Technology education will not benefit a wide range of Indonesians if universities work apart from industry and the government, a leading academic says.
Akhmaloka, rector of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), said on Tuesday that technological innovations at universities needed to be applied for practical purposes that would benefit everyone.
“Technology and education can’t become agents of development if education institutes work on their own, isolated from other groups in society,” he said.
“Through collaboration, including with the community, different groups will have a platform for exchanging their knowledge and experiences, which will boost their capacity for carrying out their respective tasks.”
Universities, he said, had a fundamental role in developing and teaching about technology.
“They also have a responsibility to contribute to business, government and community needs as part of a flourishing democracy,” he added.
The government’s role, he said, was to facilitate collaboration between academia and industry for applied solutions to challenges, while industry should help support research and training.
He said improved ties would also be key to fulfilling development goals and the government’s Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI).
Under the plan, the country is divided into six corridors — Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali-Nusa Tenggara and Papua-Maluku — with each having its own growth area.
“We need collaboration between the various universities in each of these corridors and the respective regional administrations as well as business representatives who will invest in these areas,” Akhmaloka said.
Success in each of the corridors, he added, was tied to the application of research and technology conducted by universities.
The rector was speaking at an event to mark the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Technische Hogeschool (Technical College), the archipelago’s first institute of higher learning for technology.
The college, established by the Dutch in 1920, would later go on to become ITB in 1959.