Published: 21 Sep 2021

Alifia Anandita: Graduating S3 Can Only Be a Lecturer, That is Misguided

Part 1 of 2 articles

It is undeniable that education is one of the essential components in the advancement of a country. Education knows no age and lasts a lifetime. It is what Alifia Anandita, Alumna of the Communication Study Program, President University (PresUniv), batch 2011, holds.

Alifia is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, after finishing her Master of Public Administration in International Development, School of Public Policy at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, with a scholarship from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), Republic of Indonesia. Tsinghua University is the number one university in China and number 16 in the world according to the QS World University Ranking.

When most people only pursued up to a master's degree, or even a bachelor's degree, Alifia decided to continue her education to a doctorate at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), which is ranked 93rd best in the world based on the QS World University Ranking. Just like her master's studies, she got another scholarship. This time is from the Chinese Government Scholarship.


More Knowledge, More Wisdom

For Alifia, education is the main way to upgrade herself so that she can benefit many people, especially for Indonesia. She shared that her experience of taking her master's degree at Tsinghua University was an extraordinary experience that she would never forget, and at the same time, encouraged her to continue her doctoral studies. “There, I learned many things by meeting friends from all over the world. From the north end to the south end. I came to know how other cultures live, how developed countries can accelerate their economies very quickly, as well as how confident and consistent they are in achieving their goals,” she said. The more knowledge, she stressed, the more wisdom.

Alifia admitted that during her master's education, she learned a lot about how each person views life. This experience also opened her eyes in pursuing doctoral education. There are still many people who think that doctoral graduates will only become lecturers. It will even be difficult to get a job because it is overqualified.

According to her, it is a limited and misguided thought. In developed countries, the number of doctoral graduates is even vast, especially those who are still young. Countries such as the United States, Germany, Britain, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and even India have also made this a common thing. "So the doctoral graduate is not only a lecturer. In fact, many doctoral graduates become successful entrepreneurs, work in international institutions or organizations at the UN headquarters, even work in leading companies, such as Google, Zoom, Tencent, NASA," he said.

In addition, she said, while at Tsinghua University, many of her friends, who were even younger than her, conducted various experiments or research as doctoral students. That is what opened her mind after seeing doctoral students in Indonesia, that most of them are oldster. In fact, in developed countries, young people are full of innovation, friendly socializing, and very fun.


Study in a Superpower Country

In choosing the destination country for further studies, Alifia first did a lot of research. According to her, with the fast development of the world and its various challenges, she needs to ensure whether the knowledge she has will still be relevant for the next 20 years. She observed the development of the world economy, looked at international political maps, read literature on international public policy, which then extended to economics and technology. Then, she discovered that China is a superpower country.

Alifia also followed the viewpoint of one of the world's leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, through his books entitled The Future is Asian, China Goes Global, The Partial Power, to When China Rules the World. Alifia said that in the past, whenever she covered as a journalist, she would ask for opinions from the speakers. Starting from the ranks of the palace, ministers, members of the Presidential Advisory Council, ambassadors, members of the House of Representatives, and lecturers. She said, “They all directed me to know more about China because of its unstoppable influence in various parts of the world now.”

In addition, Alifia also dug up other information about China. It made her even more confident to continue her studies in China. She said, China is the largest producer of manufactured goods globally, the largest trading country in commodity products, as well as the country with the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world. The number of countries that have established diplomatic relations has also increased to 179 countries. Plus, the Chinese government's grand plan to revive the glory of the Silk Road under the name of the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by President Xi Jinping. More than 150 countries have signed and agreed to China's initiative to revive the Silk Road. "About 62% of the world's population is involved in the project," she said.