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Science, Technology
& Innovation

The Internationalisation of Higher Education in Indonesia: Two Case Studies

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In 2014, Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) — the ministry in charge of higher education at the time — published Regulation No. 14, a key piece of regulation relating to international cooperation on higher education.

 

The ministry has since supported universities in conducting collaborative international research, and has provided university faculty members with competitive research grants towards this end.

 

The ministry has also encouraged universities to have joint-degree and double-degree programmes, with credit transfers. Furthermore, it has supported the ASEAN International Mobility for Students (AIMS) programme.

 

To attract foreign students to study in Indonesia, the ministry has made it easier to obtain a study permit through an online application within just six working days, which would then enable the applicant to apply for a student visa. In 2016, it issued 6,967 such study permits. The top three countries of origin of foreign students in Indonesia in 2017 were Timor Leste, Malaysia and Thailand. As case studies, we look at two universities in Bandung city — the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and Maranatha Christian University (MCU); the former a public university, the latter private.

 

ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

ITB has offered international classes taught in English since 2017, for undergraduates and graduates from Indonesia and abroad — at its Schools of Pharmacy, of Business and Management, of Industrial Engineering, and of Machine and Aerospace Engineering. ITB students take advantage of exchange students by doing research at overseas partner universities with advanced research facilities.

 

Similarly, MCU has been offering such international classes for Indonesian and foreign students. MCU also offers its students the opportunity to undertake one or two semesters at an overseas university in Asia, the US, Europe or Australia.

 

Both ITB and MCU offer summer school. MCU offers two courses — Traditional Clothing and Accessories course and Entrepreneurship course for cultural programmes, such as Indonesian Language for Foreigners (BIPA), the Live-in programme, and the Maranatha Industrial Cultural programme.

 

The BIPA programme at Maranatha Language Centre, housed under the Faculty of Letters, is designed for foreigners to study the Indonesian language and culture. This is a non-degree programme intended for adult learners who wish to develop their ability to communicate in Indonesian, for personal or professional reasons.

 

Participants of the Live-in programme stay at a village for two weeks for credits, where they will experience cultural diversity and help with work in that local community.

 

RESEARCH

The Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education — the ministry currently overseeing higher education — encourages faculty members of Indonesian universities to conduct international collaborative research with overseas partner universities by providing competitive research grants.

 

In addition to the nationally competitive research grants, ITB has provided research funding of 30 billion rupiah (US$2 million) in support of international collaborative research. ITB researchers can receive additional incentives if they are able to publish the results of their research in a Scopus-indexed international journal. ITB also provides grants for the organisation of international conferences. ITB’s policy of international collaborative research has motivated ITB student especially graduate students to conduct research at overseas partner universities. ITB students receive information of overseas research collaborative through their advisors who have networks with overseas partner universities. The output of such overseas research collaboration is joint publication between ITB and overseas partner university.

 

As a private university, MCU does not, comparatively, have as much funding to support international collaborative research. However, faculty members can get research funding from the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education. Alternatively, faculty members collaborate with professors of the overseas universities from which they graduated.

 

STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES

MCU’s strategy and approach in accommodating macro and micro policies of internationalisation emphasise cultural exchange, as witnessed through its Traditional Clothing and Accessories course and Entrepreneurship course for foreign students.

 

Additionally, when MCU’s vice rector asked his Chinese students why they chose to study in Indonesia and at MCU, they generally cited the opportunity to learn Indonesian language and culture.

 

On the other hand, ITB’s strategy and approach in internationalisation are concerned more with engineering and technology issues. For example, ITB runs a summer school in West Sumatra in collaboration with Kyoto University, on geosphere studies. The selection of West Sumatra as the venue of the summer school is because the equatorial line passes through it, as well as the presence of a research centre that is equipped with a large weather radar.

 

GOOD PRACTICES OF INTERNATIONALISATION

The design of summer schools has involved not only university students from different nations, but also the industry, which plays an important role in providing contextual problems for students to solve.

 

Programmes relating to internationalisation also help hone the students’ soft skills. Through an overseas living experience, they have learnt to communicate with others, often by learning the local language. They would also learn to communicate effectively to share ideas.

 

Internationalisation is a must for higher education, in order to train young citizens to live in the global society. Higher education institutions should keep an open mind and take the initiative to develop their policies of internationalisation. Universities should build networks with other overseas universities, which start with the relationships that faculty members forge with their supervisors from overseas universities.

 

Even though there must be an emphasis on internationalisation, Indonesia should nevertheless
maintain its cultural heritage and national identity. Internationalisation is an opportunity for promoting local knowledge throughout the world.

SUMAR HENDAYANA

Sumar Hendayana is the Head of the Center for Innovation in Education under the Institute of Research and Community Services of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI, or Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia).

NURUL JABAH

Nurul Jabah is a student at the Indonesia University of Education (UPI, or Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia).

AWINDA

Awinda is a student at the Indonesia University of Education (UPI, or Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia).

JULY 2018 | ISSUE 4

Internationalisation Policies, Initiatives

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Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

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About

Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

Informed opinions can inspire healthy discussions and open up our imagination to new possibilities. Interested in contributing? Write to us at info@headfoundation

Stay updated on our latest announcements on events and publications

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