The wide-ranging impacts of the University of Gloucestershire’s partnerships in Indonesia were presented to the Indonesian Ambassador on a visit to the University’s Gloucester campus this week.
HE Dr Desra Percaya – the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom – visited the University’s Oxstalls campus with MP for Gloucester, Richard Graham, who is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Indonesia.
The University of Gloucestershire has built networks and partnerships across Indonesia since 2015 focused on working with Indonesian Universities on student employability, enterprise, business support and economic development. As well as building capacity and skills in this emerging economy, these partnerships have developed new programmes with students and staff to promote stronger employability, greater resilience, leadership capacity, and closer engagement with local business communities.
After hosting an Export round table in the University’s Growth Hub, Dr Percaya received an update on the programmes the University is delivering in Indonesia, including the outcomes of GITA – Growing Indonesia through a Triangular approach – a three-year Erasmus+ project.
This recently completed project saw the University of Gloucestershire work with three European education partners and seven partner universities in Indonesia to grow enterprise activity and embed entrepreneurial approaches in Higher Education courses, with the aim of contributing to sustainable economic growth.
The last two decades have seen more than half of Indonesia’s population rise out of poverty and the nation’s ambitions are set on continuing this growth trajectory to becoming a high-income country by 2045, with increasing opportunities for tourism and trade.
In 2019-20, the GITA project’s seven new Growth Hubs and start-up incubators resulted in the launch of more than 200 business start-ups and 112 trading enterprises with a combined annual turnover of over £6.4million.
And it continues to bear fruit. In the current academic year, more than 48,000 students across Indonesia have benefited from the project, as well as almost 2000 staff. The Growth Hubs act as a dedicated resource to access skills and knowledge for both staff and students involved in enterprise creation, including identifying customer prospects and internship and business networking opportunities. You can find out more at www.growingindonesia.eu
The Ambassador also heard about the University’s ongoing Build programme, which is providing eight Centres of Excellence in Disaster Resilience in universities across Indonesia, embedding crisis resilience and developing response capability through Higher Education, training, and a national network for knowledge exchange, research, innovation and fundraising. The University’s iHiLead programme is also sharing its expertise in developing leadership capacity in Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia.
Details of the University’s contribution to the new Skills for Prosperity Indonesia programme were also unveiled at the Ambassador’s visit. This recently approved project will see the University of Gloucestershire partner with Polytechnic Negeri Manado as part of a wide UK Government funded programme which is developing new ways of bridging the gap between skills supply and demand, ensuring that students are equipped with the skills employers need for future economic growth. The University’s project with PoliManado is focused on the tourism and hospitality sector.
University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, said: “The University was delighted to have the opportunity to brief the Ambassador on our growing and successful partnerships with universities in Indonesia. Indonesia has the fifth largest population in the world, and ambitions for rapid economic growth. Over the past 6 years we have been built an extensive network of partners, with a shared commitment to learn from each other about how universities drive growth, innovation and prosperity for their communities, by equipping their graduates with the right skills to pursue successful careers.”
“We have been able to contribute our experience and success in promoting student enterprise and employability, in supporting local businesses to innovate and succeed through our award-winning Growth Hub, and in building University leadership capability. We look forward to continuing to build our partnerships with Indonesia for the mutual benefit of our students and our communities, helping young people into employment, encouraging business creation and providing increasing opportunities for global trade and international collaboration.”
MP for Gloucester, Richard Graham, said: “The four University of Gloucestershire programmes with Indonesian universities are a good example of how the Higher Education links between our two countries have multiplied over the last few years – alongside other bilateral trade and investment partnerships.
“Hosting meetings between Indonesian government representatives and local partners about live contracts in the University of Gloucestershire Business School was very valuable, and I believe we can do masses more to increase exports and investment in South East Asia in general and the world’s fifth largest country, Indonesia, in specific.”