MBKM: Student Exchange Program between National Universities

According to the policies determined by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), namely Independent Learning-Independent Campus (Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka), universities must conduct a student exchange program. It is stated in Ministry of Education and Culture Regulation (Permendikbud) no.3 in the year 2020 about National Standards for higher education. This policy is applied to all universities in Indonesia, and Universitas Negeri Jakarta is not an exception.

“Once every year with a period of one semester or more, the student exchange program will be held. The reason was to encourage students to establish a good demeanour, prepare to encounter social and cultural transformation, and master various kinds of knowledge for preparations for work life and rapid technological advances. Student competencies must be prepared, to fulfil the needs of the era.” Said Nisa, English Literature Study Program’s admin who partake in the program’s management.

Looking at the ongoing semester at Universitas Negeri Jakarta (117) in the academic year of 2022/2023, the program is currently in progress in some of the study programmes in the Faculty of Language and Arts. The study programs are such as English Literature, Indonesian Literature, English language Education, Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Arabic Language Education, Fine Arts Education. Some of these study programs are currently doing an exchange program with Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) in the form of Nusantara Student Exchange Mandiri/U2U (Pertukaran Mahasiswa Nusantara Mandiri / Permata Mandiri).

Aside from that, there are many kinds of student exchange programs that are being held by every university in Indonesia. English Literature study program at UNJ has held student exchange programs such as collaborating with Universitas Negeri Semarang, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Universitas Negeri Surabaya. Many students from English Literature program joined this program.

There are various types of student exchange programs, such as Nusantara Student Exchange Mandiri/U2U (Pertukaran Mahasiswa Nusantara/Permata Mandiri U2U), Independent Nusantara Student Exchange (Permata Merdeka), Student Exchange between Universities (Pertukaran Mahasiswa antar PTN/LPTK).

The selection for the participants of this program is done based on the policies of each study program, faculty or university. Some are using the volunteer method as later on the “volunteers” will be chosen by the related lecturer, and some are using a direct voting system done by the related lecturer.

Next is the most interesting part of this article is about the responses from the students who had joined or are currently joining this program, whether if this program worth taking or not. After interviewing some of them, students who joined this program explained their reason for joining was because many are interested in this program and wanted to know about the learning system in other universities in Indonesia. They wanted to try to go out of their comfort zone by trying to adapt to the new learning environment and make relations with new people. Besides that, they also want to do a comparative study to use as a reference to adopt a system that is considered good for their original university.

The impressions, of the students who are currently participating this program, are that they feel happy to be able to meet students and lecturers from another university that are warmly welcoming them and can make relations with them. Then, they also feel that this is a beneficial program especially if they attained a subject that they probably did not gain from their original university.

“This program is highly beneficial for me to improve my insights in knowing new learning environments. In this program, I also know a different learning system, meeting new friends from another various universities and working together with them.” Said Aliifa Lathuuf Kamilia, One of the students who is partaking the program in the current semester (117) to UPI in English Language Education Study Program.

This program is highly recommended by students who have joined it. It is good to do as a medium to develop good attitudes and skills, and to add more insights. This program is also good for a change of pace for the students to study in a new environment. Lastly, it is also good to train adaptation skills that are likely to be needed in the world of work or everyday life in the future.