On Tuesday (3/11) Institute of Research and Community Services hosted an International Webinar on Strengthening International Collaboration in Community Development. It was to strengthen the Institute of Research and Community Services program in developing community engagement at the national and international level through networking.

The Executive Director Asia-Pacific University-Community Engagement Network (APUCEN) Prof. DATO’ Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rokiah Omar from Department of Optometry Faculty of Health Sciences Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Sustainable Sourcing Manager Unilever Indonesia Ahmad Adhitya, Ph.D and Head of Student Internship Program, Institute of Research and Community Service, Universitas Brawjaya Hendrix Yulis Setyawan, STP. MSi, Ph.D., were the speakers for the webinar.

The theme of the webinar was Striving Creative Economy and Sustainable Environment through Community Development. Vice-Rector for Planning and Collaboration Universitas Brawijaya Professor Muhammad Sasmito Djati explained that the theme of this webinar is in line with Brawijaya vision and mission to be united. “We should change the common saying University as Golden Ivory or Menara Gading to be Water Tower. We should care and share our water with our global community. If we develop the community through international student community service, our community will develop us,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Head of IRCS Universitas Brawijaya Dr. Bambang Susilo said that IRCS organize community development programs for all faculties. This cross-linkage knowledge between academics or students from various faculties provides a better team to tackle community issues. “One of our best programs is Doktor Mengabdi, a competitive community development program covering most parts of Indonesia. Doktor Mengabdi has been on since 2017 and able to reach the remote communities within Indonesian borders,” he added.

Achmad Aditya, PhD., presenter who was Universitas Brawijaya’s alumni, explain that Doktor Mengabdi will encourage Universitas Brawijaya to access the government funding in the next year. The access requires collaboration with a private company, industry, ministry, NGO, or in this case APUCEN. He informed that it is a good opportunity for Universitas Brawijaya to become the implementer program. The funding itself provide 250 billion rupiahs and will be provided by the government as a match funding.

Further, the chairman of the forum, Sri Suhartini, PhD., ends up the discussion by saying that community engagement was to create the unity in diversity. “We need to get hand in hand together with our local and global community by involving them to solve or decide problem-solving,” she concluded.