Lifelong learning in Ostend: investing in the future of the Blue Economy | Marine@Ugent

Lifelong learning in Ostend: investing in the future of the Blue Economy

Learning does not stop after graduating. Maintaining and improving your set of competences is key to keeping up with our fast-changing and evolving society. This is especially true for the Blue Economy, where marine and maritime sectors are faced with significant challenges in relation to e.g. climate change, sustainability, food security, renewable energy, COVID-19 and Brexit. Responding adequately to these challenges can provide considerable opportunities for the Blue Economy and subsequently blue jobs. Education and especially lifelong learning will play an important role in these opportunities for growth.

Tim Deprez, coordinator Marine Training. "The Blue Economy is a fast growing sector. Yet today, many blue economy sectors have difficulties finding the right people, which hampers their growth. With Marine@UGent Academy were are dedicated to solve this mismatch."
To meet these necessities, Ghent University is expanding its educational arsenal on marine and maritime topics in the dedicated Blue Economy campus of Ghent University in Ostend (Bluebridge, OstendSciencePark). This Blue Economy campus will be the focal point for lifelong learning trajectories on Blue Economy topics. Tim Deprez, coordinator of the Marine Training Unit of the Faculty Sciences, and Lore Bulteel, scientific assistant for lifelong learning, are working towards further developing this Blue Economy campus in Ostend, through the development of innovative marine and maritime education initiatives.

Alongside the summer training on Blue Science and Technology (Marine@Ugent, Ghent University) and the two-yearly training on Offshore wind energy (UGain and EnerGhentiC, Ghent University), a new postgraduate programme ‘Postgraduate Studies in Blue Resources’ is being launched. This postgraduate course is the result of a unique collaboration between the faculty of Sciences of the University of Ghent, Belgium, and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Ireland, and will kick off in January 2022. Professionals and academics who are looking for a less time-consuming course can also enrol in the short course: ‘Emerging issues in the Blue Economy’. More information via the website. UGent PhD students can participate for free, registration is however mandatory.

In order to unify and bundle all existing and newly organized marine and maritime trainings, a new platform will be launched, called ‘Marine@UGent Academy’. All learning initiatives will cover a marine/maritime topic and are (co-)organized by Ghent University. These not only encompass trainings from traditional education, e.g. bachelor and master programmes, but also lifelong learning initiatives such as workshops, symposia and lectures. Trainees in search of a training can then address one platform rather than having to sift through several communication channels in order to find the answer for their specific need.

Get a sneak peek of our platform at

Interested in more? Are you developing a new course which could be included on our new platform? Contact us via .


Lore Bulteel, scientific assistant for lifelong learning. The ocean is a source of life for human beings. It gives us food, oxygen and energy. It is home to many species and acts as climate regulator. Understanding how we influence the ocean and how the ocean influences us is at the core of all research and innovation. This understanding allows us, and future generations, to make responsible choices to protect our ocean and use the opportunities it offers sustainably. This believe was my reason to join the UGent Training facilities.


Authors: Lore Bulteel & Tim Deprez