College Challenges in 2021 : Full of Uncertainty
By: Nachrowi Djalal Nachrowi
DEPOK – (31/10/2020) This title was conveyed by Prof. Nachrowi Djalal Nachrowi, Ph.D., Chair of the UI Academic Senate (SA UI) and also Chair of the Academic Senate Assembly of State Legal Entities in Indonesia (MSA PTNBH), at the MSA PTN BH Plenary Session with Hasanudin University as host on October 31, 2020 .
The PTNBHN MSA Plenary Session was opened and attended by the Rector of Hasanudin University and attended by nearly 120 participants who were Leaders and Members of the Academic Senate from 11 PTN BH (UI, ITB, UGM, IPB, ITS, UNAIR, UNDIP, UNPAD, UPI, USU, UNHAS ) as well as other invitations.
2020 is coming to an end and 2021 is coming. However, we still do not know for sure whether this pandemic will end soon at the end of this year or whether it will continue until next year. We need to anticipate this uncertainty seriously because this pandemic will greatly affect the operations of higher education institutions in the next year.
Epidemiologists predict that this pandemic will still be with us at least until the first semester of 2021. Consequently, universities in Indonesia still need to carry out their lectures and activities online at least until the first semester of next year. Even though we all know that online learning is not as effective as offline learning. Therefore, lecturers need to look for new breakthroughs in online teaching for teaching methods to be more effective so that university graduates do not decline in quality. This, in my opinion, is one of our challenges that still needs to be overcome.
In addition, even though the pandemic only emerged earlier this year, its impact on global economic activity has been devastating. If the pandemic continues until next year, the impact will be even more frightening. Currently, global economic activity is not only slowing down but almost stagnating. Almost all countries in the world experience negative growth or experience contraction and many have even gone into recession.
From the results of our discussions with the Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) recently, it was revealed that, currently, all business sectors are sluggish, so they have responded by reducing their workforce through several ways. There are those who reduce working hours and some are laying off workers temporarily, and some are laying off work permanently. This condition is clearly a nightmare for recent college graduates.
how stressful it is for new college graduates who need to work whilst at the same time, almost all companies are laying off their workforce. Fortunately, according to the Chairman of Kadin, there are still two sectors that can still grow amid the sluggish business world in Indonesia. These are the health sector and the Information and Communication Technology sector. In addition, the Chairman of Kadin also reminded us that our young people, especially university graduates, need to have entrepreneurial skills.
We need to rethink the phenomenon of shifting competency needs of higher education graduates in meeting the requirements of today’s world of work. University students need to be equipped with ICT competencies such as digital economy and digital entrepreneurship through a structured curriculum or through training or public lectures so that university graduates can be more adaptive to changes in the work market and the world of work. This, in my opinion, is another challenge for the year ahead.
Currently, there are serious problems in the process of downstreaming research results and innovations from Higher Education. In fact, there are indeed a lot of research results from universities in the form of patents and prototypes of a product that is stalled and late to be marketed. Ironically, the research initially received very significant funding from donors. One of the reasons is that related parties, including the government, prefer the finished products from imports. Meanwhile, the relevant researchers are left to compete for sponsorships in order to socialize the results of their research.
The results of our discussion with the Chairman of Gakeslab also confirm this statement. They confirmed that users are happy with imported products and regulations towards the downstreaming of higher education research results to the market are not very helpful. In overcoming this problem, we need to submit proposals to the Minister of Education and Culture and the Minister of Research and Technology to encourage regulations that favor domestic products and create a broad market for local research products from tertiary institutions so that entrepreneurs are interested in mass-producing research results and results. innovation from Higher Education. This is also a challenge we must overcome immediately.
On this occasion, I will also raise the issue of Lecturer Independence on campus. Hopefully, this issue can be used as input for the Commission 3 discussion this morning. According to a researcher from the University of Warwick England, a work teamthat carries out its duties in a cheerful atmosphere, will have increased productivity. On the other hand, a Work Team that carries out its duties with full force and in a stressful mental atmosphere will actually decrease productivity.
The question now is whether the lecturers at PTN BH have enjoyed the joyful atmosphere in carrying out their Tridarma Perguruan Tinggi duties. If these lecturers cannot enjoy their daily work, then their productivity is still not optimal and can still be improved through this independent lecturer route.
In fact, like it or not, at this time, all lecturers in Higher Education must carry out the Tridarma of PT which includes Teaching, Research and Community Service . The Ministry of Education and Culture hopes that lecturers throughout Indonesia become superhuman beings who can carry out these three tasks perfectly. Routinely, lecturers are evaluated using standard measures outlined by the Higher Education tenets, which include the achievement of these three tasks.
From my experience as a lecturer at UI for more than 40 years, admittedly or not, there are lecturers who are very good at teaching, but are just ordinary when doing their research. On the other hand, there are lecturers who are not very good at teaching, but the results of their research are extraordinary. This fact makes us aware that lecturers have different passions and therefore need to be given different main assignments according to their inclinations and abilities. Consequently, the lecturer also needs to be evaluated differently according to the main task of his/her choice. If this can be implemented, according to the researcher, the productivity of lecturers at a PT can increase in this way.
Ideally, lecturers who are passionate about research should be given the main task of researching with the additional task of teaching and doing community service. On the other hand, a lecturer who has a high inclination towards teaching, this lecturer should be given the main task of teaching and given the additional task of researching and carrying out community service. As a consequence, the group of lecturers whose main task is researching needs to be evaluated by focusing on the results of their research. Meanwhile, the group of lecturers whose main task is to teach should also be evaluated with a focus on teaching.
By freeing lecturers to choose their assignments according to their own choice, each lecturer will be able to enjoy their assignments as fun assignments and when this happens, their productivity can increase. In my opinion, this issue is also a challenge in order to further formulate how lecturers in higher education can be more productive by giving the lecturer the opportunity to be able to carry out their duties according to their passions and be evaluated proportionally according to their chosen assignment. (hjtp)
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