The first private aviation college in Ethiopia, National Aviation College, on Monday signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with three Chinese universities.
National Aviation College agreed to cooperate in training aviation professionals in Ethiopia and China with a renowned Chinese aviation university called Shenyang Aerospace University. The agreement was signed by the CEO of National Airways and National Aviation College, Abera Lemi (Capt.), and dean of Shenyang Aerospace University, Richard Chen at the Capital Hotel and Spa in Addis Ababa.
Executives of the companies said that they have agreed to work together in the field of aviation science. At a the signing ceremony, Abera told journalists that the National Aviation College will start training students in Aeronautical Engineering and Aircraft designing with diploma and degree programs. Abera said the National Aviation College will offer the training programs in collaboration with Shenyang Aerospace University. According to Abera, the students will take half of the lessons at the National Aviation College in Addis Ababa and the rest of the training in Shenyang China.
Richard Chen said that Shenyang Aerospace University was established in 1952 and has graduated more than 80,000 students in first degree with M.S.c and Ph.D. degrees. Chen said Shenyang University and National Aviation College will jointly train students in the field of aircraft designing and aeronautical engineering. “Until National Aviation build its capacity and start offering these programs, Ethiopian students can directly join Shenyang University in China,” Chen said.
According to Abera, Chinese lecturers will come to National Aviation College to lecture on aviation science, including aircraft designing and aeronautical science. “So far we import Chinese goods but now we want to bring knowledge from China,” he said. He went on to say that Shenyang’s tuition fees are fair, adding that the university made an eighty percent discount to students of National Aviation College. “The tuition fees are equivalent to the tuition fees of local private colleges in Ethiopia.”
Abera said that his college will also start training aircraft maintenance technicians and pilots adding that it was striving to meet the requirements of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority for certification.
The National Aviation College was established in 2012 by National Airways, a private airline that offers charter flight services. The dean of National Aviation College, Gezaghen Birru, told The Reporter that the college trains flight attendants and offers training on airline customer service, airport operation and ticketing and reservation. Gezahegn said the college is accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and a hospitality institute in the UK, ICM. Graduates of the college will take exams by IATA and ICM to be certified by these institutions. The college will graduate 140 flight attendants next month.
In addition to Shenyang Aerospace University two other Chinese Universities signed cooperation agreements with the National Aviation College. Liaoning University, a renowned Chinese petroleum university and Liaoning Shihua University that specializes in International Business and Economics are the two universities that signed agreements with National Aviation College.
National Airways is an indigenous airline that operates chartered flight services in Ethiopia and neighbouring countries. The company was established in 2011 by Capt. Abera Lemi, a former pilot of Ethiopian Airlines. Abera said his college wants to cooperate with Ethiopian Airlines.