In a bid to develop online learning in Indonesia, Indonesia Cyber Education Institute (ICE Institute) through Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) signed a Cooperation Agreement or Perjanjian Kerja Sama (PKS) with its partner universities which was tking place at UTCC (06/05/2021). The signing was attended by all counterpart universities both offline, which consist of Indonesian Catholic University or Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya, University of Bina Nusantara, Jakarta State University or Universitas Negeri Jakarta, University of Pelita Harapan, University of Pradita, Bogor Agricultural University or Institut Pertanian Bogor, and online, which consist of University of Gadjah Mada or Universitas Gadjah Mada, University of Indonesia, and Surabaya Institute of Technology or Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember Surabaya.
The event was initiated by the opening remarks by the Head of ICE Institute, Prof. Dr. Paulina Pannen M.LS. She said that the cooperation agreement is intended to promote and utilize the online learning together in the ICE Institute platform as the online learning gallery in Indonesia. The services would include the provision and utilization of the online university courses and study materials, the online learning research in Indonesia and the facilitation of blockchain utilization, which can be used to transfer credit units as well as the digital synchronization of job markets. After a consortium is established under a cooperation agreement, it is expected that more parties would gain greater benefits from ICE Institute, especially universities and colleges in Indonesia and it would define the meaning in the online learning development so that their alumni would be able to compete in the job market.
In his remarks, the UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., said that through the signing of PKS, it is expected that online learning can be further developed in Indonesia, especially in higher education. ICE Institute is one of the answers and strategic solutions taken by the government by implementing independent study (merdeka belajar) for all the people. The online learning can reach out various social strata from the urban areas to the most remote areas in Indonesia.
As Director General of Higher Education (Ditjen Dikti), Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., DIC., Ph.D., has given the direction that Independent Study – Independent Campus Program or Program Merdeka Belajar – Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) launched by Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Mendikbudristek), Nadiem Anwar Makarim, in the year of 2019, must be implemented optimally, especially in colleges and universities. It would prepare the young generation of Indonesia with strong competitiveness. ICE Institute, as the Program of Directorate General of Higher Education (Ditjen Dikti) which is mandated to UT as it is a trustworthy higher education institution which has pioneered the open and distance education for more than 30 years. ICE Institute can no longer work alone as it needs to work together with other higher education institutions under university cooperation system coupled with the commitment to support each other. The collaboration which has been agreed upon today needs to be further promoted and it is expected that more universities or government agencies would join and involve in the marketplace of ICE Institute, either as the sources or as the users of its learning materials.