Monash to open Indonesia’s first foreign branch campus

Postgraduate-only outlet ‘the first of many to come’, says minister

February 10, 2020
Jakarta Java Indonesia
Source: iStock

Monash University has staked a claim in the world’s fourth biggest student market, securing approval to establish the first foreign university branch campus on Indonesian soil.

Monash Indonesia will offer master’s and PhD degrees, with the first student intake set for late next year and successful students to be awarded Monash-branded credentials. Shorter executive programmes and micro-credentials are also planned, starting later this year.

The university flagged opportunities for cross-campus collaboration on research as well as education. It said Indonesia would benefit from Monash expertise in “high demand” areas including data science, digital technology, infrastructure, urban planning, the creative industries, public health and entrepreneurship.

Indonesia’s education and culture minister Nadiem Makarim, an entrepreneur who founded the country’s celebrated tech company Gojek, said Monash’s presence would help strengthen Indonesia’s education system and deepen the two countries’ social, economic and technological links. “This partnership will be the first out of many to come,” he said.

Monash vice-chancellor Margaret Gardner said her university had a “long history” of engagement in Indonesia and wanted to cultivate deeper links with “a thriving and innovative community with great ambitions for education and research”.

She said Monash Indonesia’s founding would enable the institution to work with the Indonesian people and their organisations to realise future opportunities. “The physical establishment also serves as a symbol of Monash’s commitment to Indonesia and the wider Asian region, as well as stronger research and education links between Indonesia and Australia,” Professor Gardner said.

The campus will be fully owned by Monash and exclusively postgraduate, with no plans to enrol undergraduate students. Andrew MacIntyre, Monash’s senior pro vice-chancellor for south-east Asia partnerships, said the campus would “take time to grow”.

He said the aim was that in a decade, the campus would accommodate about 2,000 master’s students, 1,000 executive education students and 100 doctoral students.

The main campus will be located in or near South Tangerang, a satellite city on Jakarta’s south-western fringe. It already houses about a dozen public and private universities including the country’s only joint-venture university, International University Liaison Indonesia.

The campus will also have a presence in downtown Jakarta.

Monash is the first institution to take advantage of an eight-year-old law allowing overseas universities to operate in Indonesia. The law, which was ratified only in late 2018, allows foreign campuses to establish in special economic zones subject to ministerial approval.

It authorises overseas universities to employ both foreign and local staff, but they must partner with Indonesian universities and teach four mandatory subjects including citizenship, religious instruction, Indonesian language and Indonesian state ideology.

Professor MacIntyre said that while Monash would collaborate “with great enthusiasm” with local institutions, the need for a foundation partner no longer applied because of a bilateral free trade agreement negotiated subsequently. That agreement, finalised in March last year, was ratified by Indonesia on 6 February. Australia’s parliament approved the deal late last year.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo is visiting Australia and addressed a joint sitting of the two houses of federal parliament on 10 February, making him only the second Indonesian leader to do so.

john.ross@timeshighereducation.com

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Reader's comments (2)

I wonder what the content of the mandatory "religious instruction" is?
I have done my BDS (dentistry) from Dow dental college (DUHS) Karachi, Pakistan. I want to do Masters from your University. Kindly guide me that are there any faculty about it and if yes then how can I apply. Thankyou Dr. Sarah Abbasi

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