Contributor: Maroof Ahmed | Editor: Supriyono
As part of the monthly #LunchTalk series of the Faculty of Education at the Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII), a discussion session was held on April 11, 2023, addressing the efficacy of the recently implemented internship policy for Indonesian Higher Education institutions.
Spoke at the event were Dr. Destina Wahyu Winarti and Dr. Lukman Nul Hakim—both esteemed lecturers on the faculty—along with two students from their research team, Muhammad Numan and Hazrat Shah Kayen.
The topic of the discussion was “the Certified Kampus Merdeka Internship”, widely known as MBKM, which is one of the government’s initiatives for educational reforms through Merdeka Belajar (independent learning). Dr. Destina Wahyu Winarti and the team have spent months conducting research on this particular topic.
To begin with, Dr. Lukman Nul Hakim provided an overview of the objectives of the research and shared valuable insights on the effectiveness of the MBKM program. "The idea of the MBKM program has effectively solved the problems identified by MoEC [Ministry of Education and Culture]. However, the program has not met the ideal policy implementation [yet]," he stated.
He further explained that the MBKM program has indeed proved beneficial for students, the industry, and the universities. Nonetheless, there are aspects of the program that require improvement, such as commitment to cooperation between parties and the readiness of the educators.
Subsequently, it came with a suggestion that the MoEC, Commission X of DPR RI (People's Representative Council of Indonesia), and other stakeholders should work together to improve the program.
Meanwhile, Dr. Destina Wahyu Winarti presented the quantitative findings of the study, highlighting the factors that contributed to the student's final scores for the internship.
"Our research shows that 54% of the variation in the final score of internships was explained by students' academic test scores," she explained while adding that there was no significant gender difference in students' performance in doing the internship.
The #LunchTalk event concluded with recommendations to improve the MBKM program, such as establishing a hub between the three groups (the students, the industry, and the universities), having designated personnel to handle the specific groups, and providing assistance to universities for program implementation.
Both Dr. Hakim and Dr. Winarti emphasized the significance of their research for policy evaluation and as a basis for improvements in the MBKM program. As pioneers in researching this new education policy, their findings can contribute to a better understanding of its effectiveness and potential areas for enhancement.