World Maritime University (WMU) and IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI)


World Maritime University (WMU)

The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden, is a postgraduate maritime university founded in 1983 by IMO. The mission of WMU is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and ocean education, research and professional training, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. WMU, as an entity within the UN system, is an institution established by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) relevant to education, gender equality, peace and justice, decent work and economic growth, energy efficiency, sustainable industrialization and innovation, climate change, the oceans and partnerships.

WMU alumni hold positions of prominence around the world. They serve as senior maritime officials in ministries, as directors of shipping companies and ports, as heads of maritime academies and naval organizations, and many represent their home countries at IMO and international forums and organizations. The University, as a global centre of excellence recognized by IMO and the United Nations General Assembly, plays a significant role in maritime and ocean education, research, capacity-building and economic development while promoting the roles of women in the maritime sector. WMU delivers postgraduate maritime education and confers Master's and Doctoral degrees in seven maritime and ocean specializations at its headquarters in Sweden and Master's degrees in two specializations in China. This is complemented by its distance learning and professional development programmes. WMU is a research institution as well as a conveyor of international conferences in the maritime and ocean fields and undertakes capacity-building missions delivering technical cooperation assistance on behalf of IMO.

In May 2018, the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute was inaugurated as an integral part of WMU, with the aim to support the work programme of the University, by acting as a focal point between policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, academics and representatives of civil society and undertaking research and building capacity on how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources for the sustainable development of present and future generations.


IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI)

The IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta, was established in 1988, under the auspices of IMO. The mission of the Institute is to enhance capacity-building in all States, particularly developing States, to contribute to the fulfilment of the IMO objectives thereby promoting safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation. This is accomplished by delivering expert legal training of the highest standards and the dissemination of knowledge conducive to the development of expertise in all aspects of international maritime law as well as in legislative drafting techniques aimed at incorporating international maritime instruments into national law. Through its work, the Institute is contributing to the effective implementation and enforcement of the vast body of rules and regulations developed under the aegis of IMO.

IMLI is a world recognized centre for the training of specialists in maritime law and provides suitably qualified candidates, particularly from developing countries, with advanced training, study and research programmes in international maritime law. Special emphasis is given to the international regulations adopted by IMO and to their adequate implementation into domestic legislation. Moreover, through its specialized Master of Humanities programme in International Maritime Legislation which is open to professionals in the maritime field who do not possess a law degree, IMLI is contributing to the capacity-building of national maritime authorities worldwide. IMLI provides postgraduate and doctoral programmes, in addition to short courses and specialized programmes in cooperation with internationally renowned universities. It also organizes lectures and seminars delivered by high-profile individuals in the maritime law and relevant sectors. The Institute reserves 50 per cent of the places to its programmes and courses for female candidates.

IMLI in partnership with WMU, offer a joint Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) programme in International Maritime Law and Ocean Policy, which has been designed to provide a unique learning opportunity for maritime professionals who aim to shape the future of the world's oceans in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


IMO fellowships for WMU and IMLI

IMO offers a limited number of fellowships each year for studies at WMU and IMLI, with a view to assisting applicants from developing countries to enhance their maritime-related knowledge.

In order to be considered for a fellowship, candidates must be nominated by the government/national authority they are employed by. Candidates must first apply for admission to study at WMU/IMLI. Provided they are cleared academically, the institution will be responsible to seek donor funding for eligible candidates. The fellowship applications are considered on the basis of merit and the individual parameters established by the various donors, including IMO. Requests for fellowships should be addressed to the institutions directly, and not IMO.

For more information on the academic programmes, the application process and potential donors, kindly refer to the WMU and IMLI Academic Handbooks available on their respective websites.

Other IMO fellowships

IMO, through its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme offers additional fellowships for various short courses at a number of maritime-related institutions. For more information, click here.