ILO facilitated capacity building visit for Indonesian polytechnic delegations
INDONESIA. ILO (19 January 2023) - Enhancing institutional knowledge sharing and capacity building, the ILO-UK Skills for Prosperity programme in Indonesia facilitated study visits for polytechnic leaders and lectures to academic partners in the UK.
In October-November 2022, 35 delegates from five Indonesian polytechnic and university partners of the ILO-UK Skills for Prosperity Programme in Indonesia (SfP-Indonesia) visited their institutional mentors during a capacity-building visit to the United Kingdom (UK) following almost eighteen months of collaboration online.
Delegates from each of the five Indonesian polytechnics and universities spent two weeks with their respective UK partners for an intensive programme of capacity building and knowledge exchange, facilitated by the ILO: Batam State Polytechnic (Polibatam) to City of Glasgow College, Maritime State Polytechnic (Polimarin) to Solent University, Surabaya Shipbuilding State University (PPNS) to Strathclyde University, and both Manado State Polytechnic (Polimanado) and Klabat University to the University of Gloucestershire.
Polimarin’s delegates arrive at Solent University for a two-weeks capacity building activity. ©ILO
Kiki Yuliati, Director General for Indonesian Vocational Education of Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (MoECRT), and her team briefly joined partnership activities on each of the UK campuses. In addition to meeting the four Skills for Prosperity Programme partners, the MoECRT delegation also met with representatives of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Indonesian Embassy in the UK and Member of Parliament Richard Graham during their parallel itinerary.
The Director General explained that SfP-Indonesia had strengthened education relationships between Indonesia and the UK. “By coming here, I hope our teachers can see and learn directly from the UK universities,” she said. “I also hope that people at the ministry office involved in policymaking can have an institutional knowledge exchange between Indonesia and partners here [in the UK], achieve pedagogical outcomes and explore the system.”
Alicia Herbert OBE, Director of Education, Gender and Equalities at the FCDO, responded positively, expressing her hopes that partnerships would continue to deliver impacts in the long term. “We should be proud of the achievements so far,” she said. “I am looking forward to hearing more from the ministry on the progress of curriculum development and industry engagement, and explore deeper partnerships to support Indonesia’s ambition to build human capital and boost economic development.”
Khairul Munadi, Indonesian Education Attache to the UK, added that he appreciated the support from the UK government to the development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Indonesia. “We are certainly delighted to know that this programme is a part of the concrete actions of our bilateral agreement in education,” he said. “We do hope that this capacity-building tour will help to strengthen our TVET system.”
During the study tour, delegations from the polytechnics participated in a series of bespoke workshops and industry visits designed to strengthen their capability to deliver inclusive education, improve quality systems and processes, and engage with industry to improve student progression to skilled employment. The activities contribute to the core aims or pillars of the programme: to improve equity, quality and relevance in Indonesian higher level technical education and vocational training.
Strengthening GEDSI capacity.
While visiting their respective academic partners, the delegations met with GEDSI (gender equality, disability and social inclusion) specialists to learn how the UK institutions deliver inclusive education for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.
Clare Peterson, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Gloucestershire, shared the University’s approach to implementing GEDSI with the delegation from Polimanado – highlighting how campus facilities had been designed to accommodate students with disabilities, and to prevent violence and harassment on campus.
The Polimanado delegates were particularly inspired by the transparent walls in students’ common spaces and classrooms to reduce the potential of sexual harassment and abuse. “We have set up common spaces for students, but those facilities are not sufficient for the number of students,” said Mareyke Alelo, Director of Polimanado. “Next year’s funding will allocate further resources to create transparent common spaces and classrooms.”
Other polytechnics were also inspired to make commitments to promote more inclusive education. PPNS will assess the feasibility for their study programmes to accept people with disabilities and inculcate GEDSI principles among their staff, students and the wider community. Meanwhile, Klabat University committed to continue working with marginalized local communities to develop their economic potential.
Sri Tutie Rahayu of Polimarin tries the crane simulator at Solent University. ©ILO
ENGAGING STUDENTS TO DEVELOP A LEARNER-ORIENTED CURRICULUM
Improving the quality and relevance of teaching, learning and curriculum design was also a key objective of the study visit. During the itinerary, each UK partner demonstrated their curriculum design process to the Indonesian partners. The use of labour market intelligence, responding to local skills strategies and technical collaboration with industry all contribute to ensure that every TVET course responds to a quantifiable industry demand. The Indonesian partners were also interested to see how students played a role in curriculum design in the UK system.
“Students can give their input into the curriculum based on their learning experiences. We can involve students who have completed internships, so they can see the knowledge and skills needed in the world of work,” reflected Rina Sandora, a lecturer at PPNS, following the student engagement workshop at the University of Strathclyde. Ms Sandora then suggested that PPNS conduct a periodic “open talk” with PPNS students to provide opportunities for curriculum feedback and development.
Another perspective gained was that the voice of students can promote a positive image for the institution. The Polimanado delegates learned that University of Gloucestershire staff work with students and alumni to transform students’ voices into a meaningful and powerful instrument to strengthen the institution’s brand. “Involving students in curriculum design can increase their satisfaction with the learning experience, said Ms Alelo, Director of Polimanado. “Thus, it will positively impact the institution’s rank and image.”
BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH INDUSTRY
The delegations also got a chance to visit relevant industries, with the highlights including Babcock Shipyard, an Amazon Distribution Centre and the Eden Project tourist attraction.
Some delegations were accompanied by students conducting industry visits as part of their study programmes. For the students, the industry visits were aimed at facilitating the application of theories and concepts from the classroom into reality and practice.
These visits inspired delegations to strengthen their own partnerships with industry through collaboration activities including regular site visits, guest lectures from industry figures and apprenticeships. “If it is possible, industry can also open a branch office on campus,” said Akhmad Nuryanis, Director of Polimarin.
Following the study tour, all four UK institutions confirmed they will continue to support their partners in Indonesia. “We already identified a number of research projects that we can work on together, and also some other collaborations that can come out of it,” said Rafet Kurt, Senior Lecturer of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering (NAOME) at University of Strathclyde.
These knowledge-sharing, capacity-building partnerships organized by the ILO’s SfP-Indonesia programme are clearly making tangible progress towards more relevant – and inclusive – TVET in Indonesia.
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