Unud Postgraduate Program Visits Yamaguchi University Japan to Strengthen Collaboration


After travelling overland from Beppu city to Yamaguchi city by Shinkansen train for roughly 200 kilometers, the Udayana University (Unud) Postgraduate Program (PPS) team arrived at Yamaguchi University (YU), Japan on Wednesday, 11 October 2023. The Unud PPS Collaboration Visiting Team to Japan was led directly by the Director of the Unud Postgraduate Programme, Prof. Dr. Ir. I Wayan Budiasa, S.P., M.P., IPU, ASEAN Eng, accompanied by the Deputy Director for General Affairs, Finance and Cooperation, Dr. I Gusti Ayu Putri Kartika, SH., MH., Coordinator of the Master of Environmental Science Study Programme, Prof. Ir. Ida Ayu Astarini, MSc., PhD., and Coordinator of the Postgraduate Information Management and Cooperation Unit (UPIKS), Dr. Ir. Ngurah Indra ER, ST., MSc.

The PPS Unud cooperation team was picked up directly by Associate Prof. Takahiro Osawa, who has very long cooperation with Unud, as well as Mr. Masahiro Ueda from the International Planning Section, International Exchange Division, YU. The PPS Unud team, which was received at noon, was immediately invited to tour part of the YU campus before being accompanied by lunch at a campus restaurant filled with YU community, both lecturers and students.

After lunch, the Unud PPS team was welcomed to YU's International Cooperation Office by Ikufumi Tomimoto, Advisor to the Vice President for International Affairs YU. The team was also received by Mr Hiroyuki Tanaka, Director of YU's International Affairs Division. The Unud PPS team received a warm and friendly welcome and the meeting began with Prof. Tomimoto giving an overview of YU and the international cooperation undertaken by the Japanese state university, which was founded as a private school in 1815. Prof. Tomimoto also recalled how Unud and YU have a long history of cooperation, with many Unud lecturers being YU alumni. He also emphasized how YU and the city of Yamaguchi are comfortable, safe and quite cheap places to study compared to other universities in big cities in Japan. On the next occasion, Prof. Budiasa expressed his gratitude for the welcome and the opportunity for discussion, while also telling how he had previously had the opportunity to talk with the YU team during a visit to Unud for the 2nd Yamaguchi University Indonesia Alumni International Symposium. "At that time, we promised to come to Yamaguchi for further discussions, especially to strengthen cooperation with Unud's postgraduate programme. "Today we have fulfilled that promise by coming here directly", she stressed. The Postgraduate Director also informed Prof. Tomimoto and the team that PPS Unud currently has two new programmes, the Master of Health Law Programme (MHKes) and the Master of Sustainable Development and Finance (MPKB), which are ready to establish new collaborations with related programmes at YU. The discussion continued with a focus on how to implement these new forms of cooperation.

After leaving the YU International Cooperation Office, the PPS Unud team, accompanied by Associate Prof. Takahiro Osawa, continued the purpose of the visit by taking time to meet four Indonesian postgraduate students studying at YU. They are members of the YU Indonesian Students Association (PPI). One of those who took the time to meet was Gede Adi Wiguna Sudiartha, a PhD student who is also a junior lecturer in Unud's Environmental Engineering programme. Gede Adi is currently conducting research in the field of waste water treatment to energy. This meeting in Indonesian was, of course, punctuated by laughter, as is usually the case with Indonesian colleagues who have not seen each other for a long time. The discussion was filled with listening to their experiences of studying at YU, including the obstacles they faced, in order to provide input for improvement. The Unud PPS team also took the time to provide guidance and encouragement to help them complete their studies well and on time. The meeting ended with a group photo.

The Unud PPS team was then escorted to the main office (Rectorate building) of YU, where a meeting was arranged with the President of YU, who made time for the meeting. Prof. Yukio Tanizawa, M.D., Ph.D., President of YU, welcomed the Unud PPS team and stated that he was very happy to receive a return visit after he and the team had previously visited Unud in September 2023. "We are very happy to meet our friends from Bali," he said. In his speech, Prof. Tanizawa reiterated the importance of continuing and strengthening the existing cooperation with Unud. Prof. Budiasa also expressed the same in his speech regarding the importance of cooperation with YU. Especially with PPS Unud, Prof. Budiasa once again explained how new study programmes that already exist or are being developed really need comparisons and input from YU, in addition to the direct involvement of YU academics, both in teaching and research. Dr. I Gusti Ayu Putri Kartika also emphasized on the occasion how the Cooperation Agreement (PKS) followed by the Implementation Agreement (IA) is very important to achieve the key performance indicators (IKU) of PPS Unud, in addition to the existing MoU between Unud and YU. "We hope that the current discussions and further detailed discussions can soon lead to PKS with PPS Unud and IA with the study programmes within it," she stressed. Meanwhile, Prof. Ida Ayu Astarini, as coordinator of the Master's programme in Environmental Science, expressed her desire to detail plans for a double or dual degree programme with the study programmes at YU. "There are several concentrations in the Master of Environmental Sciences, apart from the field of remote sensing, with which YU has a long history of collaboration. "For this reason, curriculum mapping that can pave the way for the realization of a double or dual degree needs to be discussed immediately," she asked. Dr Ngurah Indra also had the opportunity to ask about the existence of the Sustainability Science course in Unud's postgraduate curriculum. "We at Unud have established a mandatory Sustainability Science course in the curriculum of all postgraduate study programmes at Unud. "For this reason, joint lectures on these topics can be mutually enriching," he said. Prof. Tomimoto specifically responded that YU also has courses and experts in this field, so teaching and research collaboration is very possible. The meeting, which lasted about 1.5 hours, ended with an exchange of souvenirs and group photos.

The hospitality of the YU host did not end there, as in the evening the Unud PPS team was again invited by the President of YU and the team to have dinner together at a sushi restaurant in the Yudaonsen area, very close to the hotel where the Unud PPS team was staying. A very impressive form of mutual respect between the two universities, which have built and will continue to build ever closer working relationships. (nie)