimization of its citizens’
welfare. This may be attained by the provision of a
sufficient number of high-quality products at a
sufficiently low price or (Linden, 2001) perform
economic constraints such as education and training
Maritime Education and Training (MET) is
expensive education and training system, particularly
if costly equipment, such as simulators and training
ships, is purchased and operated which is considered
to be a necessary prerequisite for the offering of
high-level MET (McConville, 1999). This situation,
which suggests the sharing or the concentrating of
these resources, which are worth several million
dollar and incur considerable running costs, is
acerbated by the reduced number of students at many
MET institutions. It leads to the theses that not all
institutions can offer high-quality MET (particularly
not those which cannot afford expensive equipment)
and that MET is more expensive than it needs to be
(Lewarn, 2000). These arguments make it necessary
to have a closer look at costs and financing of MET
to investigate economic constraints (Mazzarino,
In this respect, the aim of this paper is to analyze
the investigation of MET costs, economic
constraints on MET and to contribute to the
improvement of maritime education and training
system. Very briefly, the objectives of the paper
should be identified as follows; the need to improve
the quality of the Turkish MET system to be a
relevant political and scientific issue which strongly
impacts the competitiveness of the shipping sector in
Europe (Mazzarino & Maggi, 2000). So that first, it
aims to classify the maritime training and education
costs. Secondly, it identifies the economic constraints
of maritime education and training systems. Finally,
the study tries to recommend a national strategic
plan for using the MET funds with the maximum
efficiency according to the costs which are
MET is one of the best tools for increasing the
competitiveness of the Turkish shipping sector, so
that the most important aspects of the study are
analyzing the effectiveness and efficiency of MET
(Goss, 2004). The analysis of the financial aspects of
MET, however, is not the only one that aims at
optimizing cost of MET or, in other words, at
making MET more efficient and more effective
(Mazzarino, 2005).
MET costs are not itemized in an accounting
subsystem such as a separate human capital account,
but are depreciated in full in the year they arise
(Winand, 1998). With respect to stated observation
MET costs are classified as below:
1 Operation and Maintenance Costs
Equipment/devices – repairs and maintenance
Equipment/devices new development,
procurement and transfer
Initial spares/Stocks
Replenishment spares
2 Training Facilities and Base Operation Support
Utilities and Maintenance
Training facilities (classrooms, dorms,
dinning halls, student centres)
Base Operating Supports (infrastructures
such as medical center, gym, support
Construction and remodel
Training facilities
Base Operating Supports (BOS)
3 Investigation Costs
4 Teaching Costs
Academic Staff
Administration and Support Staff
Academic and Administrative Services
5 Accommodation costs
6 Additional costs
The critical costs, which are described in this
structure, are academic staff costs, accommodation
costs, operational and maintenance costs and
investments. When MET are benchmarked with
other disciplines, the additional expenses on
maritime education and training such as equipment
(simulators), devices, initial spares and stokes
of laboratories for maritime practice, special
accommodation requirements should be considered.
Therefore, supporting MET universities appears as
the primarily issue for maritime administration and
government (Sampson, 2004).
Reducing the academic staff costs do not seem
reasonable in the near future as to save money for
the MET system. Indeed, if quality becomes the
main goal for MET, it should be realized that quality
is not easy to find around and since MET universities
will have to be more and more competitive this
heading will possibly be increased in the future.
Quality means better lecturers and better lecturers
want to be paid accordingly. And the investment in
techno innovative systems is other major important
parameter which directly impacts the effectiveness
and competitiveness of MET system.
The investigation of the root costs can provide the
observation of economic constraints impacts on
MET effectiveness and competitiveness. Further
sections of this paper investigate the economic
constraints and enforcements to decrease the impacts
on maritime education and training program.
Rapid evolutions of technologies, increased
globalization of information, communication and
economy will occur. Therefore, to catch up with the
technologic advancements, to improve the quality
standards it is necessary to have the support of
government fiscal resources (Teel, 1998). However,
to define limit of fiscal resources will become an
increasingly important policy parameter within
Turkiye. Economic fluctuation, war, decrease of
national income, political crisis and inefficient
allocation of financial resources are some of the
parameters that cause an economic constraint.
Taking into account these criteria: enforcement of
economic constraints (which are fiscal limitations on
public allocations) interruption of funds, limitation
on wages, and increasing of taxation directly effect
the maritime education and training universities
MET universities adoption of expensive high
technology equipment for teaching and research, in
order to fulfill their missions, will necessitate an
increasing reliance on soft money (Bonnin & Lane &
Rugguan & Wood, 2004).
