Since 2018, UPI has been striving to climb the ranks in the World Class University. In 2019, UPI has claimed the 470th place in the ASEAN University Ranking. As of now, we are perching on the 457th position on the World Class University by subject in education; whereas in order to be featured, we need to be on the top 300. A team has been made to take charge of the WCU program in UPI, led by Haipan Salam, M.Si. Ph.D. Thus were the opening statements Prof. Asep Kadarohman, UPI’s current chancellor at the dissemination of the World Class University program, summarizing UPI’s current status on the international ranks. As UPI is now aiming for a higher position in the World University Rating, the dissemination of the WCU program covered the initial steps we need to take in order to climb the ranks; building motivation and fulfilling the criteria of a WCU.
Following the chancellor’s opening statements, Prof. Ir. Hermawan Kresno Dipojono MSEE, Ph.D. started his presentation on the first step to being a WCU – will and perseverance. He revealed in his talk that every university face a common challenge; internal opposition. It is not rare for incumbents of universities in Indonesia to view the title of WCU as irrelevant and that the international standards to become one as a tool of modern imperialism. Nevertheless, he stated that challenges are meant to be overcome, not to be seen as a problem. “In fact, we should be thankful to be faced with challenges. Our country is rich in world-class problems. Facing these problems and overcoming them will make us world-class problem solvers,” he added. He also mentioned the important roles of the leaders of the university. He asserted that if the leaders of the university don’t possess the will or perseverance to bring their university into the world stage, the title of WCU will remain a dream.
Additionally, Prof. Hermawan explained the importance of a WCU title. He first stated that it would be a shame for UPI to not put itself up for the title, as UPI owns adequate facilities and is capable to become a WCU. “UPI has bright students with very much potential”, he said. Rebutting the arguments of WCU being irrelevant and potentially manipulative, Prof. Hermawan expressed his disagreement by saying that the title of WCU is a world class acknowledgement which can be earned by only a select number of universities. “We cannot work alone in this world. Cooperation with other countries in the world is a must, as we share our resources and expertise with each other.”, he said. “There is opportunity in international cooperation. Sure, there will be challenges; what we need to do is have a positive outlook on it,” he added.
There are also several strategies that UPI can follow to boost their position in the World University Rankings. Prof. Dr. Ir. Tri Yogi Yuwono DEA. showed the criteria by which universities are rated is by dropping students and increasing lecturers. By Quacquarelli Symonds, universities are ranked by survey and data. Survey consists of academic and employer ratings, whereas data is comprised of the number of citations per faculty, the number of students in faculties, and international faculties and students. Several things UPI can do to boost their position is decrease the ratio of students to lecturers, increasing their number of international publications or publications in Scopus, increasing their numbers of citations, increasing the number of inbound and outbound international students, and cooperating with international universities for programs such as double-degree. To do this, especially to increase the number of international publications from UPI, the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education has allocated some investments to support research done by scholars in UPI. Through will and perseverance, and application of the strategies to becoming a WCU, UPI continues its ‘struggle’ to climb up the ranks. Hopefully soon we will be able to see UPI at the top ranks of the World University Ranking. (Text & Photos: Gelatika Prayogo)