The New Era of Student Mobility Between the Netherlands and Indonesia
Vice Chair Kampus Merdeka Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology Republic of Indonesia
Associate Professor in Gender Studies and Director of Office of International Affairs, Universitas Negeri Malang
The emergence of international students’ mobility is increasingly drawing the attention of countries’ governments and leaders. International students and global education can be critical connecting bridges. Indonesia and the Netherlands are two countries with an international outlook that continuously motivate their students to pursue international experiences abroad and support their universities in their internationalisation efforts.
Indonesia was one of the emerging countries that invented outstanding policies to motivate local students to pursue their education abroad. In 2012, the government launched the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), an institution that manages educational endowment funds that have funded more than 32 thousand scholarship recipients to pursue their master’s and PhD in the world’s top schools. Apart from that, in 2021, LPDP started to fund a mobility programme for bachelor’s students to study one semester abroad. Apart from that, various governmental policies to enhance the internationalisation and quality of local universities have been taken since the early 2000s. Numerous workshops/seminars on internationalisation were held for universities and networks, such as the Indonesia Higher Education Network and Global Development Learning Network. Indonesia also initiated new regulations to allow foreign University branch campuses to open in Indonesia.
The Netherlands has always been ambitious with its internationalisation goals, with a bottom-up initiative taken as early as 1952 with the launch of Nuffic: The Dutch Organization for Internationalisation in Education. Nuffic was founded to organise English education and invite students worldwide to study at Dutch Higher Education Institutions. Apart from that, Nuffic has also launched Wilweg, an initiative to motivate Dutch students to study, intern, and spend time abroad to gain skills and experiences. Nuffic has continuously managed funding and projects from the Dutch government and the European Commission to enhance education cooperation.
The Netherlands has traditionally been a study destination for Indonesians since the colonial past. Hoesein Djajadingrat was the first Indonesian to pursue a doctorate in the Netherlands between 1905-1910. Nowadays, the Netherlands is still Indonesian students’ favourite study destination, with around 2400 students studying in either bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, mobility programme, associate degrees and short courses presently and additional 400-500 new students coming each year. However, the imbalance of student mobility was recorded on the Indonesian side, where only around 569 Dutch students were accumulatively studying in Indonesia from 2016 to 2019. Many reasons may have caused this imbalance, including the availability of international study programmes, visa issues, and lack of information and promotion.
This WINNER session will deliver student mobility facts and the state of affairs between Indonesia and the Netherlands from institutional and student perspectives. It will also look at the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on student mobility, with new forms of digital and online education becoming more prominent. The session is expected to contribute to creating a better balance of student mobility between Indonesia and the Netherlands and generate interest for the variety of mobility options which are increasingly becoming available.