Building stronger university to industry relations: A case study at Universitas Hasanuddin
The Indonesian city of Makassar is served by the higher education public facility of Universitas Hasanuddin. The science-focussed university serves a province that is increasing its port capacity and has started the development of its first railway.
This study looks at existing collaboration between the university and local industry with the aim of strengthening educational pathways that support the province’s industrial growth and equip young people with relevant skills and knowledge. The study also considers how to better develop commercial opportunities from their own research findings.
It addresses the need for a rigorous, locally specific university-industry development strategy to ensure that Universitas Hasanuddin (Unhas) can support industry innovation in Sulawesi.
It leverages the knowledge of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and the University of Melbourne (UoM) to inform the creation of a new strategy. A central message from our report is that Universitas Hasanuddin should focus on applied research and development involving industry partners, with study outputs meeting market demands. The university should also seek funds in the form of grants so that it can create a higher technology readiness level (TRL) for its research products.
The study found examples of strong links between industry and the university, however, they are in the form of person-to-person connections rather than formal agreements.
Universitas Hasanuddin currently has limited capacity to involve industry partners in teaching and learning on campus and there is a need for a more systematic approach to encourage academic staff to learn about industry in their area. We also identified the need for greater management focus in pushing industry ties.
Our report makes the case for creating an ecosystem conducive to university-industry links based on key themes or ‘pillars’. These pillars are ‘people’, ‘culture’, ‘funding’, ‘partnerships’, ‘places’ and ‘programs’.
The report also makes several recommendations for meaningful action:
- The university should develop a precise definition of industry engagement, with each faculty having a distinct definition of priority industries.
- The university should develop policies or regulations to govern industry engagement, including teaching practicums, work projects, course advisory committees, joint research projects, joint funding of research and intellectual property agreements.
- The university should reach out to industries to increase the number of internship programs.
- The university should recruit more professional staff with industry experience to collaborate with academic staff at the organisational level.
- The university should support university-industry collaboration by developing a ‘find the expert’ IT system, allowing the public to know about the research interests and expertise of academic staff.
- The university should set specific faculty targets for relationship-building, internships, guest lectures and joint research initiatives.
The recommendations are made so that Universitas Hasanuddin can improve its capability to work with industry in a way that strengthens existing relationships and enhances the skills of both academics and industry partners.
The recommendations will assist with developing new products and technologies that will help place the university at the forefront of knowledge transfer.
Feature image from Universitas Hasanuddin.