The Australian Federal Government through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, has appointed a new Education and Research Counselor, Han Xiao Zhang, to serve at the Australian Embassy to Indonesia, in Jakarta to replace Elizabeth Campbell-Dorning, who has ended her term. his job. Before leaving for Jakarta, Attache Han together with Karen Sandercock, First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Stephen Trengove-Jones, Assistant Secretary, International Partnerships Branch, and Rose Hunter, Policy Officer at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment visited the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.
As explained by Attache Han Xiao Zhang, his visit was an introduction to himself as a new official who will work closely with the Indonesian government in the future. “We also want to discuss several things that need special attention in the Australia-Indonesia cooperation relationship in the fields of education and research,” explained Han Xiao Zhang, Monday (15/11).
The team from the Australian Department of Education was received directly by the Deputy Ambassador of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, Mohammad Syarif Alatas, accompanied by the Education and Culture Attaché, Mukhamad Najib and the Coordinator of Information, Social and Cultural Functions, Ghofar Ismail, and the Coordinator of Protocol and Consular Functions, Armin Rachmat.
Deputy Ambassador Syarief, on this occasion, welcomed the arrival of Attache Han and his team and said that the cooperation between Indonesia and Australia in the field of education had been harmoniously established. “Even in Indonesia, Monash University has been established,” added Deputy Ambassador Syarief.
Syarief continued, the continuation of cooperation in the field of education is expected to bring more exchanges of knowledge and technology for the progress of the two countries. “Australia is still a favorite destination for Indonesian students who will study abroad, because Indonesian students view the Australian education system as one of the best in the world,” said Syarif.
“Currently there are around 13,000 Indonesian students studying in Australia. However, 3,950 of them are still unable to enter Australia due to the closure of Australia’s borders during Covid-19. However, with the current development of the handling of Covid-19, I am optimistic that in 2022 the border will be reopened for Indonesian students, “explained Syarief.
Syarif also expressed his hope that in the future Australia can establish vocational schools in Indonesia, in order to improve the quality of skilled workers in Indonesia. “In addition, cooperation in training is needed, especially for areas that are important for development in Indonesia,” Syarief hoped.
The First Secretary, Karen Sandercock, expressed her gratitude for the good relationship that has existed so far between the Australian and Indonesian governments. “Education cooperation is very important to improve the quality of human resources in both countries. Indonesia is very close to Australia, so young people, especially Australian students, also need to know about Indonesia,” said Karen, who hopes that collaboration between Indonesia and Australia in the fields of education and research will continue to be improved in the future.
Education and Research Counselor Han, appreciated the good response from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra. “I hope I can go to Jakarta soon and carry out my duties to improve education and research cooperation. Australia will continue to provide scholarships for Indonesian students to study in Australia. I will also facilitate student exchange activities and other international mobility activities,” explained Han.
RI Atdikbud in Canberra Supports Indonesian Students to Study in Australia
In response to this, the Indonesian Education and Culture Ministry in Canberra, Mukhamad Najib, explained the Merdeka Learning-Independent Campus (MBKM) to Attache Han. “One of the MBKM implementations is that students are encouraged to study at other campuses, including overseas campuses. The Ministry of Education and Culture provides a special scholarship for international mobility called the Indonesia International Mobility Award (IISMA) for Indonesian students who are interested in taking one semester of study abroad,” explained Najib, who was welcomed by Attache Han.
The universities in Australia selected by the Indonesian Government as the destination for IISMA in 2022 are the Australian National University and Melbourne University. “The Indonesian government has determined the two best universities in Australia to be involved in IISMA in 2022, of course it is possible that in the following year it will be expanded to other universities in Australia,” explained Atdikbud Najib.
Najib also said that in the context of educational cooperation, particularly Indonesian Language Education in Australia, the Indonesian Government has sent Indonesian Language Teachers for Foreign Speakers (BIPA) to schools in need. “In 2022 the BIPA teacher delivery program will also be continued,” explained Najib.
As part of a form of education cooperation, Najib hopes that the Australian Government can also help promote Indonesian language lessons in schools and include it in the curriculum. “Currently, interest in learning Indonesian has decreased in Australia. So, I hope to support the promotion of Indonesian language teaching in schools,” said Najib.
In addition to sending BIPA teachers, continued by Najib, there is also a cooperation program for assistant teachers from language education students who are doing real work lectures (KKN), where Indonesian students who are doing KKN are assigned as assistant teachers in language teaching in schools.
“In 2021, there are 20 students who take part in KKN from Padang State University as assistant teachers. They teach Indonesian in 15 schools in Victoria. Of course, this can be improved in the future,” concluded Najib. *** (Source: kemdikbud.go.id)