Published: 22 Dec 2021

Indonesia has 4,670 higher education institutions in the form of universities, high schools, academies, polytechnics, to community schools. All of these higher education institutions have more than 8 million students. On the other hand, the quality of higher education graduates still needs to be improved. This is because many college graduates still find it difficult to find work and even become unemployed.

As an illustration, data from Badan Pusat Statistik states that in February 2021 the number of the workforce will reach 139.81 million. Then, of the entire workforce, the number of Tingkat Pengangguran Terbuka (TPT) is 8.75 million. Of all TPT, university graduates reach 5.98% and Diploma I/II/III graduates are 5.87%.

One of the causes of the high TPT from universities is the quality of graduates who are not in accordance with Dunia Usaha Dunia Industri (DUDI) needs. According to Pelaksana Tugas Dirjen Pendidikan Tinggi, Riset dan Teknologi (Dikti Ristek) Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., DIC, Ph.D., IPU, Asean Eng., there are still many universities in Indonesia that implement an Industry 3.0-based education system. This is out of date. For this reason, Prof. Nizam asked universities in Indonesia to dare to overhaul their education system from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0. “Currently, changes no longer occur linearly but are increasingly complex. For this reason, universities in Indonesia must begin to abandon old competencies that are no longer needed. Universities in Indonesia must be more adaptive and dare to disrupt themselves,” said Prof. Nizam.

In order to improve the quality of graduates, the collaboration between universities is very important. This was emphasized by Dr. Ir. Paristiyanti Nurwandani, MP, Secretary of the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, when giving a keynote speech at the opening of the Train the Trainers for Indonesian Higher Education Leadership (iHiLead) facilitators, Monday (13/12). This program is carried out on a hybrid. Some participants and resource persons attended offline at the President Executive Club, Kota Jababeka, Cikarang, by implementing strict health procedures. Some of the other participants joined it online. This training event involved several leaders from various universities. Here what is meant by leaders include the rectors, vice-rectors, deans and heads of study programs, other academic leaders, senior managements, including leaders in non-academic fields (educational staff).

They are members of the iHiLead consortium, a consortium consisting of seven Indonesian universities and three European Union universities. The seven Indonesian universities are President University from Cikarang, Bekasi, Ahmad Dahlan University and Indonesian Islamic University from Yogyakarta, Brawijaya University and STIE Malangkucecwara from Malang, State University of Semarang from Semarang, Padjajaran University from Bandung. Meanwhile, three foreign universities are the University of Gloucestershire from the United Kingdom, the International School for Business and Social Studies (ISBSS) from Slovenia, and the University of Granada from Spain.

The iHiLead Consortium is led by David Dawson, PhD, FCIPD, SHEA, Director of the Master of Arts Higher Education Leadership and Management from the University of Gloucestershire. In its implementation in Indonesia, this consortium is under the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology supervision. The iHiLead Consortium aims to improve the quality of higher education in Indonesia through the reform of higher education leaders and leadership. The final goal of the consortium is for the quality of higher education graduates to be able to answer the needs of DUDI. To implement its programs, the iHiLead consortium has the support of the Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), an agency under Eramus+ of the European Union. Erasmus+ is a commission in the European Union that supports various activities in education, training, youth, and sports in various countries worldwide.

Apart from encouraging cooperation between higher education institutions, said Paristiyanti, the government also encourages the transformation of higher education through Kampus Merdeka program. There are eight Key Performance Indicators of the higher education transformation program which include graduates getting decent jobs, study programs receiving international accreditation, collaborative and participatory classes, study programs collaborating with world-class partners, lecturers receiving international recognition, and practicing practitioners teaching on campus, lecturers are also active outside the campus (either in industry or other campuses), and students are allowed to gain off-campus experience either through internship programs, conducting research, entrepreneurship or participating in student exchange programs. "Through this transformation, higher education is expected to be able to produce superior human resources so that Indonesia can grow into a developed country," said Paristiyanti.

To support the achievement of these targets, said Paristiyanti, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Research and Technology has prepared a large budget. For example, during 2022, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Research and Technology allocated a budget of Rp. 3 trillion was allocated to support Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program. In addition, continued Paristiyanti, the Ministry of Education and Culture and Research and Technology also supports higher education collaboration in Indonesia with international institutions, such as the iHiLead consortium.

In order to produce graduates who can answer the needs of DUDI, universities also need to transform—as proclaimed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Research and Technology through Kampus Merdeka program. In order for the transformation to take place, capacity building for leaders and leadership is a key factor. That is what the Train the Trainers program aims to achieve.

In his welcome remarks to the Train the Trainers program participants, the Rector of PresUniv Prof. Dr. Jony Oktavian Haryanto emphasized the importance of transforming leaders and leadership in higher education to improve the quality of higher education in Indonesia. Jony said, “Through this program, it is hoped that the capacity of leaders and leadership in higher education will increase. With this capacity increase, universities are expected to be able to produce graduates who will become future leaders.”

Through this training, Jony also hopes that university leaders will be able to explore various information and gain a lot of knowledge to understand better what is being and will be done. He said again, “I also hope that this training can increase the positive energy of higher education leaders. Then, the information and positive energy can be disseminated to the educational institutions they lead and to the community.”

There are several topics that are the focus of this training event. Among them are issues of authentic leadership, immunity to change, how to manage university resources and human resources, managing change and risk, including managing conflict. In addition, this training also discusses strategies related to action learning and how to implement change projects in universities, including designing positive changes.