Giving a Lecture on Maritime Boundaries in Southeast Asia at UNDIP

I started April 2023 with an exciting journey to Semarang, Central Java. I was invited to give a lecture at the Department of International Relation of Universitas Diponegoro. Why would a surveyor/engineer like me be invited to lecture future political scientists? Because maritime boundary is an important issue that those future diplomats, students of the International Relation of UNDIP, need to understand and I happen to focus my research and studies on the issue.

The lecture went well. I started the lecture in a fancy theatre hall. Everyone was excited until an accident took place. There was an electricity outage  and we have to wait a couple of minutes until we moved to another room. It was so exciting that the students enjoyed my class during even the waiting period. The theatre was dark  but it did not prevent them from asking quality questions. I really enjoyed the conversation.

In the new room, we also had fun and students were active in asking good questions. It was unfortunate that we run out of time so I need to stop. I had to return to Jogja for I would have a gathering with some students

Toleransi Berseri di Ujung Negeri

UGM mewajibkan mahasiswa S1 dan D4 untuk mengikuti Kuliah Kerja Nyata (KKN) dan cukup banyak dari mereka yang memilih untuk ber-KKN di pelosok negeri, jauh dari Kampus UGM di Yogyakarta. Tahun ini saya mendapat kepercayaan mendampingi sekelompok mahasiswa untuk ber-KKN di Desa Dalum, Kecamatan Salibabu, Kabupaten Talaud, Sulawesi Utara. Secara singkat, kami biasa menyebutnya KKN Talaud.

Talaud adalah kabupaten paling utara di Indonesia dan sangat banyak orang Indonesia yang bahkan tidak mengetahuinya sama sekali. Setiap kali saya bercerita tentang Talaud, saya harus mengutip lagu iklan Indomie “dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Timor sampai ke Talaud”. Menariknya, tidak sedikit yang kemudian heran dan baru sadar bahwa ada kata Talaud dalam lagu itu. Rupanya sangat banyak yang mendengar “dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Timor sampai Kota Laut”. Tentu saja maknanya berbeda dan hilang satu titik penting di negeri ini: Talaud, kabupaten paling utara negeri.

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ASEAN Credit Transfer System – My Cambodian Trip

Universities in ASEAN have been collaborating closely to encourage students mobility around ASEAN member countries. Member of a consortium, ASEAN University Network (AUN), with more than 30 members, are in close collaboration to make the idea a reality. We already have our credit transfer system called ASEAN Credit Transfer System (ACTS), where within the framework, students from ASEAN can study in different universities in ASEAN and the credit of subjects they take will be recognised by their home university. Universitas Gadjah Mada is a party to that system.

On 3 to 4 July 2017 I was assigned to represent Universitas Gadjah Mada in my capacity as the Head of the Office of International Affairs in a meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We discussed the progress and development of ACTS and each university had to present reports illustrating how they have implemented ACTS. It was interesting to observe that mobility of students in ASEAN needs a lot of improvement. We need more students traveling among ASEAN countries in order of young people to understand each other better. We are now facing ASEAN Economic Community so we need to collaborate. Collaboration without mutual understanding is impossible.

Btw, it was my second visit to Cambodia and it was fun. My message to ASEAN students: travel more and know your neighbours, please 🙂