Faculty of Navigation Staff Member Conducts IAMU Site Visit at Antwerp Maritime Academy

In connection with the application of Antwerp Maritime Academy for membership of the International Association of Maritime Universities, Dr/Capt. Piotr Kopacz of Gdynia Maritime University's Faculty of Navigation conducted a site visit on 17-18 June 2024 based on a Letter of Request (dated 4 June 2024) from the Executive Director of IAMU, Professor Takeshi Nakazawa.

Antwerp Maritime Academy is Belgium's only maritime higher education centre that produces future deck and engineering officers. The Academy provides classes to approximately 500 students in both Flemish (around 60% of students) and French (around 40% of students). It was founded during the Napoleonic era and has more than 200 years of history. Antwerp is the second biggest port in Europe; in 2023, 270 million tonnes of cargo passed through the port.

A site visit is a necessary step in the application process for IAMU membership. On the basis of a recommendation made at the sitting of the International Executive Board in Massachusetts on 17 April 2024, the decision was made to arrange a site visit to the Academy on behalf of the IAMU International Executive Board (IEB). The site visit was conducted according to a detailed agenda prepared and agreed upon with the applicant, represented by Dr Rowan Van Schaeren (General Manager) and Dr Alison Noble - Chair of the International Maritime Lecturers Association - and the IAMU Secretariat in Tokyo. The International Association of Maritime Universities IAMU is a global network of leading maritime universities providing Maritime Education and Training (MET) to seafarers for the global shipping industry. IAMU members currently include 72 universities from 38 countries.

Gdynia Maritime University has been an active member of IAMU since the year 2000. The Rector of Gdynia Maritime University, Professor Adam Weintrit, currently chairs the Association and is head of its Policy and Planning Committee.

IAMU membership is based on the Association's central document known as the Basic Agreement. The site visit aimed to verify the accuracy of information provided in the application, particularly concerning the fulfilment of the criteria outlined in Articles I and IV of the Basic Agreement. The visit began with a meeting with the Academy's authorities and a review of the application documents. This was followed by a meeting with the heads of study programmes and persons responsible for the implementation of study curriculums and quality standards in the context of the requirements of the International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW), the requirements of the Belgium Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transport in relation to 1st-cycle and 2nd-cycle degree programmes, and solutions applied in Maritime Education and Training (MET).

Talks were held with several members of the teaching and research staff, as well as the heads of maritime-related degree programmes (Marine Engineering and Navigation). Taking part in the meetings were Olivier Schalm (International Affairs Coordinator); Remke Willemen (Head of Education); Deirdre Luyckx (Faculty of Sciences Coordinator, Chair of Scientific Research Methodology); Klaas De Hert (Faculty of Nautical Sciences Coordinator); Pascal Bouquet (Faculty of Marine Engineering Coordinator); Helen Verstraelen (Quality Assurance Coordinator); Geert Potters (Head of Research); Rebecca Van Rie (Head of Central Services); and Veerle Van Driessche with Pieter Maes (Simulator Coordinators). The Institution's development strategy and strategy for human resources management were especially considered. The visit also included an audit of the infrastructure and equipment, the workshops and simulators, laboratories, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), and the library. Talks were also held with 1st-year students who, during the time of the site visit, were sitting their summer exams. Presentations were given and followed by discussions on national and international projects and research carried out at Antwerp Maritime Academy, such as on the topic of biological pollution caused by vessel corrosion.    

Following the site visit, a report was drafted by Dr/Capt. Piotr Kopacz of the GMU Faculty of Navigation, who recommended Antwerp Maritime Academy to the IEB for membership of IAMU, based on its fulfilment of the criteria in the Basic Agreement. The final decision to admit applicants to membership unconditionally, conditionally or to deny membership within the group of universities from the Europe and Africa region is made by the IEB based on the conclusion of the report and the Academy's application.      

Since 2008, 1st-year students from Antwerp Maritime Academy have carried out annual seafarer training onboard GMU's sail training ship, Dar Młodzieży. During their time at sea, lectures are given by the Academy's teaching staff.


Providing entity: 

GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

Generated information: