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UC helping strengthen educational collaboration between Australia and Indonesia

Katarina Slavich

16 September 2020: Australian researchers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Canberra are strengthening their ties to education in Indonesia, by taking part in a webinar series focusing on stronger educational collaboration between the two countries.

The webinar, held on Friday 11 September 2020, was hosted by the Indonesian Embassy and the Indonesian Academics and Researchers Network Australia (IARNA), with three keynote speakers:  Director General for Teachers and Education Personnel, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia Iwan Syahril, PhD; Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Canberra Professor Barney Dalgarno; and Assistant Professor Sitti Maesuri Patahuddin.

“This event shows the University’s contribution in strengthening bilateral relationships between Australia and Indonesia with mutual benefits for both countries, especially in the education area,” said Dr Patahuddin.

“The University of Canberra was recognised by stakeholders and education communities across Indonesia and will be an opportunity to attract prospective students as well as increase research citation and research collaboration.”

The Director General presented the ministry’s program priorities around “Merdeka Belajar” (Freedom to Learn) and the transformation of teachers and school leaders in Indonesia. Professor Dalgarno spoke about about teacher education in Australia, showcasing the strength and unique features of our teacher education program, while Dr Patahuddin contrasted the teacher education of both Indonesia and Australia.

“I focused on three themes; the content which is what is learned by pre-service teachers, the process of how it is learned and the alignment between what is learned at university and the needs of society,” said Dr Patahuddin.

The webinar was well attended, with over 1,300 attendees from teacher education institutions and providers, stakeholders from the Ministry and Department of Education, teacher associations, members of the Indonesian Embassy of Australia, Indonesian researchers across Australia, and academics and researchers from other countries.

“I think, social media especially Facebook and WhatsApp became a very effective medium in disseminating this event. I would say, this is the word of mouth culture of Indonesia but in the electronic form,” said Dr Patahuddin.

Dr Patahuddin received further interest in the event following the webinar and posted her talk on Youtube which has had more than 300 views.

There has already been some collaboration between the University and their Indonesian counterparts, including the Government Partnership for Development (GPFD) project in Teacher Professional Development.

The University is looking forward to collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Culture in strengthening their latest program “Merdeka Belajar”, which is providing greater opportunities for students to learn outside of their current program, including to study at other universities both domestically and internationally.