President University Rector Speaks on Kampus Merdeka (Independent Campus) Program

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In a webinar on the Kampus Merdeka (Independent Campus) Program, the Rector of President University, Prof. Dr. Jony Oktavian Haryanto spoke about how the Independent Campus concept has been implemented by President University.

He said that President University graduates are expected to excel through character building, gaining the right skills, and balancing these with broad knowledge. Students at President University are free through the many choices of programs suited to their interests in or outside of the campus.

Regarding the 2020 curriculum at President University, Jony elaborated further that in the first year, students will be faced with Integrative Survival Experience. The students will learn and directly apply their skills necessary to survive both economic survival and the industry’s demand, among others the knowledge surrounding big data relating to each study program. Aside from their chosen study program, students will also be faced with on-site working experience. For example, Business Administration students are required to create a short movie. Jony emphasized, “The fundamental thing is the practical experience, theory can be learned as we go. That’s why we should not start emphasizing on the theory at first.”

Continuing his explanation, Jony said, “In the second year, each study program has a bigger role to contribute as students focus more on courses specific to their study program and concentration. We also teach the students foreign language other than English because we already integrate English as our learning medium since the beginning of their study until the end when they manage to master it.” In the second year, there is also a credit for internship preparation. The mandatory internship program will take place in the third year. This internship program that lasts for a year will be personally customized with the three available career options: professional, entrepreneur, and academician, to which in the first year, the students have discussed already with their academic mentor.

The one-year internship program will increase the students’ skills and knowledge towards the incoming industry’s demand. Aside from that, Jony explained how the majority of President University students have been offered for full-time placement in the office they had their internships in due to their outstanding performance. The student’s internship experience is also useful for the university to identify actual issues faced by companies (link and match between industry and university)

To support the students’ interest, President University provides a number of options for their final project in the form of a thesis, independent study/project, case writing, corporate project, and others in alignment with the career path that the students would like to take.

The webinar “Operasionalisasi Kampus Merdeka dan Implikasinya” held by Master of Business Administration Program of Atmajaya Universitas in collaboration with Asosiasi Ilmu Administrasi Bisnis Indones was also attended by the Director General of the Ministry of Education and Culture Republic of Indonesia, Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., DIC, Ph.D., in ia on Thursday .

Quoting a research by McKinsey & Company, about 23 million existing jobs will be replaced by automation by 2030. The loss of jobs is followed by opportunities for 10 million new jobs that have never been around before. “How will we prepare students with competencies that we do not even know about? There is no other way but to reform our higher education system,” Nizam said.

Nizam stated that education at the individual level becomes very important. Tracing back to the essence of education by Ki Hajar Dewantara, he elaborated that education revolves around preparing a civilized, independent human being, where humans are able to stand on their own abilities, not depend on others, and be able to choose their own future. “This is the essence of education, how we prepare students to be able to lead their own future. The future of individuals is very diverse. Certainly, it would be wrong if we limit them in the frame of one very narrow study program, while the competencies they need are more than their respective study programs,” he stressed.

Therefore, link and match with industry is an important factor in preparing students to face a competitive workforce in the future. The learning activity is not limited to classrooms activities or libraries only. Internships/work practices, independent studies/projects, student exchanges, teaching in schools, and humanitarian projects can enrich the experience of students since the beginning of their study in higher educational institutions until their graduation.