Kampus Merdeka Program

    The Cairns Institute (TCI) and the State University of Malang, in East Java, Indonesia, have collaborated in conducting an analysis on the student learning experience in Industrial Internship; one of the prominent programs initiated by Kampus Merdeka (Freedom Campus). Their senior lecturer A/Prof Dr Muslihati presented the research at The Cairns Institute.

    Contributors to this research included her own colleagues from State University of Malang; A/Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Sobri, A/Prof. Ani Wilujeng Suryani, A/Prof. Surjani Wonorahardjo, as well as TCI Adjunct Research Fellow Dr. Brian Fairman and TCI Adjunct A/Prof Adam Voak. JCU PhD Candidate Dwi Sugiharti assisted Dr Muslihati during her visit.

    Initially launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Industrial internship program allows students from various universities to join this program by registering through the website. Partner companies that will become industrial internship locations are also involved in the selection process, where teams from each company select prospective participants through their profiles and achievement data.

    The Merdeka Campus industrial internship program provides several advantages for students.; from receiving an internship certificate which adds value to their competency profile, and to expertise certifications such as a halal supervisor certification and an International Microsoft certificate.

    This research explored data on various student learning experiences in carrying out industrial internship programs through questionnaires which included learning experiences in cognitive aspects (increasing knowledge insight, critical and analytical thinking skills) and affective (self-management, emotions, soft skills and interpersonal skills), and psychomotor (technical and operational skills).

    From the focus group discussions, industry interns said the experience of collaborating in developing work programs and creating the latest innovations were valuable. The different contexts in the company provided opportunities for them to gain new knowledge and the demands in the field made them think more realistically and practically.

    It also enhanced the students’ skills in interacting with new environments, especially in multicultural contexts. Learning to respect and adapt to colleagues from different cultural backgrounds meant they they were more aware of understanding the company’s work culture and supervisor characteristics to avoid violating the rules and principles during internships. It also provided real experience in interacting with government, superiors and/or customers and thereby improving their ability to communicate, think critically and understand the importance of the public or customer perception.

    Consequently, Dr Muslihati made recommendations for improving the implementation of the industrial internship program for better outcomes for all stakeholders.

    Images taken by Dwi Sugaharti

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