Visiting Indonesian Leading Institutions in Humanities

During September 11-14, 2022, Associate Professor Suradech Chotiudompant, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, together with Assistant Professor Nirada Chitrakara, Associate Dean, visited top institutions in humanities in Indonesia in the cities of Yogyakarta and Depok to connect and reconnect with leading institutions in the field of humanities in Universitas Gadjah Mada and Universitas Indonesia, affiliates of Chulalongkorn University, respectively.   

The visit started with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), number two university in Indonesia according to Times Higher Education.  The first faculty visited on September 12 was the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences with which an exchange program agreement has already been established.  The purpose of the meeting is for the two Deans, Associate Professor Chotiudompant and Professor Wawan Mas’udi, to sign the agreement and discuss further collaborations.  The agreement drafting process started in 2019 when Assistant Professor Chitrakara visited the UGM.  The process, however, came to a halt during the pandemic.  The revision later resumed early this year.  In addition to the exchange program, other possible partnerships include research/seminar/conference collaborations.  The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, UGM is one of the renowned national institutions as several alumni of the faculty, including the current President, Joko Widodo, have occupied prominent positions in Indonesian government. 

On September 13, the Dean and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts were welcomed at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, UGM by the Dean, Professor Setiadi,  and Associate Dean, Professor Mimi Savitri.  They were introduced by Assistant Professor Nureeda Salaemae, Department of Eastern Languages at the Faculty of Arts, Chula. The Faculty of Cultural Sciences is the UGM institution that has the closest academic specializations to the Faculty of Arts with departments specializing in language, literature, and culture.  Courses offered at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences are more likely to facilitate both the exchange and research collaborations. Afterwards, the Dean and the Associate Dean visited UGM’s Vocational College.  Introductions were made by the Dean, Professor Agus Maryono and Vice Dean Endang Soelistiyowati. The Vocational College is an interdisciplinary institution aiming to produce graduates who are career-ready immediately after their graduation.  The college offers applied science programs with 60% practice-based learning and 40% theory-based learning. The students work with innovations and have hands-on experience in product manufacturing. The visit was eye-opening and future collaborations are promising.  The experience at the Vocational College was made possible by Ahmed Maum, Head of the Language Laboratory who had previously visited the Faculty of Arts in 2019 to observe the translation laboratory and computer assisted learning classrooms in Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Building.   

The Indonesian trip ended with a visit to Universitas Indonesia, Depok, number one university in the country.  At the Faculty of Humanities, the Dean and the Associate Dean were welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Bondan Kanumoyoso, and Dr. Eva Latifah, Manager of International Venture.  Similar to the Faculty of Cultural Sciences at the UGM, the Faculty of Humanities has much in common with the Faculty of Arts, Chula. In fact, Dean Kanumoyoso previously collaborated with the Department of History at the Faculty of Arts. Thus, he, fully supports all possible collaborations between the two institutions. 

The trip to Indonesia is part of the Dean’s intention to reach out to ASEAN countries for connections believing that neighboring countries are more likely to support one another.  Since July, the Dean and the Associate Dean have visited top universities in the Philippines and Indonesia.  The visits proved to be very successful as beneficial collaborations have been formed and started.  More visits to other ASEAN countries are in the picture.  As the humanities’ field has been under threat during the past decades, these trips hope to further cement connections between many institutions in the humanities in ASEAN countries which, in turn, will lead to future developments in the humanities.