Universitas Indonesia Engagement Programs to Empower the Nation and Global Society

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Indonesia – To be the centre of excellence for knowledge, technology, and culture which contributes to the development of the people of Indonesia and the world, Universitas Indonesia (UI) has a mission to achieve the best quality in the three pillars of higher education which is relevant to national and global challenges.

Community engagement is one of UI’s concrete contributions to implementing science and technology. It is not only to educate and increase the public prosperity but also to solve global society’s problems.

Since its establishment, UI has implemented a variety of community empowerment initiatives which consist of community engagement programmes that involve all civitas academica and internship elective subjects (K2N) for students. However, along with the emergence of global issue (ASEAN Community), and the nation (development based on independency and national sustainability), the implementation scheme of community engagement programmes has developed since 2015 from routine programmes of Community Engagement Grants (CEGs) into Area-Based programmes which partner with local government (Counterpart Village and Collaboration). The coverage area of 2016 UI’s Community Engangement Program in Indonesia from Sabang (Aceh) to Merauke (Papua) is illustrated from picture below.

The K2N coverage area has also focused on rural areas and islands near the Indonesian’s border as part of UI’s services to the outer community of Indonesia. K2N activities emphasise implementing the available disciplines and current knowledge from the debriefing session to empower the community.

UI has formulated five priorities for the community engagement programme, one of which is environmental quality recovery programme. UI believes that whoever can take care of the river, will protect the people’s life. This is reflected in the protection programme of the Citanduy watershed with an area of 69,554 acres which has provided livelihood and income for the community across Central and West Java. Although the government has made various efforts in controlling the critical situation near the watershed, flooding has still occurred in rainy and dry seasons.

UI’s academician, with the support of local government, private company and industry, did an environmental law perspective approach based on a simple and applicative methodology. The community established a village regulation in managing the watershed’s environmental revitalisation directly and independently. They actively plant 21,000 seeds at the upstream buffer zone of the watershed, taking turns in planting and tending trees, and also cleaning up the environment surrounding the watershed once a week. As a result, the bare areas and sedimentation have decreased at the watershed upstream, and created Cikadu Village as a thematic village example in protecting the watershed upstream based on community participation and stakeholders’ cooperation in environmental law.

When the community is able to take an active participation, the government’s task will be lighter and the state budget will be more effective and efficient. The successful programme at Citanduy watershed area is an example of a community engagement programme which could be applied in a huge scale of watershed revitalisation context all over Indonesia.

In implementing the community engagement programmes, UI applies a new paradigm by involving scientific and technological multidiscipline from health, science and technology, and humanities clusters through collaboration and alliance tradition with related stakeholders to solve problems at national and international level. Nevertheless, UI expects to be able to extend the usage of downstream multidiscipline research results in accelerating the independency and public welfare without leaving the local characteristic of the context by keeping the standard quality which upholds professionalism, integrity and transparency values.