MET Field Study to IMO
Following up on their recent student debate simulating IMO Sub-Committee meetings, the MET students visited IMO in London on a Field Study from 29 April – 1 May. Under the guidance of Associate Professor Clive Cole, the students attended the 44th session of the Sub-committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping. Apart from attending the plenary sessions, the students also took part in the meetings of the working groups (Training Matters and Role of the Human element) and drafting groups (validation of model courses).
In their field study report, the students stated, “Participation in this Sub-committee was highly relevant for several reasons. Firstly, we were plunged into the depths of discussions regarding the human factor, the revision of model courses, decisions concerning changes to the STCW and ISM Codes, as well as the new Polar Code and other issues concerning the training and certification of seafarers. Secondly, we were able to take part in the working and drafting groups and watch the experts from different countries create future regulations. They carefully discussed every word and every phrase so that all was in line with good sea practice and not inconsistent with other legislation; in short, clear and acceptable to all the interested parties. Thirdly, we were able to meet and discuss professional issues with the most qualified MET experts from all over the world. They were representatives of educational institutions, maritime administrations and other experts in the field of training and certification of seafarers.”
While at IMO, the Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor, Koji Sekimizu, met with the students noting the importance of the MET sector, and wishing the students success in the completion of their degrees. The group also had the opportunity to meet with graduates of WMU that are delegates and heads of delegations to IMO, or employees at IMO. The alumni shared their experiences since graduation, and encouraged the students regarding their future roles in the maritime sector. WMU graduate Ali Marzban, Deputy Permanent Representative of I.R. of Iran to IMO, invited the MET students to tea along with several graduates from other delegations. In regard to their discussion, the MET students reported the alumni present all confirmed that "WMU had changed their lives and helped them climb the career ladder where they now occupy high positions.”
In addition to IMO, the Field Study included a visit to the Nautical Institute where Philip Wake, the Chief Executive of the Institute, held a presentation for the group that focused on how maritime industry professionals develop and produce the specialized literature the Institute is known for, and how the Institute intends to develop its services in the future.
Overall, the field study was an enriching experience for the participants. As noted in their final report, “This field study visit has helped us to understand and appreciate how the STW sub-committee creates the regulations regarding the training and certification of seafarers; a remarkable mechanism bearing in mind that 170 Member States have to come to agreement. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet with so many experts in the MET field from around the world. In conclusion, this was an experience that will leave a long-lasting impression and inspire us to diligently study and work so that we may also enhance the training the education of seafarers and ultimately their safety at sea.”