SECRETARY General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr Kitack Lim, has commended the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), for developing its programmes in accordance with developments within the maritime industry.
In an interview with JIS News during his recent tour of the institution, Mr Lim noted that different areas of knowledge are being merged, and encouraged the IMO- certified university to continue to blaze a trail in maritime education.
“We are now seeing the convergence of different disciplines producing areas of study, such as nautical engineering, being combined with computer digitalisation and telecommunications,” he added.
The IMO Head said that the university, which operates a logistics faculty and provides manpower for the logistics industry, including port operations, could combine all knowledge and expertise from different faculties to produce high-quality graduates.
He pointed out that the shipping business is changing and that educational institutions, such as the CMU, should work towards preparing students for the inevitable changes.
“In the past, the ship operating companies would look after seafarers’ issues, such as recruiting and training. What is now happening is that functions such as seafarers’ welfare and ensuring implementation of IMO conventions have been delegated to ship management companies,” Mr Lim said.
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“They do contracts with the seafarers on behalf of the ship owners, so many companies are emerging. In this sense, it is very impressive that you have already established direct communication and direct relations with the shipping companies in the country,” he noted.
The Secretary-General said he also saw the potential for CMU to grow, based on several factors.
“One of the important factors is that your President (Professor Fritz Pinnock) is very motivated, very knowledgeable and very outgoing. Communication with the outside (overseas partners) is a very important factor to contribute to the progress of the CMU,” he argued. He said that the faculty members, under the leadership of Professor Pinnock, are doing very well. “I want to emphasise that the students should remain ambitious for their future. They can establish shipping companies, which can grow and play a big role,” he noted.
According to Mr Lim, the CMU graduates can help to diversify the logistics industry and port operations, not only in Jamaica but across the world. “So, once you produce those students who are well equipped with a wealth of knowledge, doors are very much open to Jamaica, because Jamaicans are good people, kind and serious, with a sincere attitude. You already have a good command of the English language, with a good educational background,” he said.