Editorial: Congratulations to the 2021/2022 UIII Scholarship Recipients

August 18, 2021

UIII.AC.ID, DEPOK - There is good news, there is bad news. The good news is that we have successfully selected and announced the 100 recipients of the UIII (Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia) Scholarship Program for the 2021/2022 academic year. The bad news is that COVID-19 is not over yet. When we launched the UIII Masters Scholarship Program on June 7, 2021, the world situation was not going well. The global COVID-19 pandemic has not abated. Recently, a new variant of COVID-19 has emerged, namely the Delta variant, which is suspected to have come from India, which is again threatening the world.

Several countries that have recently recovered from COVID-19 and have begun to open their doors, are now exposed to the Delta variant of COVID-19, and are back in implementing lockdown policy. Among these countries are Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Portugal. The Indonesian government did not take a total lockdown policy but what is locally called the “Enforcement of Restrictions on Community Activities” or PPKM, which has been carried out since the beginning of July, and continues to be extended (again) until August 23, 2021.

Pessimism is back. No exception, it also hit the field of education. There are many fears that the UIII scholarship program will be hampered because the situation forces us, like all educational institutions, to limit lectures and academic activities. For educational institutions that are already established, of course they are used to making adjustments to these restrictions because they have been active in the midst of the pandemic for the last several semesters. But, for UIII as a new campus, it will be a big challenge.

Actually, since launching the scholarship program in June 2021, and setting the schedule early for the semester to start in September 2021, we have anticipated this. That's why we announced two alternatives ahead of time: If COVID-19 subsides significantly, the semester and class activities will be held face-to-face. However, if the situation is the other way around, we will take the same way of learning as other campuses, namely online distance- learning.

Of course we hope that in the next few weeks the situation will improve so that when the semester starts in September, we can take the first alternative. We hope to be able to meet face-to-face with new UIII students who come from various countries. It is a pleasure and at the same time an honor for us to get acquainted with these great young students who represent their respective countries.

However, even if in the end we are only faced with the second alternative, namely studying online, it is not a bad choice. The show must go on. The world keeps turning, the seasons change, the situation will change, and everything will get better again. There will come a time, hopefully in the not too distant future, we will be in the same place, learning together while exchanging experiences, and chatting together -- sounds very old-fashioned, but isn't it an ancient happiness that is very human and natural?

We are writing this to assure the participants of the 2021/2022 UIII Scholarship Program that we are not going downhill with what we have planned according to the schedule. So, there is no need to worry too much about whatever conditions are in front of us. The launch of the scholarship program has been carried out, and the response has been very good, as evidenced by the relatively large number of applicants, namely 1009 people from 59 countries. The selection stage has also been carried out very strictly and professionally through three stages: Administrative Selection, Desk Review, and Interview. From the selection process, we have recruited 100 students, 25 each for each faculty. The decision was taken in a plenary meeting on July 27, 2021. We have also sent the results to 100 scholarship recipients via their respective emails.

Through this editorial, we, the entire academic community of UIII, congratulate the applicants who have won the scholarship for the UIII Masters program for the 2021/2022 academic year. This is just the first step for all of you to start a more difficult struggle ahead, because you must complete your studies on time with good achievements. Remember that you are not alone. In your success in obtaining this scholarship, there are prayers and hopes for many people, families, and the government of your country. It is important to make a commitment, and not to let them down.

Likewise, those of you who have not managed to get a UIII scholarship this year, you are not alone. So don't be sad and never give up. You've struggled, and struggle is an opportunity to grow. So whatever the result, we hope you can learn something from it. You might know this already: those who have succeeded here are perhaps those who have failed elsewhere. But they kept trying and fighting. In struggle there is pain and suffering, but it will just make you stronger.

Once again, congratulations to any and each of you who have managed to get a UIII scholarship for the 2021/2022 UIII Master’s degree program. Congratulations on starting a new academic journey in your life. And for those of you who have not managed to get one, you can try again next year. (ag)