Monash University’s Professor Abid Khan talks opportunities in Indonesia

There’s a large and growing demand for education and training in Indonesia – so much so that on 10 February 2020, President Joko Widodo made history by announcing that Monash University had been granted approval to establish the first foreign university campus in the country.

Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President for Global Engagement at Monash University spoke recently about the university’s outlook in Indonesia.

“The relationship between [Australia and Indonesia] is poised to deepen. And with some of the changes taking place now, the doors are opening to deeper forms of engagement that I think many universities will be interested in,” he said.

Khan said that Australia needs to focus on Indonesia’s emerging needs in the long-term, and mirrored Jen Bahen, Director for International Education at TAFE Directors Australia in understanding that traditional forms of training may not provide the best results. In that sense, Australia needs to properly assess how it can best tailor programs to engage with Indonesians across both urban and regional centres.

As Khan says, the Australia-Indonesia Centre’s Stronger Education Partnerships report has assisted in this endeavour, identifying the three primary partnership models that Australian providers should consider before establishing an in-country presence in Indonesia.

Looking at the totality of available models

“Monash has moved to a model in which we have a large array of activities, and we’re really looking to see what we should do next to deepen our arrangements and our engagement in-country,” Khan said.

“The message for me… is that institutions should set back and look at the totality of models available to them,” he continued. “Then, more coherently develop a strategy that engages the appropriate components, and then leverages them more fully.”

Download our Stronger Education Partnerships report for more on how Australian education providers can break into the Indonesian market

To Khan, this approach falls under the adage of ‘work smarter, not harder.’

“So, you end up becoming more deeply established in the areas that work for you while not having to do a bit of everything,” he said.

For more information about how Australian education providers can engage with Indonesia, view or download our Stronger Education Partnerships report, which details sector-specific opportunities across five key education sectors (higher education, vocational education and training, ELICOS, schools and educational technology), and offers insights into what a more engaged education relationship with Indonesia could look like.