Until the second half of the eighties, there was a period of relative calmness on the educational front. The harbour in Rotterdam continued its positive progress, as vocational educators like the Academy for Navigational Education in Rotterdam (Municipal Maritime Academy), School of Higher Education for Marine Engineering, the Port and Transport Schools, as well as the Royal Education Fund's Schools for Rhine navigation, inland navigation and dredging materials were added. No changes of any significance were made to the educational structure.
During 1985 education once more entered some stormy waters. It started with the new rules that the Ministry of Education had determined for Higher Professional Education. The Navigational Schools and the Port and Transport Schools were affected as well. In terms of development, both these educators went in opposite directions. In the field of navigation, Secondary Vocational Education was fashioned from Higher Professional Education, whilst port training started with LBO-education for young people and adults and added MBO- and HBO-education later. During that period, the Royal Education Fund for the Maritime Sector only accommodated LBO- and MBO-education for inland navigation, coastal navigation and the dredging material industry.
The former Minister of Education, Mr Deetman, introduced HBO to the so-called "STC-operation". The intention of this comprehensive operation was clear: HBO needed many adjustments in terms of enlarge¬ment and concentration. This operation was directed by educational and financial motives.
The STC-operation caused HBO and MBO to split up in 1987. After a while, the HBO started to flourish as a result of mergers, while MBO-education was almost rendered "useless" in half-empty schools and dismant¬led organisations. It didn't require a great deal of empathy, for example, to realise what the possible conse¬quences might be, to the staff that were involved. In Rotterdam, higher nautical education and higher port and transport education was accommodated at the University of Professional Education Rotterdam and the University for Economic Studies in Rotterdam, respectively.
More or less at the same time, the Secretary of State, Mrs Ginjaar Maas decided to restructure nautical edu¬cation in the Netherlands on the primary and medium levels and to select a few areas where its implemen¬tation could be concentrated. As a result, another merger was created. This led to the establishment of the Maritime Technical Institute, Anthony van Hoboken, in the region of Rotterdam in 1987. This new institute combined the MBO-education of the maritime navigation schools with the High Schools for Marine Engineering at Brielle and Scheveningen, as well as the Dutch Primary Navigation School and the Fishery School in Stellendam.
The mergers didn't end there. A new venture emerged within the MBO-education in 1989: Sector Division and Renewal of Secondary Vocational Education (SVM). The increase in enlargement that occurred as a result of mergers between MBO and other vocational educators started here.
This SVM-venture was the foundation on which the STC was built. Discussions between management repre¬sentatives from the Institution for Lower and Higher Technical Nautical Education of the province of Zuid¬Holland, the Royal Education Fund for the Maritime Sector and the Foundation for Port and Transport in 1989, laid the foundation for the merger of the Maritime Institute Anthony van Hoboken with the LBO- and MBO-education of the Royal Education Fund for the Maritime Sector and the Port and Transport Schools.
The vision of the institute for Lower and Higher Technical Nautical Education of the province of Zuid-Holland's director that was instrumental in the merger, was that the Netherlands should develop an education instituti¬on that would include all the knowledge required to perform vocational education throughout the entire trans¬port chain. Initially, it revolved almost exclusively around subsidised LBO- and MBO-education. Other educa¬tionallevels were still in various stages of development. Contract-based education was still in its infancy.
The formulation of this vision was a very important first step in the process that led to the establishment of the STC. The next phase would involve the compilation of a plan for mergers. One suggestion after another was submitted. Finally, all parties accepted the seventeenth version as the basic document. On 1 August 1990, the STC was "born". Due to its geographic position, its nautical tradition, hands-on knowledge and infrastructure, the institution was (logically) established in Rotterdam.
After the period of merging, STC was guided by an intermediary management team that consisted of nine¬teen people (one Chairman and six delegates from all entities involved with the merger), who delegated duties and abilities to a central board of directors that is currently made up of Messrs. Hietbrink, Melles and Schoen makers.
For each of the divisions that STC provides training for, divisional commissions have bee.n set up. These com-missions advise management and the central board of directors about all matters relevant to the educatio¬nal programs of the branch. According to the definitive statutory structure, all branch commissions would receive one representative to serve on the management team from 1991. In the same year Mr Hietbrink was appointed as Chairman of the (previously known as) central board of directors. The arrangement of the final mana.gement concluded the merger process. Since 1992, the central board of directors consisted of Messrs. Hietbrink, Schoenmakers and Veringa. In the year 2000 Mr van Essen was added to the trio.
Since the merger, all departments of the new school were expected to present themselves under the banner of STC. The use of names and references to previous buildings of educators was largely eliminated. This afforded some sense of clarity to both insiders and outsiders. The ultimate goal with the choice of name was to promote the reputation of the STC, independent from the hardware of a building. The decision about adding the name Rotterdam was never made, due to its international ambitions.