IMB Cadets On the Move Again

Chasing International Experiential Learning Credit(s), fourteen business majors traveled two full days to Durban, South Africa. There, a unique, global, maritime, cultural learning and awareness experience awaited them. This group had not only traveled 10,758 miles for six credits and an academic adventure, they had committed to help and support the South African government’s effort to support STEM education in local high schools.

STEM education is certainly an area of high economic importance to the growth of any economy. Math and science drives the maritime global industry. One of the most important aspects of STEM education and maritime career awareness is to expose young people to it while they can still make curriculum choices that will support a future career in this industry. 

“The cadets were very well received by the province and the entire country for being such an important resource in their maritime education. Their arrival was celebrated in top national newspapers. The group stayed at the Elangeni Hotel, where they could enjoy Durban’s Golden Mile and watch shipping activity because of the hotel’s prime location. One of the highlights of the South African trip was the visit to the Kruger National Park, where students received a tremendous welcome by SANParks, the organization responsible for the game drives and Kruger National Park. The cadets were able to learn about the history of SA ports, the maritime activity involved and most importantly the educational efforts around the ports,” reported Dr. Ndlovu.

Dr. Ndlovu, South African native, MMA faculty trip leader, went on to note,” This Experiential Learning adventure benefitted both the cadets, as they had much to learn from the cultural exchange with South Africa, and the high schools involved. South Africa, has a government operation known as ‘Operation Phakisa’ to encourage careers in maritime space and awareness. MMA students were able to support this operation by providing Maritime Educational exchange with schools that already have a maritime curriculum and are in need of growth. South Africa, as a developing nation, has international rankings in STEM education that need improvement. Partnerships with organizations from the developed world were highly welcome and appreciated by the South African Maritime vanguard partners and high schools.”

Portia Ndlovu (PhD, LLM, LLB - University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban South Africa Attorney of the High Court) is a tenured Professor in the International Maritime Business Department.