The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the University of Seychelles’ James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute are collaborating on a new massive open online course titled “Understanding the Blue Economy”. Officially launched in Seychelles on 7 March 2017, the self-study course will be offered by the University of Seychelles and available to learners globally starting in April 2017.

The course is aimed at beginners and will provide an overview and introduction to the blue economy. At the launch event, COL President and CEO Professor Asha Kanwar said that the course will "serve as a source of inspiration for future entrepreneurs wanting to venture or explore opportunities in the blue economy, be it tourism, fishing, aquaculture, transportation or emerging technologies.”

“This course fits well with Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aspires to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources,” said Professor Kanwar. “Capacity development is central to achieving this goal.”

The idea for the course, which was developed through the Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth, came out of the 19th Conference of Commonwealth of Education Ministers in the Bahamas, in June 2015. Seychelles Honourable President Mr Danny Faure, then Vice President of Seychelles and a member of the COL Board of Governors, requested COL to support the small states of the Commonwealth by developing learning resources for the blue economy.