Gadjah Mada University to Convert Student Activism into Academic Value

Arfi Bambani
UGM Vice Chancellor Arie Sujito
UGM Vice Chancellor Arie Sujito - Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Yogyakarta is currently formulating a plan to convert various student activist activities into a semester credit unit (SKS) on campus. This plan is part of the spirit of connecting the academic world with student activism.

"This is as soon as it is ready, whether (it is implemented) this semester or next semester," said UGM Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Community Service, and Alumni, Arie Sujito, when contacted by Antara in Yogyakarta, Friday, August 12, 2022.

Acknowledging various student activism into credits, according to him, can reduce the burden on students in completing their studies. According to Sujito, so far, many students with good activities outside the classroom have a positive impact on society but are not recognized as academic achievements.

Students who can empower groups of people with disabilities, for example, according to Sujito, deserve to be appreciated by being given academic recognition. "This has a good meaning, humanitarian action and good learning, leadership training, organizing a community whose value is to help people with disabilities. Now this is how to give recognition so that the activities they do have an academic impact," said the former student activist.

Student activism such as activities to help disaster victims or students who conduct innovation in managing agricultural land with a local food approach, according to Sujito, are other examples of off-campus activities that deserve appreciation. Therefore, he said, without acknowledging that student activism is in the weight of credits, their time spent outside the classroom will make it difficult for students to complete the currently limited period of study on campus.

With this recognition, according to him, it is hoped that there will be no more labeling that often appears that student activists graduated longer. "Yes, if you used to graduate longer before, it's okay because there is no limit, it can be 9 years or 10 years, but now it's whistled and suddenly they can be 'DO' (dropped out). Though they are smart, strong talents. Therefore, the nation's children who have this creativity should not be created through a new process amid the changes that occur," said Sujito.

Of course, according to this UGM sociologist, not automatically all student activism activities outside the classroom can be converted into credits because later there will be conditions that will be determined before the policy is officially implemented at UGM.

"Of course there are conditions. This has not been made into a decision letter yet but later this will be a bottom-up process from the study programs, we will see which ones are relevant, but at least we have encouraged the study programs to be open to recognizing student activism," he said.

The conversion of student activist activities into credits, according to him, is in line with the Independent Learning-Independent Campus (MBKM) Program launched by the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek) Nadiem Anwar Makarim.

He also hopes that the plan can be part of a breakthrough in improving the quality of higher education within 100 working days of the UGM Chancellor for the 2022-2027 period. "We will implement this soon, now it is being formulated into a policy, but I will put it first to the public to get a response so that there will be a debate because before a policy is implemented it needs debate, needs input, needs a response," said Sujito.

Tag # ugm # gadjah mada university # independent learning # indonesia education

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