Sri Mulyani: Universities are expected to be intellectual elites who help solve development problems

[, 26/04/2019] Indonesian Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, expects higher education to be a part of Indonesian economy improvement. The quality of human resources produced by institutions of higher education is a determining factor on whether Indonesia is able to become the country with the highest income.

Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as a keynote speaker in the “Infrastructure Summit 2019” held at Graha Sanusi Hardjadinata, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jalan Dipati Ukur No. 35, Bandung, Friday (4/26). (Photo: TediYusup)*

This was conveyed by Sri Mulyani when she was a keynote speaker at the “Infrastructure Summit 2019” held at Graha Sanusi Hardjadinata, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jalan DipatiUkur No. 35, Bandung, Friday (4/26).

Unpad held this event in collaboration with University Network for Indonesia Infrastructure Development (UNIID) and PT. Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (PII) Persero.

Sri said that Indonesia has strong capital to enter the highest country income group. Indonesia’s economic sector is not bad, and Indonesia is a country with constant economic growth.

At present, Indonesia’s economic growth rate is above 5%. With this growth, its poverty rate and Gini coefficient has decreased. “This means we don’t only see growth. Inflation is also maintained. At the very least, Indonesia has the capital to design policies and display performance in the form of relatively high growth with good quality and inclusiveness,” she explained.

Therefore, continued Sri, the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget will still be maintained in order to fund crucial fields to strengthen Indonesia’s economic fundamentals. Infrastructure development and human resources are an important focus. The education sector occupies around 20% of the state budget financing.

Universities are also expected to be critical partners of the development process. Students from many disciplines can pursue various fields of development. “This is very important so that we can manage this nation well. So that we build it well. So that we can take good care [of the nation], thus creating an inclusive atmosphere in all circles,” said Sri.

Part of Infrastructure Development

The affiliation of 31 Indonesian universities in UNIID has an important role in Indonesia’s infrastructure development. The university network is expected to be an elite that not only talks about inspiration but can do real work.

“UNIID is expected to be a practical community that can represent the distinguished intellectual elite that can help solve development problems,” Sri said.

UNIID is a network of cooperation between universities throughout Indonesia initiated by PT. Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (PII) Persero. This network of cooperation was created to gather all the potential of universities in terms of infrastructure development.

Unpad joined as a member of the UNIID network after signing Memorandum of Understanding with PT. PII in 2016. In 2018, Unpad was chosen by acclamation as the general chairman of UNIID until 2020.

Acting Unpad Rector, Prof. Rina Indiastuti, said that the participation of universities in Indonesia’s infrastructure development network would increase Indonesia’s competitiveness and economic growth.

“The presence of UNIID is expected to be a driving force for improving the quality of infrastructure and contributing not only to thinking, but also making the whole journey of infrastructure development a learning opportunity to be shared with other universities,” said Prof. Rina.

The “Infrastructure Summit 2019” was attended by West Java Governor M. Ridwan Kamil; Ministry of Finance officials; representatives from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR); representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Menristekdikti); the executive director of PT. PII; and representatives from the UNIID member universities.

During the event, the position of UNIID Chairperson was handed over from the Rector of Gadjah Mada University to the Acting Unpad Rector. Prof. Rina delivered a list of potential Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects to the representatives from Menristekdikti as a candidate for the Contracting Agency, as well as submitting a review document of the Citarum area infrastructure development to the Governor of West Java.*

Reported by Arief Maulana | Translated by Shabrina Maharani

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