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Skills Development is Essential in Maritime Industry

Skills Development is Essential in Maritime Industry

The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Faculty of Applied Sciences together with the DUT Maritime Studies Department hosted its Dean Lecture Series at Steve Biko Campus recently.

Professor Ruan Wei, Dean of the International Education College and Director of the International Student Office of Shanghai Maritime University, was the keynote speaker at the event.

His lecture focussed on discussions around the development of the Maritime Curriculum under the International Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping of Seafarers (STCW) and the International Maritime Practice.

The lecture also tackled issues pertaining to the challenges faced by Maritime universities not only in South Africa but also globally. Other problems discussed were maritime education and training, maritime safety and pollution prevention conventions, maritime safety management, as well as maritime policies and management.

Prof Wei highlighted that some of the challenges faced in the maritime industry were on identifying conventions in the industry, the supply and the demand of seafarers and how universities can work towards building qualified and skilled seafarers to meet the skills demand. He also emphasized that in order to achieve such high standards the universities had to increase the number of qualified maritime staff in classrooms and utilise external resources. “Universities should encourage maritime students to aim higher at all times as the goal of the curriculum is to program graduates to apply their theoretical studies and practical training to the best of their ability in the maritime field,” he said.

Prof Wei has been a specialist in International Maritime Science for more than a decade.  He has also been nominated on numerous occasions as a delegate of the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (CMSA) for the Seafarer Training and Watch-keeping Sub-committee of the International Maritime Organisation, UN (IMO).

Pictured: Professor Ruan Wei, keynote speaker at the event.

—-Phumeza Msongelwa

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