The International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) recently recognized the Colombian Navy’s Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School (ENAP) as a high-quality accredited university that meets the highest academic standards, welcoming it as a new member.
IAMU is a global network of leading maritime universities with international members dedicated to human capacity building in the maritime sector. ENAP is the fourth school in Latin America (the others are in Mexico, Panama, and Peru) to join IAMU’s more than 70 members.
“The inclusion of the Naval Academy within the International Association of Maritime Universities shows recognition of our work in training seafarers and also that ENAP has the capacity to contribute positively, through knowledge and experiences, to the development of maritime education and training, just as the other members of the association do,” Colombian Navy Lieutenant Commander Aldo Francisco Lovo Ayala, ENAP dean of Research and Doctorates, told Diálogo. “It also opens up possibilities in research, in the exchange of knowledge, participation in calls for proposals to find resources in the search for solutions and reduction of knowledge gaps.”
ENAP was created in 1937 to train officers of the Colombian Navy and began to carry out exchanges with foreign naval schools in 1958.
“The student exchanges are an academic activity that goes hand in hand with the guidelines set out in military education master programs, such as the Educational Policy of the Public Force. Here the [Colombian] Ministry of National Defense identifies that it is necessary that from the very formation of military personnel the necessary tools are forged so that they have the capability to develop themselves both at the national and international levels,” Lt. Cmdr. Lovo said. “Student mobility abroad is not limited to students attending training schools, but ENAP students have also been invited to embark on training cruises on board training ships of allied navies.”
Since its creation, ENAP has been a reference in military training in the region. In 2022, for instance, 131 foreign officers from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama, among other countries, trained at the school. Likewise, foreign students from Latin America have participated in postgraduate programs and extension courses, with which they were able to consolidate knowledge to benefit their countries of origin.
There are currently four foreign cadets training as naval officers at ENAP. Among the postgraduate programs, the master’s degrees in Oceanography and in Logistics Management have had the greatest international interest. Among ENAP’s other courses, the Dynamics of Maritime, River, and Port Drug Trafficking and the Tactical Planning of Naval Operations diplomas stand out, which have had students from navies of countries like the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States, among others.
ENAP also has the assistance of international teachers from allied navies that cooperate in educational matters. As such, it has had military instructors from Chile, Ecuador, and the United States. Currently the school has a Chilean commander who teaches law courses and a U.S. Marine Corps major who teaches at the undergraduate level in the subjects of Rifle Platoon, Amphibious Operations, NATO Guidelines, Fundamentals of Operations, and NATO Organization and Procedures.
“Carrying out exchanges also contributes positively to the national and international visibility of the institution, which is of utmost importance in ENAP’s efforts to maintain and renew its high quality accreditation,” Lt. Cmdr. Lovo concluded.