The Covid-19 pandemic has become the most challenging problem for all nations, including Indonesia. This virus outbreak has made various limitations. Still, it does not hinder UGM from innovating to remain serving the community, including overcoming the pandemic.
“The pandemic has hastened change in all life passages, including the world of higher education. We cannot hinder several transformations indeed. But we use this chance instead to innovate and lead the development of better human resources,” said UGM Chancellor, Prof. Panut Mulyono, in his remarks in his speech entitled UGM Leadership and Service during the Covid-19 Pandemic at the peak of UGM’s 71st Anniversary on Saturday (19/12).
Panut said the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the discontinuance of offline teaching and learning activities. Thus it then triggers adaptation and resilience efforts in the world of higher education. UGM also promptly responded to this situation by implementing online teaching and learning activities since March 16, 2020. The implementation of online teaching and learning activities has become a driving force for using digital technology in learning, which has been implemented since 2018 through a hybrid learning system (online and offline).
Panut added that the challenge of providing education during the pandemic was aimed to prevent the Covid-19 transmission both in the campus environment, around the campus, and where students have activities and social interaction. Therefore, UGM formed the UGM Covid-19 Task Force to respond to the prevention of Covid-19.
UGM also conducts Covid-19 screening services to help the Yogyakarta and Central Java regional governments in the Covid-19 screening process. As of December 11, 2020, UGM throughout the FKKMK lab has collected 30,815 samples of nasopharyngeal swabs, including 4,135 positive samples and 26,500 negative samples.
Panut said that the Covid-19 pandemic had inspired UGM to maintain/change various community service activities. The mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic disaster has been used as a theme in many community service activities. Until the end of 2020, the UGM-SCS CEL with the big theme of pandemic mitigation was successfully organized online in 236 units distributed across 27 Indonesian provinces. There were about 5,181 students involved.
The UGM Disaster Response Unit (DERU) team has also distributed medicines totaling about 146 thousand medical supplies and more than 2,500 liters of hand-sanitizers and disinfectants to 497 hospital institutions, primary health facilities, and local governments in 22 provinces.
Research and Student Affairs
UGM still maintains its productivity in innovations through its researchers and lecturers in the middle of a pandemic. UGM remains to adapt to various strategies and innovations to produce real innovations in dealing with and mitigating a pandemic’s impact. This fact was proven in 2020. UGM had produced 605 intellectual property titles consisting of 123 patents, 462 copyrights, 10 brands, and 10 industrial designs. This number then leads UGM’s intellectual property to be accumulated until 2020 as many as 1,883, with 91 of them being patents received patent certificates. In 2020, UGM won the highest patent award for the university category from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
“UGM has facilitated 108 research titles regarding the handling and mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic. From the research results, UGM contributed 33 of the 57 (58%) product prototypes listed in the Innovation Catalog for Researchers and Engineers of the Ministry of Research and Technology / National Agency for Research and Innovation to cope with the pandemic,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, to help students with financial problems, UGM provided scholarships worth Rp. 299,629,499,000 distributed to 13,737 students. The Covid-19 pandemic does not hinder UGM to keep improving its student character through various programs. UGM students also proceed to make achievements during the pandemic. Until the end of November 2020, UGM had successfully won 837 medals with 67 gold medals at the international level, 261 medals at the national level, and 14 medals at the regional level.
“In 2020, UGM has gained the award for four consecutive years as the best university in the field of student affairs in the country,” he explained.
Panut added that during the difficult challenges for handling the Covid-19 pandemic, UGM can still manage the quality assurance and quality of the implementation of the Tridharma of Higher Education. UGM has earned international 38 active study program accreditations and certifications in external quality assurance from various international accreditation institutions. Besides, UGM has led to making a big leap by ranking in the world’s top 254 in the QS World University’s 2021 ranking. While at the Asian level, UGM got its position on 57th, it has also successfully brought UGM as the best university in Indonesia.
Next, UGM succeeded in occupying the 72nd position in the Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking (SDGs). It has increased from the previous year at 101-200 positions. For the Gender Equality aspect, UGM is included in the list of the world’s top 50 and ranked 70 globally in the aspects of Decent Work and Economic Growth. In both aspects, UGM still occupies the first position in Indonesia.
“As an inclusive campus, UGM also remains to develop its hospitality to minority groups, especially persons with disabilities, by preparing a Disability Service Unit in synergy with UKM with disabilities,” he explained.
Innovation in the Middle of a Pandemic
In that event, Prof. dr. Hari Kusnanto, Dr.PH, also delivered a scientific oration entitled Turning On Social Solidarity in the Middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In his speech, he described some of UGM’s contributions made by UGM researchers and lecturers to handle the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of them consist of developing mathematical modeling of Covid-19 transmission, computer simulations of Indonesian natural ingredients to inhibit infection, and replicating the new coronavirus to support herbal medicine, regulating the standard of herbal medicines phytopharmaca, and the rapid development of antibody tests.
Besides, UGM researchers also took part in developing the Red and White vaccine for the Indonesian people. It was then also involved in some production of sampling kits for swabs and virus transport media, swab booths, ventilators for patients with ARDS, and rapid detection of the Covid-19 virus called GeNose.
UGM also conducted mental health education efforts to avoid mental health problems due to the pandemic. Not only that, UGM enlists the community’s psycho-cultural response through gangs of macapat and pupuh Maskumambang. Next, starting an innovation to lead both producers and consumers shifted to online due to limited physical mobility due to a pandemic. It is called Sonjo, which has had successful wide development beyond conventional imaginations. There were also other various community aid activities carried out in developing food security.
“UGM will remain to be a source of ideas and solution models for humanitarian problems and social welfare,” he said.
On that occasion, some UGM academicians such as Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, M.Sc., Ph.D., and Prof. dr. Eng. Kuwat Triyana, M.Si. also received the UGM Awards given by the UGM Chancellor, accompanied by the Chairman of UGM Council Professors’.
Translator: Natasa A