The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education participated at the 2018 World Post Graduate Expo (WPG) held in the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) between 12 and 13 May.

The ministry, under coordination of its general secretariat, participated at the event as part of its activities commemorating the National Education Day (Hardiknas) that fell on May 2.

Mohamad Nasir, the Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education, along with Ali Ghufron Mukti, Ministry’s Director General for Science, Technology and Higher Education Resources (who is also the ministry’s Hardiknas commemoration committee chairman) opened the education fair, which was joined by domestic and overseas universities.

In his opening speech, Minister Nasir said Indonesia had a young generation with academic excellence. Therefore, the state must be present in providing an optimal higher education facility.

First, by expanding the access to higher education and to increase Indonesia’s gross enrollment rate (APK), which is still at 31.5 percent. This is the responsibility of the Ministry’s Directorate General for Learning and Student Affairs.

Second, by giving chances of scholarship for Indonesian youths in both domestic and overseas universities. This is the responsibility of the Ministry’s Directorate General for Science, Technology and Higher Education Resources.

“The APK figure is not optimal at present, meaning that there are 68.5 percent [of Indonesian youths] that have yet to enter higher education institutions. This could happen probably because our young citizens have gone abroad to study or have decided to work when they were still at senior high school level. The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education is developing a long-distance education that harnesses advance in technology, information and communication in the era of industrial revolution 4.0,” said Minister Nasir, Saturday, May 12.

To support the initiative, Minister Nasir has launched an e-learning or hybrid learning system named Online Learning System (SPADA) Indonesia. Nasir said, apart from technological challenges, this kind of long distance learning had to be supported by reviewed and assessed e-learning modules. There were SPADA products from 13 universities exhibited at the two-day education fair.

SPADA Indonesia has courses that can be accessed online, consisting of 4,829 online and open course modules for 776 courses offered by 51 participating universities. There are 14,931 students from 176 partnering universities taking part in SPADA.

SPADA Indonesia has forged a cooperation with Education and Culture Ministry’s Directorate for Teacher and Education Staffers, developing 1,268 modules for 53 e-learning/hybrid courses for teachers’ profession course (PPG). Therefore, SPADA Indonesia has provided 6,097 online modules, which can be used for online courses for students and lecturers at universities across Indonesia.
Ministry’s Major Program

Apart from launching the hybrid learning system, Minister Nasir also discussed about achievements Indonesian diaspora of researchers who worked abroad. For him, the diaspora must be invited to develop Indonesia. This can be done through a research collaboration like the World Class Professor (WCP) program, said Nasir.

“We are also creating a breakthrough program in which the Indonesian diaspora could contribute to develop the nation. Generally, there are only a few of them who return to Indonesia because they have achieved a lot overseas,” said Minister Nasir.

Ali Ghufron Mukti also said that the WCP had bridged the Indonesian diaspora to work together with domestic lecturers in Indonesia to produce international scientific publication. Indonesia still needs doctoral graduates to increase its competitiveness.

“We have the Master’s Degree to Doctorate Degree for Excellent Graduates [PMDSU] program to produce lecturers with doctorate degrees in a four-year study period. We are pleased by the result, one of the program’s graduates is Grandprix, who has been named as Indonesia’s youngest ever doctorate degree graduate. The PMDSU graduates also can produce as much as nine publications, not really different from overseas-educated graduates,” said Ghufron.

The Ministry has also another programs to increase lecturers’ qualification, such as the Indonesian Excellent Lecturers Scholarship (BUDI) and the PTNB Affirmative Scholarship. The Ministry’s booth at the event also provided assistance for lecturer registration process. The Ministry also showcased a number of services provided by its units, exhibited by the Publication and Documentation Unit of the Ministry’s Bureau for Partnership and Public Communication. This working unit has been partnering with My Study World, Raphael Michael Tan for the past three years. Learning from last year’s success, the education fair was developed by partnering with more parties.

“The today’s event is one form of collaboration in which the private sector contributes to providing information to the public regarding higher education. I hope this thing can be harnessed optimally by the society. I also hope staffers of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education could work better in providing services,” said Ghufron.

The 2018 World Graduate Expo also presented 52 institutions from the Netherlands, China, Germany, Indonesia, Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, United States, France and rest of Europe. Foreign universities has been always present at the event perennially, but this year’s edition was special for it was related to the 2018 Hardiknas commemoration.

The education fair also presented various master’s degree (S-2) and doctorate degree (S-3) programs, as well as other programs.