IAMU was founded by seven universities representing the five continents of the world (Representative Universities) in November, 1999, with a shared recognition of significance of maritime education and training in the rapid globalization of the international shipping arena. Since then, IAMU has significantly expanded its membership, and now boasts 52 institutions of the world's maritime education and training universities/faculties, and The Nippon Foundation as its members, totaling 53 altogether.
Representative Universities at the time of foundation in 1999:
•Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (Representing Africa)
•Australian Maritime College (Oceania)
•Cardiff University (Western Europe) [now replaced by Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Faculty of Nautical studies, Barcelona]
•Istanbul Technical University, Maritime Faculty (Mediterranean, Black Sea, ex Central and Eastern Europe)
•Kobe University of Mercantile Marine (Asia) [now transformed to Kobe University, Faculty of Maritime Sciences]
•Maine Maritime Academy (Americas including the Caribbean's)
•World Maritime University (General representation)
All IAMU members recognize the significance of maritime education and training and note that:
1.The shipping industry is a service industry, in which human resources are the critical element;
2.It is only feasible to secure, and to preserve highly qualified human resources in the maritime industries through effective education and training; and
3.Effective education and training in the maritime sector derives from:
1.scientific and academic rigor;
2.development of a clear link between practical skills and management techniques; and
3.a focus on quality.
Based on these shared understanding, IAMU members cooperate each other and aim to attain the following goals:
1.To develop a comprehensive Maritime Education System for following generations;
2.To establish and effective Maritime Safety Management System for the international maritime community;
3.Prepare develop standardized Undergraduate Curricula and an International Certification System for Competency.
To attain above mentioned goals, IAMU implements such activities as:
1.To seek participation of as many qualified maritime universities/faculties as possible;
2.To maintain regular and ongoing communication and exchange among members;
3.To pursue measurable and worthwhile outcomes on specific subjects primarily through Working Groups;
4.To yield tangible results through Project Systemwhich invites rank and file IAMU members to present new project proposals;
5.To hold a General Assembly annually.
6.To publish through Editorial Board academic periodicals, news and summaries of activities, and research papers; and
7.To build international network of students of IAMU member institutions through IAMUS (Students) activities;