In face of these economical constraints, to catch
up with the quality standards, to build on their
strengths to remain viable and competitive, to design
the education of next generation and to compete with
the international MET universities can not be
possible for national MET universities. Otherwise
economies of scale and restricted budgets will be
imperatives for MET Universities to become more
interdependent, to feel the impacts in minimum and
always to be ready to execute economic advanced
With the implementation of economic constraints on
maritime education and training, it is difficult to
accomplish of making MET more efficient and more
effective. Therefore it is necessary to give a decision
about increasing maritime training and education
Increasing interdependence of MET universities,
restricted budgets and unequal allocation of financial
resources suggest that infrastructure should be built
for the future on strong and substantial to remain
competitive and effective, instead of prioritizing
attempts to remedy weaknesses. To implement this
policy effectively, it will be necessary to prepare a
natural strategic planning and resource allocation
decisions according to the economical needs of
MET facilities. Supervision organization must be
instituted to make an evaluation of the plans whether
they meet or not the desired outcomes and needed
adjustments are to be made during the application
phase of plan (Chinese University, 1999).
4.1 Structure of National Strategic Plan
Main goal of the preparation of the strategic plan is
the compensation of the respond of financial needs
of MET facilities, to maximize the resource using
and to emphasize teaching efficiency with the help
of student-centred learning, using convenient
teaching technologies, and focusing on student
outcomes. With respect to these main goals strategic
plan is formed and indicated below:
Improvement of students language competency
By developing their technology information
By expanding language competency training
Upgrading physical infrastructure for teaching
and learning
By improving existing facilities
By improving new facilities
Strengthening of continuous quality assurance
programme for faculty
Strengthening of research activities of
individual and research groups
By upgrading research infrastructure
By developing further reward mechanisms for
excellent achievements in research
By enhancing national and international
By creating targeted endowments in order to
supplement existing teaching and research
support and to conduct product evaluation
leading to technology transfer
Fostering for excellence
By adopting better strategies
By prioritizing these areas for infrastructural
Improvement of the cost effectiveness within the
MET universities
By improving management efficiency
To allocate funds based on performance
To expand mechanisms for performance
To conduct regular management
To control internal audits
To embrace external audits
Compensation for inadequate resources
By pursuing international competitive research
By developing technology transfer
By generating revenue from soft-funded
teaching programmes
By targeting alumni and donors
By reallocating resources
To accomplish the implementation of national
strategic plan must be obtain values and information
about the each section of plan, check the
qualification of the plan about meeting financial
needs of MET, and control of the contribution in
improvement of education level. It is necessary to
constitute a supervision organization to control or
investigate the criteria which are implemented. Also,
accomplishing the identification of sources of funds
for MET including the contribution by students and
using these funds of MET with the maximum
efficiency is the other important necessity of plan
(Chinese University, 1999).
4.2 Resource Allocation Decision
In order to implement the effectiveness and
efficiency of MET it is compulsory to identify the
funds and resources. And one of the other
compulsory criteria for efficiency is the allocation
decision of funds and resources (Mazzarino, 2005).
Nowadays, MET facilities are departments of the
universities. That is the reason MET facilities don’t
have independent budgets indicating all the funds or
resources. Hence, MET facilities have to allocate
funds in maximum efficiency with the majority
sequence of MET costs. In this respect, operation
and maintenance costs are top of the sequence,
accommodation cost is the special cost for maritime
training and education, teaching cost is one of the
important cost to emphasize on and the other ones
are investment costs. The main goal here must be
that of reducing fund loss or increasing the usage of
funds with maximum efficiency and to ensure
maximum benefits for MET facilities.
In this paper, the costs of maritime education and
training system, causes and effects of economic
constraints and justifying a number of national
actions on the basis of MET to decrease the impact
of economic constraints and giving decision to
resource allocation are expressed. Recommendation
for future actions refer to the effectiveness of
concentrating and integrating MET resources in
order to exploit some economies of scale. On top of
that are the requirements to pursue quality in MET
and to better allocate MET funds for education and
training. It is main concern in this study to
emphasize the major costs of MET, distribution of
these costs by exploiting economies of scale through
the fund and resource sharing and which cost mostly
influences the implementation of economic
constraints. Therefore, recommendations for future
which are national strategic plan and resource
allocation decision are the critical point of this
research. The main philosophy of the national
strategic plan is maintained a stable maritime
education and training system in each conditions
of economy, raising the education standards,
maintaining maximum efficiency in using MET
funds and decreasing the impacts of economic
constraints to minimum with the help of strategic
plan. The outcomes of this paper can be utilized as a
contribution to assist in structuring national strategic
plan in practise.
As a further investigation, it can be performed a
research on benchmarking with equivalent technical
education and training system according to the
education and training costs of systems. On the other
hand the scope of the investigation can be extended
to cover the cost and funds analyzing, making
comparison of costs and financing between national
and international MET institutions.
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