Education Encouraged to Support Economy

Kompas, page 1

The relevance of study programs to the needs of society is one of the main issues of the National Education Day commemoration, Tuesday (2/5). This issue is in line with the government’s policy of developing vocational education. The Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Menristek&Dikti), Muhammad Nasir emphasized that universities now should not merely act as agents of education and agents of innovation.  It is time that universities also act as agents of economic growth. Universities are encouraged to show more of the impact of their activities on economic development, especially in their respective areas.

According to Nasir, in order for their role to be implemented, the government will support universities, one of them by increasing the number of vocational colleges. Kemristek Dikti has launched a revitalization program of vocational education covering competency building as well as restructuring program of expertise and curriculum according to industry needs. The program will also include the construction of industrial facility infrastructure to support student internships and training for lecturers.

Kemristek Dikti will also develop the Science and Technology Area (KST). The area can facilitate research collaboration between researchers, universities, and the business world. Through business incubation in KST, it is expected to be born small medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) or technology-based start-ups.

The Director of Higher Education, Science & Technology, and Culture of Bappenas, Amich Alhumami reminded of the need for higher education to map study programs to meet the needs of the labor market. In the portion of study programs in higher education, for example, there is a gap between the fields of science-engineering and social sciences-humanities. The social-humanities sector is still dominant, reaching 13,611 courses (57 percent), while the science-engineering has 10,136 (43 percent).

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