Jakarta, October 2, 2017, HE Minister Dato’Seri Idris Jusoh, the Malaysian Minister of Higher Education (MHE) and HE Minister Mohamad Nasir, the Indonesian Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Indonesia, were graduated from the University of Sains Malaysia (USM). Today, it is a special day for both Ministers as they chaired a bilateral meeting of the high level groups consists of policy makers from both Ministries, rectors and vice rectors from the Indonesian and Malaysian famous universities.

Opening his remarks, HE Minister Nasir welcomed HE Minister Jusoh and his delegation, who conducted a working visit to Indonesia and expressed their expressions in establishing collaboration with the Indonesian society to develop HESTI for both countries. HE Minister Nasir said that since the establishment of MoRTHE in October 2014, there have been lots of programs have been implemented, such as scholarship, joint research and development, and program of ‘KKN Kebangsaan’, that can be collaborated between two Countries.

Moreover, Minister Nasir also mentioned that within his three years of leadership, he has tried to promote more research commercialization as invention cannot be named by innovation, if it cannot be implemented to the society (people and or industries). HE Minister Nasir also mentioned that Indonesia has set up the RIRN (national research agenda in Indonesia, 2017 – 2045), which prioritizes ten areas in the future. Those tenth priority areas are food and agriculture, health and medicine, information and communication technology, energy (renewable and alternative energy), transportation, defense technology, advanced technology (including nanotechnology), maritime, disaster management, social and humanism.

Secretary General MoRTHE, Prof Ainun Naím also explained that higher education system in Indonesia has three main objectives, which are (i) education, (ii) implementing research and development, as well (iii) community development. The last one is very specific and unique in Indonesia, as not every country in the world applying the community development programs in their universities. ‘Kuliah Kerja Nyata”(KKN) a community development program in Indonesia is an obligatory program in the universities, in which that the higher education students are sent into the regional locations in Indonesia, who really need assistances from such Indonesian university students, in developing their regions. Moreover, This ‘KKN’ – community development programs have mutual benefits to the students and the society, and usually they establish the networking whole those students work for 2-6 months in a certain region. This KKN program is embedded in the formal education bachelor program in Indonesia.

Responding HE Minister Nasir, HE Minister Jusoh expressed his excitement for having opportunity for visiting Indonesia. He also shared recent development in higher education system in Malaysia. He said that Malaysia also concern on ‘’equality and originality’’ (kesetaraan dan kepunyaan) when establishing the collaboration with a Country. Malaysia realizes that establishing ‘’collaboration’’ is much more important than implementing ‘’competition’, nowadays. Therefore, there has been changing in the paradigm shift in Malaysia. He then said that Indonesia and Malaysia have been working together since decades, and by establishing collaboration, together they would be more productive in implementing the higher education programs, collaborative joint research, and other common interest programs. In addition, HE Minister Jusoh also informed the audience, that an Índonesia Malaysia Research Consortium has been established in early 2017, where the University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) and Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November (ITS) Surabaya become the leaders of this consortium. Both leaders from UTM and Prof Joni Hermana then explained the collaboration that has been maintained since 2014, and hope that both Ministries will support such existing collaboration in the future.

In the efforts of accommodating active and excellent initiatives, ideas and programs from both academicians and scientists in both Countries, HE Minister Nasir proposed that an umbrella agreement on higher education development should be developed, so both Indonesian and Malaysian universities could generate all concrete programs following such agreement. Though some of the Indonesian universities and Malaysian universities are now having already their various MoUs, but still in the future, such umbrella Agreement in the Ministerial level is needed, so both steering committees from Indonesia and Malaysia may evaluate and review progress of the collaborative programs in the future. This umbrella Agreement, is hoped to be signed around November this year, and witnessed by both Leaders from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Bureau of Cooperation and Public Communication
The Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology
The Republic of Indonesia

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