Report on the IMLA’ 23 Conference

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By David Wolfaardt
Training Manager, SAMTRA


The International Maritime Lecturers’ Association (IMLA) 

The International Maritime Lecturers’ Association (IMLA) is an international forum aimed at promoting contact and cooperation between Maritime Lecturers of all disciplines and to develop a body of professional expertise. Teachers and other interested parties from all over the world dedicated to mediating in the process of Maritime Education and Training
are invited to become members and to freely present their achievements, share experiences and exchange ideas. The 23rd IMLA Conference was hosted by the Durban
University of Technology, South Africa. The conference took place at the Elangeni Sun hotel conference centre in Durban from 29 June to 3 July 2015.

IMLA Presentations & Workshops

The theme for the IMLA ’23 Conference was “Challenges facing emerging MET Institutions – the need for collaboration”. After the initial registration day, delegates from across the globe participated in a very full 4-day program that included 32 presentation papers and three workshops. The presentation sessions focussed on the following sub-themes:

Session 1: E-Learning and Educational Technology

This session covered lessons in providing MET remotely, SAMTRA’s road to eLearning (presented by Greg Moss – SAMTRA), Using multimedia to understand ship design,
innovative manoeuvring support for ships by simulation, 3D simulation of collision detection and response, application of marine simulators to bridge the gap between ships in navigational simulator, and compensating for lack of seagoing experience by developing computer based educational tools for marine engineering studies.

Session 2: Human Element

The second session included presentation on Human Factors in accidents, a comparison of crew resource management in the maritime and aviation industries, the effect of demographics in maritime student career progression, studies of female seafarer patters in Durban, seafarer wellness, seafarer coping mechanisms, and a study of
South African cadet profiles and the implications for career awareness.

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One of the IMLA’ 23 Panel Discussions

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FInal Session at Tala Gama Reserve Conference Venue


Session 3: Specialised Training

The session heard papers on observations on the training course for designated security duties, study on shortage of LNG seafarers, training of navigation close to wind farms, and the avoidance of accidents related to automation failures.

Session 4: Maritime Education and Training

Included presentations on the planned migration of (Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s) CPUT’s Maritime Studies Diploma over to a Degree program, how professionalism and diversification aims to meet industry needs, long range identification and tracking of students, and measures introduced in order to meet the standards of education and examination for STCW competency in the US.

Session 5: Maritime English

The session included presentation of papers covering the IMO Model Course for English, the principle of authenticity in compilation of textbooks for maritime English, and the necessary training required for maritime English teachers.

Session 6: Employability

The session covered presentations on preparing students for diverse working environment by addressing cultural awareness, job opportunities and international student
exchange programs, as well as a study of the employment outcomes of graduates from the Regional Maritime University in Ghana.

Session 7: Regional Experience

The final session took place at Tala private game reserve – located in the hills of a peaceful farming community, close to Durban – following a very interesting game drive. The last presentations included discussions on MET experiences in East Africa, HR development in the maritime sector in Asia Pacific (by Rod Short – GlobalMET, presented by David
Wolfaardt – SAMTRA) and the experiences of foreign-born Professors teaching at Maritime Institutions in USA.

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Delegates viewing Rhino on the game drive

Lecturers Workshops

In addition to the presentation sessions, three very successful workshops were run where delegates participated in group discussions covering the following topics:
? Maritime English – facilitated by Anamaria Gabriella of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
? Building maritime research capacity and post graduate qualifications – facilitated by Prof Suren Singh of Durban University of Technology, South Africa.
? Developing graduates that are culturally and socially aware within the global context – facilitated by Dir Rubeena Partab of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


The IMLA Conference was very well organised and hosted by the staff of the Durban University of Technology. The program contained a wide variety of topics to inform and
stimulate discussions and provided delegates with an excellent opportunity to meet and network with colleagues in the international MET industry.

SAMTRA’s participation included presentations by Greg Moss and David Wolfaardt and a session chaired by Pieter Coetzer. The presentations were well received and generated good feedback in the subsequent panel discussions. In addition to the participation, we were able to market SAMTRA’s hosting of the International Navigation Simulator Lecturers’
Conference (INSLC) in partnership with CPUT, due to be held in Cape Town in September 2016.

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A group photo of some of the IMLA’ 23 delegates at the Tala Private Game Reserve

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