On Monday, 23 May 2016, ACICIS in partnership with Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) held the 2016 ACICIS Indonesia Partner Universities Meeting at the UII Main Campus, in Yogyakarta. It was a very significant moment in ACICIS history, as this was the inaugural meeting of ACICIS partner universities in Indonesia gathering together at the same time. ACICIS has long standing partnerships with premier Indonesian universities including Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang  (UMM) since 1995, Universitas Islam Indonesia since 2005, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya since 2007, Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (UNPAR)  since 2009, Universitas Sanata Dharma since 2011, and Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) since 2016. The meeting was an opportunity for ACICIS to sit together with our partner universities in Indonesia to share ideas and experiences, to streamline communication for better program management in the future, and to reflect on our long standing partnerships.

The attendees included ACICIS staff and representatives of our Indonesian partner universities:

  • Dr Eko Hari Purnomo (Deputy Director for International Programs) and Ms Uceu Nurmalia (Staff for Immigration Matters) from Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB)
  • Mr Agus Supriyanto (Head of Mobility Division, OIA) and Ms Erni Kurnia Putri (Office of International Affairs staff) from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)
  • Ms Nihlah Ilhami (International Office Manager) and Ms Nurhasanah Cendra H. (Staff of International Office) from Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII)
  • Dr Eko Widodo (Dean of FIABIKOM) and Ms Selvie Sinaga (Head of International Office) from Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya
  • Ms Ratih Indraswari (Head of Cooperation Division) and Ms Chris Stephany (Staff of International Office) from Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (UNPAR)
  • Mr Dimas A. Prassetyo (Staff of International Office) and Ms Helmia Asyathri (ACICIS Program Secretary) from Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM)
  • Mr W. Sudrajad Ari Nugroho (International Office Staff) and Ms Modesta Luluk Artika Windrasti (Staff of the Vice Rector IV) from Universitas Sanata Dharma (USD)

The meeting was opened by a recitation of Al-Quran, an UII tradition, and a traditional Balinese dance performance by one of the UII student buddies, followed by speeches from UII Rector, Dr Ir Harsoyo, MSc., and ACICIS Resident Director, Ms Elena Williams, MA. In his speech, Dr Harsoyo emphasized the importance of global education collaboration and increasing student mobility and global experiences. For UII – an ACICIS partner university since 2005 – student mobility is not only understood as local students seeking global experiences, but also international students studying in Indonesia. Ms Elena Williams discussed the significant changes to student mobility experiences in the last two to three years in the Asia-Pacific Region through the Australian Government’s initiative: the New Colombo Plan (NCP). This initiative is aimed at increasing the number of Australian undergraduate students studying in Asia-Pacific countries. The NCP has given ACICIS the opportunity to develop several new programs such as the Agriculture Semester Program (ASP), the Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum (CADPP) and the Public Health Study Tour (PHST).

ACICIS continues to provide Australian students with the opportunity to study in a range of fields and areas in Indonesia. Both Dr Harsoyo and Ms Williams agreed that in order to support a greater student mobility experience in the future,  stronger relationship between ACICIS partners is required.The first session of the meeting discussed ongoing program challenges, in areas including student visas, academic issues, pastoral care, and sponsorship. ACICIS and  Partner University representatives discussed the current regulations, protocols, upcoming changes, and immigration issues that arise when supporting incoming international students. This session was followed by a small group discussion of case studies and plenary session. The attendees were broken into two groups to discuss hypothetical situations involving students such as immigration, academic matters, pastoral care and student visa management. Finally each group had the opportunity to present their findings and the meeting was closed with all attendees writing a recommendation and offering their signatures as a sign of their support and commitment to improving the experience of Australian students studying in Indonesia.

On Tuesday, 24 May 2016, ACICIS staff and ACICIS Indonesia Partner Universities had the opportunity to attend a seminar hosted by the Universitas Islam Indonesia on the procedures for obtaining an international student permit and foreign worker’s permits. The guest speakers of the seminar included Mr Adhrial Refaddin, MPP from the Indonesian Directorate General of Higher Education (DIKTI), Mr Wawan Anjaryono, MH, from the Immigration Office Yogyakarta, as well as Ms Heny Widiastuti from the Regional Office of Manpower and Transmigration Department Yogyakarta.

ACICIS appreciates the ongoing support of our partner universities in providing Australian students with a well-rounded study experience in Indonesia.