The Merdeka Campus is an advanced version of the Merdeka Belajar program initiated by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud). There are four main policies for the Independent Campus, namely the opening of new study programs, the university accreditation system, state universities for legal entities, and the right to study for three semesters outside the study program. State University of Malang (UM) is one of the universities that has followed this new policy and will begin to actively implement it in the upcoming 2020/2021 academic year. UM welcomes the new policy which is considered to improve the quality of human resources (HR). MUs have made various preparations so that this new policy can run well. Here's the review.
Readiness of UM to Welcome Independent Campus Policy
Welcoming the ministry's programs regarding the Independent Campus and Free Learning. The readiness side of MUs has actually entered its third year. One of them is academic development. UM's efforts can be seen with the existence of an Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), lecturing lecturers abroad, and ongoing development in the field of educational research. UM has also prepared a new curriculum since three years ago. The developed curriculum is in accordance with what the current Minister of Education and Culture has been planning. In later implementation, UM students are given the option to take fields outside their study program with a range of up to 30 credits. "Our current rationale is that life now requires students to really have high flexibility and they must be able to respond quickly to what is in society," said Prof. Dr. AH. Rofi'uddin, M.Pd., UM Rector. Therefore, there are courses that are designed like innovation management courses in which the courses are intended to equip students to be able to apply them in social life. In this curriculum, students can take courses in other departments, other faculties, and even other universities. Actually this curriculum came into effect in 2018, but now with the Ministry of Education and Culture's policy, it is only modifying it with the principles that have been running before. UM is currently collaborating with the industrial world and the business world even more massively than the previous collaboration. "The readiness of UM to face the policy of Free Learning: Free Campus with this momentum is just right. UM has prepared it, the Ministry's policy is directed there that students must be independent in terms of learning to choose the direction of their life goals. UM is given the freedom to manage it, "he said.
Three Semester Study Rights Outside the Study Program (Prodi)
In 2020 students will carry out an internship according to the 2018 curriculum with minor improvements. Students can study outside their majors and study programs for a maximum of three semesters or a maximum of 60 credits. "The arrangement is being finalized, for the education study programs (dik, ed.) Which have been more observational, now we are designing partnerships with regional governments (pemda) throughout Indonesia, namely in areas that are considered to lack teachers. We will give take and give, ”said Rofi'uddin when met in his office. UM students are expected to get one to two semesters for the teaching and learning process there. During the activity, students will get the equivalent of 40 credits and online activities in the learning system (sipejar). MUs are intensively partnering and agreed to determine the number of teachers needed in one of the areas that need it. Teachers who are sent to areas that need them are teachers who are completely ready to master the content, methodology, and are ready to go into the field. Apart from teaching, they also do theses, Real Work Lecture (KKN), and other relevant activities to be integrated.
Four Points of Independent Learning Policy: Independent Campus
Similar treatment will also be applied to non-educational study programs (non-dik, Repro Internet ed.). UM is actively collaborating with various State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) companies, large to small industries, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It has been implemented before, but it is very partial. Sometimes students come without a specific target in mastering their field, the business world that accommodates students also doesn't set targets. This is a lesson for UM so that later students are expected to get at least the regional minimum wage. "Entering the company as workers, and the industry already has a target, students work like any other employee. From the campus, he has a target according to the SKS he takes, and in industry he also has a target that must be done accompanied by supervision, "said the chancellor who comes from the Faculty of Letters.
The benefits that can be felt if students are good at carrying out practical courses in industry, companies can immediately recruit these personnel to work in their companies. Given, currently looking for job vacancies in companies is also not easy. "So if it is described at a glance, that is what we have realized to welcome this new ministry policy. New students who enter in 2020 will fully use this new curriculum, "he added.
The emergence of this new policy also invited various responses from students. "Five semesters of study, three semesters of internship, I agree with this policy because in today's world of work what is needed is not only knowledge but also requires skills. So far, the internship has only been one semester, so it is less balance in my opinion, "said Nur Indah Permata. "It can be applied in a proportional portion, especially for us as prospective teachers who actually need a lot of flying hours," he continued. In line with the opinion of his colleagues, Wahyu Putri Lestari also expressed the same thing. "In my opinion, the goal is very good, because as a student I also prefer to go into the field or practice directly rather than getting theory," he said.
Exceptions for the Education and Health Sector
The Independent Campus Policy is given the flexibility to develop study programs and develop various sides. There is only one note that this does not apply to the health sector, namely doctors and education. Education is excluded because it is concentrating on producing the best teachers. Education graduates are currently experiencing an over supply. In fact, every year it takes around 100,000, while in Indonesia S-1 education can reach 300,000 to 400,000. This is due to the number of universities in Indonesia as many as 4500 universities, and the majority of them have the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education (FKIP). The government has given appreciation to educators such as receiving teacher certification allowances, once the basic salary, it means that the stimulus is quite good. "In UM, it was implemented for educational study programs to have high entry scores. This means that many smart children are interested in becoming teachers. It's different from the previous one, if you can't go anywhere you just choose to enter teacher training, "explained Rofi'uddin. This is important because if the teacher is not smart, it will be difficult to expect children in Indonesia to be smart. Education is not released because the quality of teachers can get worse, as well as the medical field. If it is not restricted, Indonesia will have incompetent doctors.
Is the Independent Campus Policy Leaning to the Industrial World?
