University Business Engagement in Indonesia: Supporting Employability and Transition into the Graduate Labour Market – SMART

The instrumental role of universities in socio-economic development is today widely recognised. Enhancing links and cross-fertilisation between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their business environment in the interest of graduates' employability, improved competitiveness and growth is high on the agenda of policy makers and HEIs around the globe.The benefits of university-business cooperation are however as widely recognised as the difficulties that still exist in this field. Lack of integrated approaches and strategic management, inability to bring the different motivations closer, bureaucracy, and need to provide staff and students with the right skills are some of the obstacles generally identified.Challenges increase in countries with complex environments, like Indonesia. In addition to intricate institutional and regulatory frameworks and regional disparity in university capacity, evidence shows a generalised lack of understanding and trust, and little or no involvement of business stakeholders in HEIs’ strategies, what hampers productive university-business interaction. To bring the two sectors together, it is critical to create opportunities for structured vision and common work.SMART proposes a set of focused and complementary activities for enhanced university-business cooperation at Indonesian HEIs to help them identify opportunities for development, generate research-based knowledge, and contribute to the on-going education in the field. The project will facilitate the transfer of good practices from the EU to the PC HEIs; the set-up of professional units (Business Engagement Centres) at 7 PC HEIs and training to their staff to let them accompany students and researchers in making their business ventures a reality. The creation of a University-Business Network, as a platform for dialogue and exchange of experiences, and the Start-Up Nights and other stakeholders' events will also contribute to inspiring nation-wide change.