Indonesia’s second foreign branch campus ‘months away’

Australian university presses ahead with campus in Sumatra, agtech centre in Sulawesi and MBA delivery in Jakarta

June 1, 2021
Indonesia map
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An Australian university says it is months away from establishing a “fully fledged” campus in Indonesia, as more foreign institutions eye outposts in the world’s fourth most populous country.

Central Queensland University (CQU) expects to open a campus in the North Sumatran capital of Medan next February, with staff and students recruited from August this year. “This will be a full-suite campus with undergraduate and postgraduate programmes,” said CQU’s vice-president for global development, Alastair Dawson, who is visiting Indonesia for the signing of several agreements.

They include a deal to provide Australian MBAs to Indonesian government officials, in partnership with Jakarta’s Bakrie University, and a A$10 million (£5.5 million) grant to support an institute of sustainable farming in North Sulawesi.

Mr Dawson said that the “Triple Helix” project would include industry engagement and research in agricultural technology – an area of strength for CQU, which is headquartered in Australia’s beef farming capital of Rockhampton.

He said he expected other universities to offer MBAs in Indonesia. “But we have a unique position where we can deliver both in Jakarta and in Australia when the borders reopen. Our existing campus in Jakarta delivers master’s programmes and we are about to offer some undergraduate programmes as well.”

CQU said that its MBA, with majors in private-public partnerships and data science, would be delivered to at least 10 officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning each semester from March next year.

The university said that it was negotiating similar arrangement with other ministries, corporations and banks. “Although the impacts of Covid-19 have been keenly felt in Indonesia, we have still been able to deliver our executive programmes successfully online during this period,” said Jakarta associate vice-chancellor Hendrik Halim.

Vice-chancellor Nick Klomp, also visiting Jakarta, said that public-private partnerships and data science were “fast-growing industries in Indonesia, informing a range of national development projects that are critical to the government’s forward strategy”.

Monash University, which has claimed bragging rights for establishing the first foreign-owned university branch in the archipelago, signed a lease on its south-west Jakarta site late last year.

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