Closer ties between education and industry highlighted at IRSA conference

The IRSA International Conference on 18-19 July 2022 in Lombok sought to explore strategies for post-pandemic economic recovery, one of which is by strengthening the relationship between the world of education and the worlds of business and industry (DUDI).


Dr. Reni Suwarso from the University of Indonesia noted the need for education to follow the dynamics of the development of DUDI needs. In addition to emphasising the need for DUDI to open up to explain their needs for the future workforce, and believe that the world of education is able to produce a workforce that has the knowledge, competence, skills, and experience needed.

PAIR  research on Young People and Development has found that “The curriculum for vocational schools (SMK) in South Sulawesi has not been linked to future industrial and business developments. For example, there is no curriculum that discusses the cultivation of seaweed development, even though seaweed will soon become a high potential commodity in South Sulawesi. Or there is no curriculum that prepares a reliable workforce in the field of transportation and warehousing, even though South Sulawesi will become a trade hub for eastern Indonesia and Maros regency will become a centre for transportation and warehousing, “said Dr. Reni Suwarso.

She further stated that “the current vocational school curriculum in South Sulawesi is still focused on the hospitality, food and beverage industry, which after COVID-19 were the most affected businesses.”

Dr. Reni Suwarso gave an explanation during Q&A on Session 1: Connectivity, People & Place

This year’s conference carried the theme of COVID-19 disruption and regional development in small island economies.

The event allowed researchers from the Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR) to not only present and learn but also discuss key ideas surrounding pandemic recovery.

The two-day conference, IRSA’s premier event, included more than 400 delegates from universities, government departments and research organisations, as well as speakers from Cornell University in the United States.

A day-one highlight was a special session organised by the Australia-Indonesia Centre to facilitate discussion and networking among policymakers and researchers.

There was also much discussion about PAIR’s Short Rapid Research program and its value to policymakers during times of crisis.

Oki Sutopo, Ph.D. presented his research on young creative workers’s strategies to deal with pandemic in Yogyakarta

The event included three AIC panel sessions on day-one, the first entitled Connectivity, People and Place being hosted by PAIR program coordinator Dr. Hasnawati Saleh. The second session examined the topic of COVID-19, People, and Health, and was led by Dr. Reni Suwarso from the University of Indonesia. Dr. Ir. Nunung Nuryartono from IPB University led a final session on COVID-19, People, and Economic Recovery.

Each session ended with a Q&A and the opportunity for research discussion which drew out some lively insights on education and training.

The AIC special session also discussed further research opportunities after the pandemic.

The rector of the University of Mataram, Professor. Ir. Bambang Hari Kusumo officially opened the conference and noted the quality of the research submitted. IRSA has also created a large network of academics and policymakers concerned with regional development.

Picture of Evelynd

Digital Content Producer
The Australia-Indonesia Centre

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Research Assistant
University of Indonesia