Global Business Guide Indonesia

Education in Indonesia Education in Indonesia Education in Indonesia Education in Indonesia Education in Indonesia
Joint Research | Student Exchange | Faculty Exchange
Telkom University | Prof. Ir. Mochamad Ashari, M.Eng, Ph.D
Prof. Ir. Mochamad Ashari, M.Eng, Ph.D

In producing more graduates with a strong ICT-based education than any other university in the country, Telkom University will play an important role going forward in maximizing the potential of Indonesia’s labour force

Prof. Ir. Mochamad Ashari, M.Eng, Ph.D, Rector

Telkom University is a relatively newly-established university, having been founded in July 2013 following the merger of four institutions of higher education. As rector, what more can you tell us about your university’s background and its main strategies going forward?

Our university was established as a direct result of PT Telkom’s desire to offer world-class higher education in Indonesia. As the country’s largest telecommunication service provider, the company decided to merge its existing private academic institutions – IT Telkom, IM Telkom, Telkom Polytechnic and STISI Telkom – into a single fully-fledged university better equipped to provide education of an international standard. We currently have 24,000 students and remain committed to our vision of becoming a world-class university that contributes to the development of the arts and sciences. In working to achieve this goal, our strategy revolves around the implementation of ICT to take advantage of our close relationship with PT Telkom, one of Indonesia’s leading innovators when it comes to telecommunications and information technology, as well as media and edutainment services.

How does Telkom University define ‘world-class’ when it comes to higher education?

To us, a world-class university is one that is open to collaborating with the leading international universities for student and faculty exchange. Having success in this area is indicative of the strength of our facilities and programs in being able to host international students on our campus as well as send students that can thrive overseas. In taking steps to become a world-class university, we have also set ourselves the more straightforward measure of placing within the top 200 universities ranked by Webometrics.

Much is expected of the new government to improve upon the education sector in Indonesia. What should the new administration prioritise in spurring the development of higher education?

The new government has already reformed the structure of ministries tasked with overseeing education in Indonesia. Higher education and research now fall under a single ministry and I believe that this is a positive development because it should encourage greater cooperation between universities and industry. Universities will therefore be better positioned to carry out research needed to boost the development of local businesses. In the past, universities in Indonesia tended to work independently when conducting research and it would be of great benefit to the country if more of an emphasis was placed on merging these initiatives with the needs of the business community.

In this regard, Telkom University stands apart from other universities in that we’ve already developed a strong relationship with industry through existing research programs and further demonstrate our support for local companies by serving as an incubator for fledgling businesses through Bandung Techno Park. Also owned by PT Telkom, this facility is overseen by Telkom University to make sure that entrepreneurs are provided with the tools and training needed to succeed. Following on from a visit by President Joko Widodo, Bandung Techno Park will serve as the example to be followed in building 100 similar facilities across Indonesia. Much in the same way that Bandung Techno Park is focused on ICT, these new techno parks will focus on specific fields that will play a central role in the country’s development, such as maritime industries and agribusiness.

As a university that is very much driven to produce graduates with the skills needed by local industries, what can you tell us about the type of expertise that is being particularly sought after by companies during recruitment of recent graduates?

The ICT industry in Indonesia requires not only engineers, but also graduates with a creative streak when it comes to producing content and coming up with innovative ideas for new applications.

Expertise in subjects such as art and design used in creating mobile apps will become even more of an in-demand skill, given PT Telkom’s plan to soon introduce fibre optics to 25 million homes across the country. With greater access to a strong internet connection, mobile apps and other data-intensive programs and activities are bound to become even more popular in Indonesia. In producing more graduates with a strong ICT-based education than any other university in the country, Telkom University will play an important role going forward in maximizing the potential of Indonesia’s labour force.

How does Telkom University plan to further diversify its course selection by introducing new programs?

In the future we hope to establish a medical school in which students are able to gain first-hand experience using the latest technology and equipment. The medical field is increasingly dependent upon electronics such as CT scans and ECGs, among other advanced equipment. We would therefore like to introduce a tech-focused medical school that relies on ICT and fields such as biomedical engineering. In the meantime, we plan to launch a bio-medical engineering program to provide our students with the facilities and knowhow to develop hospital equipment. At present, there are only 4 universities in Indonesia that offer this type of program.

We are also open to exploring new opportunities to make available courses in the subject of energy, given that telecommunication projects continue to suffer from an unstable power supply and an electrification ratio that remains too low. These project sites therefore often require on-site energy generation facilities, which in turn require the expertise of skilled engineers.

What can you tell us about your priorities to establish new ties with universities abroad?

It is our goal for Telkom University to become a hub of international academic activities in the very near future. This means that we intend to develop into a centre for research and education regarded as a major influence on the global stage, and to achieve this we have carried out more than 40 collaborative initiatives with universities from around the world for student and faculty exchange, as well as for joint research and double degree programs. Among our most recent projects involved cooperation with a prominent German research institute to develop a ‘smart city’ through the creation of buildings using the latest technology to allow for greater productivity. We hope to apply our findings from this collaboration in establishing a new ‘smart city’ near the Bandung area to serve as the province’s new capital. Our university is particularly interested in conducting similar joint research programs with an international partner in the fields of ICT, economics, management, as well as art and design. In addition to this, we are also open to working with notable multinationals within ICT - in line with our dedication to conducting research suited to industry - and have already worked with companies such as Google, Intel and Microsoft in the past.

As a final message, what would you like our readers to remember about Indonesia?

As Rector of Telkom University, I welcome prospective students from other countries to Indonesia and encourage them to attend our university to take advantage of our close working relationships with prominent local businesses. We offer an unmatched level of commitment to incorporating ICT within course curricula and implementing cutting-edge technology to provide our students with the opportunity to develop new skills and distinguish themselves as the ideal employees for innovation-driven companies. We also welcome new opportunities for research collaboration with international partners.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2015

icone share