Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is exploring potential collaborations with Pati Regency, Central Java, in various research fields such as fisheries development, renewable energy, disaster mitigation, and the Student Community Service Program (KKN-PPM) sustainability.
This initiative was discussed during a meeting between UGM Vice-Rector for Student Affairs, Community Service, and Alumni, Dr. Arie Sujito, and members of UGM’s Senate Academic Commission V, with Head of the Pati Regency Development Planning Agency, Dr. Muhtar, on Tuesday (8/8), at the office of the Regent of Pati, Central Java.
Dr. Arie Sujito emphasized that UGM is eager to collaborate with regional governments throughout Indonesia to establish partnerships across various fields. The goal is to apply research findings and knowledge from the university to benefit local communities.
“This collaboration aims to incorporate theoretical perspectives and synergize knowledge laboratories with community service and research activities,” Dr. Sujito said.
Pati Regency holds strategic importance in developing the northern coastal region of Java, making it a potential area for collaboration.
“The challenges of future energy and food crises and local issues call for strong cooperation between the university and local governments to harness the potential, especially given UGM’s many study centers,” he added.
Dr. Muhtar expressed his appreciation for UGM’s interest in collaboration. He also commended UGM for selecting Pati as a location for its Student Community Service Program. The activities are conducted in two districts: Juwana and Tambakromo.
“These areas have distinct characteristics, with Juwana serving as a hub for fisheries and crafts while Tambakromo focuses on agriculture, each with its unique challenges,” Dr. Muhtar said.
In Tambakromo, the recurring flooding issue due to river overflow poses a significant challenge. Dr. Muhtar hopes that UGM can offer solutions to address this problem.
“The presence of UGM students can help address issues in Pati and optimize the region’s resources and potential,” he added.
The discussion also touched on poverty and stunting rates. Dr. Muhtar noted that Pati Regency has a poverty rate of 9.33%, among Central Java’s lowest. The extreme poverty rate is around 0.86%. Additionally, stunted growth affects 5.46% of children under five years old.
“UGM students taking community service in Pati, under the guidance of their field supervisors, can collaborate with local administrations to address extreme poverty and stunting, which are government priorities,” he said.
Professor M. Mukhtasar Syamsuddin, a UGM’s Senate Academic Commission V member, emphasized that the current theme of UGM’s KKN-PPM focuses on collaborating with local governments based on their needs.
“The program aligns with the strategic development goals of the region, ensuring mutual benefits,” the professor said.
The professor continued that a single societal problem cannot be tackled with a one-discipline approach. Hence the work programs by students promote an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach.
“Nowadays, all problems cannot be solved with one discipline, so effective collaboration and synergy are needed and carried out by students in the field even though time is limited,” he concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson