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South Korea’s MMU, FOSCON to widen Global Opportunities for OLFU-hailed Maritime Aces
South Korea’s MMU, FOSCON to widen Global Opportunities for OLFU-hailed Maritime Aces

By: Raymond Lumagsao


By: Raymond Lumagsao


A recently-launched Student Exchange Program Inbound at Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) has welcomed a fresh batch of delegates from South Korea’s Mokpo National Maritime University (MNMU) – a renewed evidence of the growing alliance between institutions that opens global opportunities for OLFU’s future maritime experts.

On 26 June 2023, OLFU formally received its first nine participants for the student exchange including Park Seyun, and Kim Nahyun of the Division of Navigation and Information Systems; Park Yebin, Jung Kyungsoo, Maeng Hyeonseong, Kim Youngseung, Lee Seungjun of the Division of Maritime Transportation; Park Junjae of​ the​ Division of Marine Mechatronics; and Yoo Dongwoo of the Department of Ocean Civil Engineering.

Globally known for Filipino hospitality, OLFU organized an entire reception program for the delegates where “The Home of Topnotchers” through its administrative officials, expressed its elation, eyeing stronger relationships with the world-class academic institution.

Appearing during the ceremony were Ernesto Leuterio Jr., Dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences- OLFU Valenzuela; Dr. Francis Jay Dela Cruz, Dean of the College of Maritime Education; Dr. Bella Divina, Program Head of the English Department along with faculty members Judith Lora Pearl Relos and Rone Harold Cruz; Dr. Rodehlia Macaspac, Manager of the Center for Professional Development and Academic Partnership (CPDAP); Razel Reyes, Technical Assistant for CPDAP; and Lee Taejong, OLFU’s Korean Coordinator.

The MNMU was represented by Office of International Affairs Deputy Director Lee Nam-il.

Speaking with the Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC), Nam-il described the ignited partnership with OLFU as an opportunity for the academic camps.

In his words, “in order to develop, to give ​[​the​] opportunity to [Our Lady of] Fatima [University] students to go to [South] Korea, and [for] Korea[’s] Mokpo maritime students [to] come here [in the Philippines],” the Student Exchange Program was necessary.

Fulfilling yet another ambition, Nam-il sees the program as a step to “serve internationally.”

As a long-term vision, the MMU’s rep is looking forward to sending and welcoming more participants in the future, and in return, harvest more successes.

In the end, Nam-il conveyed his gratitude to OLFU President, Dr. Caroline Marian Enriquez, for the partnership that sows mutual benefits.

To further solidify the compact, a key ingredient to the partnership is Philippine-registered global manning agency FOSCON Shipmanagement Inc. which presents not only the opportunity to train on state-of-the-art Korean fleet but also the chance for OLFU student-trainees to land gainful employment with FOSCON immediately after graduation.

Philip Kim, the executive director of FOSCON also spoke of the longstanding five to seven years’ relationship between OLFU and the global seafaring brand.

He proudly flexed that his company has since sent Filipino crew members to ship owners in Japan, Korea, and previously, in some countries in Europe.

Kim also claimed that five hundred crew are now on board via FOSCON. While he did not provide figures for OLFU graduates, the company is eventually eyeing to augment the number, he assured.

“I understand there [is] not enough training in the Philippines,” Kim as he pertained to the country’s race to qualify for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) standards.

Yet still, the maritime businessman asserted that he, along with Korean Ship Association owners, are keenly interested to hire Filipino crew who are products of OLFU.

“Get the chance to train​ [in] order to get the license, at least one year or twelve months on board,” Kim stated as he convinced Fatimanians to join their global unit.

“They have no chance. There are a lot of good students,” he added. “Sayang,” the FOSCON executive sighed in frustration, referring to the lack of opportunities to train in the country.

Notwithstanding, it is a known fact that the Philippines remains to be the top source of seafarers in the world, and the demand until now is still at a high.

Further, Kim stated that Philippine seafarers “will be hired for more opportunit[ies],” and that among resources in the world, Filipinos possess “good power especially [in defying] the language barrier.”

Meanwhile, OLFU’s College of Maritime Dean Dela Cruz has one word to describe the fellowship – synergy.

With Mokpo National Maritime University as one of the leading anchors of commercial fleet construction in the region, and the Philippines as a seafaring archipelago, the correlative alliance between MNMU and OLFU provides its maritime apprentices the platform to reach maritime mastery and, later, executes it in the global market.

“Well, our students who train at MOKPO through our student exchange program have that special opportunity of being directly hired by FOSCON. OLFU collabs with MOKPO collabs with FOSCON — and that’s why we have SYNERGY!” Dela Cruz proudly emphasized.

Finally, while at OLFU, the Korean student exchange student also enjoy their English proficiency classes under the College of Education’s reliable program, as well as cultural immersion in the Filipino way of life.