BINUS International Office

BINUS Inbound through SmartLink

Tomasz Siewierski, PhD, EEng. of Łódź University of Technology (TUL, Poland) came to BINUS UNIVERSITY for 2 months through the SmartLink project* with three objectives: to learn about the internationalization of higher education and international collaboration at Asian universities, to collect information and gain first-hand experience regarding the implementation of the sustainable develop policy in the region, and last but not least to explore the rich historical and artistic heritage, cultural variety of Indonesia, as well to admire its natural beauty and biodiversity. Dr Siewierski is an assistance professor (senior lecturer) at the Institute of Electrical Power Engineering and a coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus SmartLink project at TUL. He chose for his mobility the BINUS UNIVERSITY as one of the most reputable education institution in Indonesia, looking to develop stronger ties between SE Asia universities and his home institution.

During his mobility Dr Siewierski was able to study and identify important differences in organization charts and work management both regarding the teaching process and the technical management of the university. For example the responsibility and management of the international activities and cooperation at TUL is much more distributed with direct and primary responsibility assumed by the academic staff and supportive role of the administrative staff. Instead at BINUS, the responsibility and the efforts taken towards internationalization are centralized. The difference stems from distinct experience with international activities and strategic importance of internationalization for the European integrated and standardized higher education system, where the enhancement of student and staff mobility is now considered top priority. On the other hand, Dr Siewierski was pleasantly surprised to see the positive attitude of the Indonesian students glad to assist the academic staff with their teaching duties, students in their upper years helping to run laboratories, preparing exercises and exhibits. Dr Siewierski believes that the attitude and the active participation of students in the teaching process is the important lesson he learned and the approach which should be more considered in the European high education system.

Dr Siewierski delivered several seminars with inquisitive and lively Indonesian students on international experience as well as sustainability, power systems, and electrical grids. Dr Siewierski  met with several institutions to understand the trajectory of Indonesian sustainability policies. Łódź  University of Technology hopes to initiate research and development technical projects encouraging bottom-up establishment of smart micro electrical grids. PV panels with advance control systems replacing fossil fuel generators and offering affordable and reliable electricity supply in remote areas should reduce deforestation and defer investments in large scale generation and transmission projects with very negative impact on the environment and the natural resources.

SmartLink also made possible for Dr Siewierski and his wife to visit SE Asia together. They came to admire Indonesia for how well it manages its heterogeneous society, a challenge they witness in the European society. In general, they perceive Indonesia as a young democracy, fast progressing economy with many reason for optimism in the years to come. Because if enchanting biodiversity, the couple hopes that Indonesians will find a way to grow their economy while placing more importance of preservation of the environment. “Raja Ampat is breathtaking and unique,” Dr Siewierski says, with its natural beauty and sustainable life of the local communities. With batteries charged, professional benefits, but also with personal enriching experience and development, Dr Siewierski and his wife hope to maintain their friendships and professional links established in Indonesia.

So far, BINUS has sent 6 and received 7 students and members of staff in the framework of the SmartLink project supported by the European Union Erasmus Mundus mobility program.

We wish Dr Siewierski and his family good luck and are looking forward to further collaboration facilitated through SmartLink project.

*fostering cooperation between Asian and European higher education institutions under the Erasmus Mundus program