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Higher Education Possess Essential Roles in Actuating a Competitive Nation

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Indonesia population is counted more than 250 million people and is escalating till 2035. The number of productive citizens is calculated 60% of the citizens that the number is greater than the number of non-productive citizens. The circumstance becomes the strength of Indonesia, but it also can turn challenge like how Indonesia can prosper the people as well as the country. To enhance the human resources of the productive citizens, higher education institutions possess essential roles to be more prosperous and competitive.

On the Anniversary Remark (Pidato Milad) on Tuesday (22/3) at meeting hall of A.R. FDachruddin B, Secretary of Directorate General of Learning and Student, Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (Kemenristek), Prof. Dr. Sutrisna Wibawa, M.Pd. representing Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education stated that Higher Education should answer global challenges like ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). “If we are eager that Indonesia becomes competitive and prosperous, higher education has essential roles to make it come true,” Prof. Sutrisna argued.

According to data and prediction of McKinsey Global Institute in 2012, Indonesia was the 16th greatest economy. It is predicted that Indonesia will be included in the 7th greatest economy. To bring it into reality, higher education should prepare professional skilled labors to confront global challenges.

“Based on Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of higher education qualification is only 11%, high school qualification is 26.6%, and the other qualification is 62.2% of the total of Indonesian labors accounted 114.8 million people.

The key to develop Indonesia is on education. Prof. Sutrisna contended that education is the vital aspect since, in the 21st century, there are a lot of interconnected changes like globalization and development of sciences and technology. “In this era, creation and the use of sciences and technology creatively and innovatively underlie a new economic paradigm so-called knowledge based economy,” he said.

One of the duties of Kemenristek and Directorate of Higher Education is fostering competitiveness of Indonesia people by enhancing the graduates’ quality, research effectiveness, and technology because the aspects are the significant foundations to evolve the competitiveness of a nation.

Additionally, Coordinator of Private University Coordinating Body (KOPERTIS) Region V, Dr. Ir. Bamabang Supriyadi, CES, DEA, uttered that higher education ought to be able to portray the quality of the students so that they can benefits their country. “Higher education should not only recruit, teach, and graduate the students, but also should ensure whether or not they are valuable for their community and nation,” he emphasized.

Contribution of higher education to create skilled graduates will assist to face globalization and development of sciences and technology. Bambang highlighted that higher education not only escalates the number of students and lecturers but also contributes to developing ideas and nation’s intelligence. “Government is now focusing on how to enhance the quality of graduates, and how to lift the facilities. Education is the foremost answer of global challenges,” he ended.

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