Non-academic activities for university students are of significance for a student’s learning process apart from academic ones. It is, therefore, appropriate for higher learning to pay more attention to running student activity programmes.
“We cannot focus only on academic programme. Non-academic student activities are also programmes that have to be further developed and accommodated as these are important to train student’s soft skill,” said UGM Vice-Rector for Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. dr. Iwan Dwiprahasto, M.Med.Sc., Ph.D., in a national discussion on Friday (27/5) in the University Club UGM.
Director for Student Affairs in the Research, Technology, and Higher Learning Ministry, Dr. Didin Wahidin, M. Pd., shared similar views. Universities have to make academic and non-academic activities as one whole learning unity.
“Let’s avoid the dichotomy between academic and non-academic activities. We aim not only at making the students smart, but also making a whole education for our students,” he said.
This is important to do as a response to current challenges, particularly amidst the shift of orientation in terms of economy, politics, or education, from the US and Europe to Asia.
“We cannot stay as audience only. We need to prepare our students to go to that direction where we’re not only the object but decision makers of many issues,” he said.
The meeting attended by university leaders on student affairs from various Indonesian universities raised the theme Contribution to Student Governance to Advance the Nation. Participants of the meeting shared experiences on student affairs management on government regulations, university policy, or demands from students. Universities are also expected to make commitment in supporting student activities while ideas can be shared together for better management in each university.