The Faculty of Engineering UGM is celebrating its anniversary, known as the 75th Engineering Higher Education Day (HPTT) or the 15th Lustrum. Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Ir. Muhammad Waziz Wildan, M.Sc., Ph.D., submitted the Faculty’s reports, evaluations, and plans for the next year in the Open Senate Meeting, Wednesday (17/2). There were also speeches to celebrate the anniversary by the Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim, and the Director-General of Higher Education, Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., DIC., Ph.D.
Waziz started his report by reflecting on the tough times that various parties in the world, including the Faculty of Engineering, faced throughout 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he said the Faculty was still trying to carry out its Tri Dharma (three principles of higher education) duties, cooperation, and service as well as possible.
“Of course, we do these with various adjustments. For example, we follow and implement health protocols, online services, and online learning,” Waziz said.
According to Waziz, these efforts were effectively carried out, resulting in academics’ learning and research outcomes, such as awards, successful activities, cooperation, and products. “The total medals or wins achieved by students in 2020 were 1,258, excluding those won by lecturers. For research products, 57 products have been in use to mitigate Covid-19. The Faculty of Engineering also actively collaborates with the government, private sector, or other domestic and foreign universities,” he explained.
Reflecting on 2020 that had forced us to adapt many things in life to online implementation, Waziz stated the Faculty’s plans and outlook. It was implied through the current HPTT’s theme Independent Learning and Independent Campus to Welcome Society 5.0. It aimed to set up the Faculty in producing well-prepared young people to face the dynamic technological development in a global society without any barrier.
UGM Rector, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., IPU., ASEAN Eng., said the theme was in line with the post-Covid-19 plan to implement a mixed learning scheme. Online learning that was implemented since the pandemic began would still apply and combined with face-to-face learning. Thus, the use of technology was a must in supporting teaching and learning activities.
Panut also revealed that UGM had also prepared a new curriculum framework on this subject in the Rector Regulation No. 14 of 2020. The regulation followed a breakthrough from the Ministry of Education and Culture and Higher Education on Independent Learning-Independent Campus (Merdeka Belajar-Kampus Merdeka). A guidebook and a related task force were also ready.
“Hopefully, it will support the idea of society 5.0, which essentially expresses that humans are the main consideration in technology development. The development of a system must have a goal for human welfare. If the Covid-19 silver linings, such as social capital, creativity, innovation, are maintained in the new normal, Indonesia can become a technological and economic superpower in the world,” Panut said.
In his speech, Nadiem expressed his agreement on the HPTT theme this time. Apart from being in line with the Ministry of Education and Culture and Higher Education program, he said it also reflected the society’s current situation.
“McKinsey’s research predicts that in the next ten years, at least 23 million jobs in Indonesia will be replaced by automation. However, it also sees the emergence of 46 million new jobs, some of which have not even been created yet. Hence we bring up the Independent Learning-Independent Campus program,” he explained.
Through this breakthrough, Nadiem said that the Ministry of Education and Culture intended to break down the narrow walls that limited students. They were given ample space to gain competence through off-campus experiences. They could gain experience in industry, research, and entrepreneurship.
Lastly, Nadiem expressed his hopes for UGM and the Faculty of Engineering in particular. He said the Faculty’s establishment 75 years ago (at the beginning known as Technical High School) proved the initiators’ unyielding determination. They allowed their compatriots to get education up to the highest level in times that were not easy at that time.
“The Faculty of Engineering and all its academics need to inherit their enthusiasm for independence in learning and sovereignty. As we welcome the disruption era, let us together advance our higher education quality. All of them are possible through the joint action we do to achieve one goal, advancing Indonesia. Together we get rid of the boundaries that have caged our students and lecturers. Come on, independent campus!” he concluded.