Ok I will change that to; “Some may differ with that assumption”.
I don’t believe that a lot of “extra curricular” activity at an academy make for better seafarers, but it may make them better educated in a broader sense.
I don’t claim to understand the finer nuances of either the US or any other Maritime Education systems, but I have seen no indication that any one produce superior seafarers to any other.
As I said; education is the base, good seafarers are a product of both education and experience.
Awhile ago, I was on a boat with a Canadian in the crew. (Don’t ask; I didn’t dare to). Overall, I’d say that in spite of being a little on the wrong side of the bell curve, and a little under-educated, he was a pretty typical hand. He was a chain smoker that struck me as the type of guy who probably liked his beer, pot, and a few other things, a bit too much (there are no Transport Canada drug tests). He was about 5’-6” and at least 250 pounds, but I’ve never seen anyone correctly put on a survival suit so fast. He was very good in all the drills and quick to point out defective gear. One guy doesn’t prove anything, but it gave me a favorable impression of Canadian STCW training.