Life is always multidimensional, meaning that the point of view really determines whether something is meaningful or not. Nothing is one hundred percent positive or negative. Likewise with the Merdeka Campus policy. This policy is to improve the quality of MU's human resources at the regional level with standardization. It is not that three semesters of study outside the lecture do not mean leaving academic activities, but it becomes a unity and complements each other. "Although many criticize that this policy is more aimed at developing practical activities and hard skills, the Tri Dharma of Higher Education is still running," said Rofi'uddin. Students will also be given the ease in working on their thesis. "For non-Dik students when they do their activities in the industrial world, later they will be given a theoretical thinking frame, written, summarized in one answer, accounted for, and their thesis is finished," he explained further. The same rule applies to students dik. Activities in schools with learning activities, media development innovations, linked and developed with a frame of mind, utilizing the media, being tested in schools, obtaining data with the results, and summarized in a thesis. For lecturers, Tri Dharma continues by doing research. Must research and publish in reputable journals. This activity is an obligation that must be carried out every year.
Will UM Open a New Study Program?
Rofi'uddin confirmed that UM would open new study programs that were in accordance with policies and had high market value. The campus is still in the preparation stage to open a new study program, but Rofi'uddin stated that he has pocketed a list of names for the new study program that will be opened at UM. "Currently we are preparing in the field of statistics, there is actuarial. So, we are preparing for this, "said Rofi'uddin. As conveyed further by him, almost all faculties will develop a new study program. UM will also be processed into Legal Entity State Universities (PTN-BH).
The number one person at UM also explained about PTN-BH which was always associated with the issue of commercialization of higher education. He said, PTN-BH still gets funds from the government, the state subsidy for students is very high. "This is a good momentum and it is open for us to immediately respond and take advantage of it. I hope as the chancellor the quality of students will be good and can contribute to any life and profession," he said.
Independent Campus Policy and Challenges for UM
It is not easy to partner with the industrial or business world. The industrial world has been less interested in students who enter there. The reason is that many campuses do not equip students specifically, so that when doing work study in the field it is far from their field of expertise and they do not acquire any skills. "Now we invite the industrial world, if these human resources are not backed up by the industry and business, the quality will remain low at any time. Many industrial world complains that college graduates are still raw and not ready to enter the world of work, "said Rofi'uddin. On that basis, this man who was born in Jombang emphasized that changing the mindset from campus to industry is hard work. UM did not want students to get nothing during their internship, the company would also get nothing, especially when they thought that the presence of students was just a hassle. "But in the future we have designed students with skills like this and this, so that the apprenticeship can run according to the field they are engaged in.
This effort received a response from the UM community. Wahyu Putri Lestari advised that the implementation of learning activities outside the campus should be thoroughly studied. This Economics Education study program student said that in the world of internships, sometimes there are companies that only accept apprentices, but are not really educated, so that the internships carried out by students end up unemployed or even placed in a part that is not the student's scientific field. "The assessment of the internship itself must be clear. In class, it is clear how many credits we take, there is a syllabus and others, so our learning objectives must be measured. If the system has been thoroughly worked out in my opinion it is very good, but if it is still gray it will be detrimental to the students themselves, ”explained this woman with glasses. "If possible, the company which is used as a place for apprenticeship is coordinated by the government, as if it was excused if they wanted to entrust students. So, let the students really be guided, "hoped Putri.
The government has also provided support. There is no tax deduction related to students doing street vendors in a company or industry, this is a business incentive where they want to care, "said UM Rector. Currently, universities in Indonesia, including UM, have begun to communicate intensively with the business world. The hope is, from here UM can provide an example. If you look at a successful country like Germany, an internship in the industrial world is really needed for campuses. But keep in mind, they have a very long process, while in Indonesia we are just starting.
Message to Students facing the Freedom of Learning Policy: Independent Campus
Students are actually given more options to strengthen their skills through this policy. Students can choose the courses they need to increase their abilities. The SKS taken will have the signs according to what the student needs. This means that students are really given opportunities or opportunities. On the one hand, students master their fields, on the other hand they have perspectives on other scientific fields that can be taken, whether outside the study program or other universities. "And with the existence of such a rich policy that ultimately enables students to study courses in other majors," said Minnati Izzatul Asna. This woman who is familiarly called Mimin said that by doing so students did not only find what was in their study program. "The plus point is that they don't learn that way, in the end students will have other insights and skills," said the Guidance and Counseling student.
Rofi'uddin appealed to his students to make good use of all of this. Current students are expected to be graduates who are not only competent in their fields, but also in other sciences. "So the hope is that UM students should be able to have innovations by being creative and thinking critically, and seeing things in a multidimensional way because life without innovation is tantamount to death. This is because innovation is now needed in the world of work anywhere and anytime, ”said Rofi'uddin. He invited students to train themselves and use the various potentials given by Almighty God.
"Sharpen all of that, because that is what will be used and needed in society. Take advantage of this opportunity as best as possible, choose according to your interests. Even though we don't know the policy clearly, there must be a lecturer as a guide who will direct the student's goals, "said Rofi'uddin. He is also very optimistic that students can do it. He would be very proud if UM alumni could take part in society. Not only graduated with good grades, but they can show their innovation and creativity for a better life. In his gratitude, he said that until now UM alumni have always been taken into account by many parties throughout Indonesia.
Students are expected to have started planning their life and career goals from the start. There is no prohibition for not taking courses outside the focus of the study program. Regarding self-management, each student is required to be able to manage his activities.