Dear i3L Society,
I am deeply honored to be given the trust to assume the leadership of this great institution, i3L. I am proud to lead this relatively young institute which offers and continues to develop many excellent educational programs, acquire substantive research grants and projects, and start community initiatives that impact many people. I joined i3L a few years back, and I have truly learnt about this institute since the beginning, and this institution has remained and will continue to be strongly committed to providing excellent education for the people. This strong commitment and innovative leadership are the results of i3L’s previous Rectorates. Nevertheless, bigger challenges are coming, and they will help us to maintain and bring those qualities to the next level altogether.
Allow me to remind ourselves that i3L has established itself to be one of the best high-quality innovation, research and education institutes in Indonesia with the focus to fast-track its way into becoming a recognized leading institution in building entrepreneurial and innovative activities that will accelerate the development of Indonesia’s life-sciences industry. In addition to our best efforts, we must also be persistent in the acceleration of the development towards a stronger leadership position and strengthen i3L’s contribution towards the development of Indonesian competitiveness.
To be competitive and to be able to seek out better opportunities for our graduates to succeed domestically and globally, i3L needs to continue to operate in an entrepreneurial, pioneering and innovative manner to enable us to quickly secure our position as the driver of entrepreneurship and innovation in Indonesia’s life-science industry. At the same time, i3L also needs to empower its faculty members to get more recognition as skilled lecturers and researchers who are able to meet national, regional and international standards.
As we continue growing strategically, in the coming years, i3L will strengthen its academic programs not only by opening new study programs for undergraduate and graduate studies in the Medical and in the Life-Sciences fields respectively, but by also establishing our new i3L Business School which offers a number of highly-demanded study programs.This will mean that there will be many great and exciting challenges that we will have to face together in the future.
We will embrace a new paradigm in the education system brought by the current Indonesian Ministry of Education with their view on how accreditation, curriculum and teaching methods should be ruled and directed. Our Quality Assurance has promptly adapted into this paradigm and smartly planned for our next accreditation process. Our Academic Directorate has strategically prepared for the implementation of Kampus Merdeka policy and curricula which will provide a freedom of choice for students to succeed according to their educational interests. We should not worry too much on the changes of teaching methods since we, in principle, have been diligently implementing a modern pedagogical approach to teaching since the beginning. We will continue to develop our faculty members to implement this method with a deeper and more practical understanding so that our students can be more critical in thinking and communicate their intellectual and scientific reasonings in a more productive way.
In our efforts to position i3L as an international institute, we will sustain and improve the established international campus spirit by implementing English as our main language of communication and in the near future we will engage with native English-speaker professors from around the world to be part of our interactive virtual hybrid courses. We plan to implement this program to aid in delivering high-quality education and to ensure the readiness of our graduates in regards to seeking jobs internationally in this competitive world.
Our International Office has been intensively generating international collaboration portfolios with well-recognized international universities and institutes. To aid in generating these portfolios we must encourage our students to be more mobile and to get as many international experiences as they could and to increase the numbers of international students coming to i3L. As we build our international network, i3L needs to take this opportunity to build an entrepreneurial mindset and an international outlook which can engage all faculty members, students and working professionals, combined with interactive learning and teaching across all of its study programs and initiatives as well as across its research and innovation programs.
As we are all aware of, right now we are participating in a historic event in global education. The year 2020 will go down as the year of the coronavirus pandemic that has forced innovations for all education systems worldwide. All of us have dealt with uncertainty, makeshift solutions and uncomfortable compromises. Given the literal life-and-death implications of this pandemic, we should understand and follow the government’s decision to protect their citizens, students, parents and institutions from harm. Our decision to lock the campus down and shift lectures to remote learning activities is the only solution for us at this particular moment in order to keep the delivery of our courses running while keeping the virus from spreading. Let us face this together as our Academic Operations Department continuously monitors the situation and makes plans accordingly based on the safety of our students and staff members and the complete delivery of our courses.
Let us pray and hope for a quick end to this pandemic. On the upside, this crisis may accelerate some positive innovations at life-sciences academic institutions where vaccines or antiviral medicines can actually be developed. We should be proud that the highly-skilled students and alumni of i3L have engaged as active volunteers for COVID-19 testing using Real-Time PCR. Also, our laboratory facility and laboratory technicians have been selected to conduct COVID-19 tests using the RT-PCR kit. These are real examples of how the i3L society engages and gives impacts towards the community through education, science and technological advancement during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. In addition, there are several appreciable activities initiated by our faculty members which provide solutions to combat COVID-19 through collaborative research with other local and overseas universities.
There is not much more to say other than that I am thankful for the opportunity to lead this institution that I am immensely proud of. Let us work together as a team to protect and maintain the essential roles of higher education in our country and the world. Let us build a strong i3L society for a better education, science & technology, and most importantly, a better community.
It is a great privilege to be able to work with all of you and I am delighted to start my new journey as the new Rector of this great institution.
i3L, Globally Connected and Locally Embedded.
Iwan Surjawan, Ph.D.
Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences