Forging a Path to Excellence: Indonesia and China Unite for Innovative Vocational Education Collaboration

Jakarta, Ministry of Education and Culture – In the effort to enhance collaboration and explore potential opportunities in the field of education and vocational training between Indonesia and China, the Directorate General of Vocational Education organized a meeting for the Indonesia-China TVET Cooperation Forum in Jakarta on Monday (July 18, 2023).

Vocational education is closely tied to economic and social development. The presence of vocational education is crucial for promoting employment and entrepreneurship, thus contributing to economic, social, and community well-being.

To improve the quality of vocational education in Indonesia, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) has implemented a policy reform called “Merdeka Belajar” (Freedom to Learn). The primary focus of this reform is to revitalize vocational education and vocational training.

As a tangible step towards accelerating the revitalization of vocational education, collaboration with various stakeholders is crucial. The Indonesian government has engaged in numerous collaborations, including the partnership between Indonesia and China.

Saryadi, Secretary of the Directorate General of Vocational Education, mentioned that China has long played a role in strengthening educational development collaboration in Indonesia. Currently, nine state polytechnics in Indonesia have established partnerships with universities and vocational colleges in China through the university-to-university (U to U) scheme.

Collaboration under the U to U scheme plays a significant role in cultural and educational diplomacy with the aim of building a more skilled workforce. Since 2009 to 2022, through the China Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC), the Chinese Ministry of Education has provided over 2,500 scholarships to Mandarin language instructors in Indonesia.

In the future, it’s hoped that higher education vocational collaborations will not be limited to the U to U scheme but will also involve the business and industrial sectors or investors.

“We hope that the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) can bridge and support the involvement of the business and industrial sectors in partnering with vocational education units in Indonesia. We also encourage China to participate in programs such as IISMA (Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards), matching funds, staff mobility programs, and joint research programs. I am confident that with closer collaboration between Indonesia and China in the field of education and vocational training, we can achieve remarkable progress,” stated Saryadi.

On the same occasion, An Yan, Deputy Secretary General of CEAIE, conveyed China’s active support for enhancing the quality of vocational education through exchange and collaboration in vocational education between China and foreign countries.

Since the initiation of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and Indonesia have collaborated in various fields, including education. CEAIE is a unit under the Chinese Ministry of Education dedicated to international educational exchange and collaboration. CEAIE is committed to building a platform for international vocational education exchange and collaboration between China and other countries.

There are three focuses to deepen the exchange and collaboration of vocational education between Indonesia and China. The first focus is on introducing and sharing best practices in vocational education. Secondly, vocational education must understand the needs of the market and industry to help enhance regional economic, social development, and industry growth. Thirdly, vocational education should develop innovative approaches and harness new kinetic energy to support regional economic recovery and sustainable development through the partnership between both countries.

“We hope that this opportunity can strengthen communication and collaboration with Indonesia, attracting more universities and companies to participate in vocational education collaboration between the two countries. Additionally, this activity is expected to serve as a platform for sharing best teaching practices between the two countries, making the collaboration outcomes more beneficial for students, educators, institutions, and companies,” concluded An Yan.

The Indonesia-China TVET Cooperation Forum was attended by CEAIE with several vocational colleges from China, along with representatives from Indonesia including the Directorate General of Vocational Education, the Acting Director of Partnership and Industry Alignment, the Education and Culture Attaché of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Beijing, and the Directors of Cooperation from State Polytechnics in Indonesia.

The Indonesia-China TVET Cooperation Forum has opened the door for innovative and sustainable vocational education collaboration, aiming to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in the field of vocational education.

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