IPB University – Monash University Joint Lecture Series
Monash has been fortunate to work with our partner Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University to bring a joint lecture webinar series to life. As founding members of the Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC), IPB and Monash have collaborated on the AIC-funded Urban Water Cluster research program in Bogor.
The disruptions of COVID-19 have challenged us to find different ways to collaborate and have moved international engagement online. The joint lecture series launched on 1 July 2020 to over 460 participants, with an opening address from the Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim.
“It’s an honour, because I was allowed to open a collaboration between IPB University and Monash University. This collaboration is a role model for other tertiary institutions,” he said.
Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim giving the opening address.
Minister Nadiem discussed the disruption of COVID-19 to education, noting that we must maintain optimism, continue to educate, and use our creativity and innovation in these challenging times, including through events such as the IPB-Monash Lecture Series. He concluded with the message “Stay healthy, stay strong and stay educated”.
Monash President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AC, followed with a presentation in which she briefly outlined how Monash has grown to be Australia’s largest university with a presence on three continents, including collaborations with more than 100 universities around the world.
“Monash University also participates in online-based collaboration, such as online lectures, virtual meetings and online platforms,” she explained. “I am happy to be part of this Joint Lecture Series as a good way to continue working with Indonesia.” Professor Gardner noted the University’s educational success, including our focus on inclusivity, significant increases in internationally-competitive research income, industry and other research income, and being consistently ranked in the top 100 universities globally.
Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC presenting her keynote address from Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne, Australia.
Highlighting Monash’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (including high-impact research), Professor Gardner spoke of the learnings from transitioning to digital education, and noted how some things will never go back to the way they were before – for example, e-assessments are here to stay. “There isn’t a future of education that’s not blended,” she said. “All education will include some digital aspects.”
Responding to a question on opportunities the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Arrangement (IA-CEPA) would bring, Professor Gardner spoke enthusiastically of how the agreement affords Monash to open a campus in Indonesia. “You learn so much by being in a place,” she said. Plans for the postgraduate campus are on track to have the first cohort of master’s students begin study in October 2021.
IPB University Rector Prof. Dr. Arif Satria [middle] presenting his keynote address from IPB University in Bogor, Indonesia.
Rector of IPB University Prof. Dr. Arif Satria emphasised that the joint lecture series could become part of future practice, noting how support from the Faculty of Economics and Management of IPB University in working with the AIC was crucial to the development of the series. “I am very grateful for the collaboration between IPB University and Monash University,” he said.
Like Monash, IPB has had considerable rankings success. This year, IPB University leaped about 100 spots from its previous position to Top 540 in QS WUR 2021 among thousands of higher education institutions included in the selection. IPB University is also listed in the World’s Top 59 according to QS WUR by Subject 2020: Agriculture and Forestry. In this subject, IPB is placed 10th in Asia.
Prof. Dr. Arif Satria spoke of the current period called VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity), in which the importance of critical thinking “rises to the top”. He also outlined the concept of Sea Farming 4.0 and the six priority research programs for COVID-19 response – for example, preventive and supportive drugs/ingredients and test diagnostic.
The lecture series included five weekly joint lectures throughout July 2020 with an overarching theme of Higher Education, Innovation and Sustainability. The series included topics across data science, ocean economics and public policy, supply chain logistics and food security, sustainable urban planning, and one health for society, animals and environment. The lectures were open to the public and the audience consisted of students, academics, government officials and industry. Students who took the lectures can use the certificate as a Certificate of Companion that contributes to their competency.