Brief Report of the IAMU Student Forum

The 2017 IAMU Student Forum, held in at the IMO Headquarters in London, England from July 11-13, was a great success. The student forum was a global event in every sense: 59 students from 52 IAMU member universities, hailing from 30 different countries participated in the event, making it a truly international and multicultural experience for everyone involved. During the student forum, participants had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with world-leading researchers, educators, and experts from the maritime industry while under the auspices of the IMO.

The Student Forum started out with VIPs from the maritime industry welcoming and encouraging the student participants. In his opening address, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim gave the students warm words of encouragement while telling them about his days as a young seafarer, and the choices he made throughout his career to get him where he is today. IAMU Chair and Australian Maritime College Principal Neil Bose, IAMU Executive Director Takeshi Nakazawa, and Nippon Foundation Representative Takeshiro Umemura also addressed the students with motivating words of inspiration.

The workshop part of the forum consisted of 5 different groups, each assigned with the difficult task of addressing complex issues currently facing the maritime industry. The 5 workshop topics were the “Attraction, retention, and attrition of seafarers,” “Global maritime professionals,” “Ports and shore-based business,” “Quality training on board for the first license,” and “Gender in the maritime industry.” Over the first two days of the forum, students worked tirelessly under the supervision of their facilitators and co-facilitators to identify the underlying issues at the heart of each topic, while also coming up with unique suggestions and solutions for dealing with them. On the final day of the forum, the participants traveled to Greenwich to visit the National Maritime Museum and also tour the famous tea clipper Cutty Sark.

Thanks to the generous funding from Nippon Foundation and support from IMO, the 2017 IAMU Student Forum ended up being a wonderful opportunity for the next generation of maritime industry leaders to meet and discuss matters that will shape the industry for the foreseeable future.

Workshop Organizer, Matthew Rooks
Associate professor, Kobe University