Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 2021 Indonesian Rectors Forum Conference, 27 July 2021, Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 27 Juli 2021
Category: Press Statement @en
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

May prosperity be upon us all,

Om Swastiastu,

Namo Buddhaya,

Greetings of Virtue.

Distinguished Cabinet Ministers;

Distinguished Chairperson of the 2020 Indonesian Rectors Forum and Chairperson-elect of the 2021 Indonesian Rectors Forum;

Distinguished Rectors of Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nowadays we have to bear a heavy burden due to COVID-19 pandemic. We must struggle to overcome health problems and economic problems. We must strive to keep the educational process running amid the restrictions on interaction and physical presence.

Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic is also a test of our resilience, a pressure test for our ability to face this very heavy pressure, a test of our resilience in all sectors, as well as a test of the resilience of our education. We have to fight to free the Indonesian people from the threat of COVID-19. However, there are many innovations that have emerged because of this pandemic. We have to develop them more and more. We will continue the development in the post-pandemic era.

Distinguished Rectors of Higher Education Institutions,

COVID-19 pandemic is a series of disruptions that escalate the disruption previously triggered by the industrial revolution 4.0. The socio-cultural, economic, and political landscape underwent major changes due to the industrial revolution 4.0. Cloud computing technologies, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big-data analytics, advanced robotics and virtual reality have brought changes to all sectors. We have to admit that technology has become a master of disruption. Trade has shifted to e-commerce. The banking system has been disrupted by the presence of fintech and various types of e-payments. The medicine and pharmacy is increasingly being disrupted by healthtech. Legal professionals are also starting to be disrupted by rechtech. And the education system has been massively disrupted by edutech.

Higher education institutions must strengthen their position as edutech institutions. The most basic technology is learning to use digital technology. Digital learning should not only be used to facilitate teaching by lecturers to students, but also to facilitate students to learn from anyone, anywhere, and about anything.

Learning from practitioners, including industry players, is very important. The curriculum should give more credit hours for students to learn from practitioners and the industry. The exposure of students and lecturers to the future technology industry must be increased. Teachers and mentors from industry players, student internships to the industrial world, and even industry as tenants on campus must be facilitated. Other practitioner organizations must also be invited to collaborate.

Distinguished Rectors of Higher Education Institutions,

I believe that all of you agree with me that higher education institutions must work for humanity and for the progress of the nation, solving social problems with science and technology as well as with continuous innovation.

The entrepreneurial perspective is also very important so that higher education institutions can create sustainable system. In addition to strengthening the national character based on Pancasila, the students must be educated in an ecosystem that encourages socio-techno entrepreneurs and solves social problems by utilizing technology in an innovative and entrepreneurial way. Students must be facilitated to be able to compete in an increasingly open and globalized job market, become industrialists who create jobs, improve their social status that will help them to achieve more, and make Indonesia’s MSMEs better. That is the spirit of socio-techno innopreneur.

Distinguished Rectors,

That is the difficult task but I am of the view that the task will be much easier if we are willing to do it in new ways. “Freedom Campus” and “Freedom to Learn” programs are part of the important instruments for that. Students can study from anyone, anywhere, and from resources deemed important for their future and the future of the nation.

Students must be updated with the latest developments and future developments. Many knowledge and skills are no longer relevant and are obsolete due to disruption, but a lot of new knowledge has emerged, developed by research institutes and practitioners, which may not have been recorded and written in the literature. Many types of jobs have been lost due to disruption, but many new jobs have emerged in the present and in the future due to disruption.

Let me underscore that that the students’ knowledge and skills should be relevant in the future. Great knowledge and skills today may no longer be needed in the next 5 or 10 years. Students must be prepared [to] master the relevant knowledge and skills for their future.

I would like to reiterate that higher education institutions need collaboration with practitioners and industry players. Vice versa, industry players are in dire need of talent and technological innovation from higher education institutions. To that end, do invite the industry to participate in educating students according to the industry curriculum, not the lecturer curriculum, so that students will obtain a different experience compared to the experience in the academic community.

Provide opportunities for students to develop their talents. Students in the same major do not necessarily have to learn about the same thing entirely. Studying in the same major does not mean that they will have to work in the same profession later. Every student has their own talents, and the talents must be explored, facilitated, and developed. That is the essence of the “Freedom Campus” and “Freedom to Learn” programs.

Distinguished Rectors of Higher Education Institutions,

All professions in the future require hybrid knowledge and hybrid skills. If education institutions set boundaries to each discipline, future graduates will have difficulties in facing the future and higher education institutions will not be able to stay relevant to this disruptive era.

Old higher education institutions should revitalize their curriculums, learning methods, management models, and culture in order to stay competitive in the current development.

New higher education institutions should also transform their work methods, curriculums, and management models. The disruption allows young generation to overtake the older generation,

For new higher education institutions, this is a golden opportunity for you. New higher education institutions are not burdened with throwing away old traditions. New higher education institutions have the opportunity to transform their work methods, curriculums, and management models. Today’s disruption provides the opportunity to the newcomers to get ahead of the old who are burdened with the old ways.

I have previously delivered the messages, but I will keep reiterating them so that we all realize the rapidly changing world. The Government continues to establish policies that favor new development which is more productive and efficient. I hope that higher education institutions can develop more progressive work methods to shape the future of the students and to prepare Indonesia in competing with other countries.

That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion and by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I officially open the 2021 Indonesian Rectors Forum Conference.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Om santi santi santi om. (RI/LW)

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