The Urgency of a Work-based Learning Model to Bridge the Gap in Indonesia’s Higher Education

180 Degrees Consulting (180DC) Bristol marks another significant milestone in the organization’s ongoing mission to offer students a platform to hone their consulting expertise through real-world challenges alongside esteemed institutions. 

The team embarked on a project with Multiverz, a Singaporean for-profit social impact technology company that utilizes data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist governments, businesses, and individuals in navigating the challenges of the future. Multiverz has partnered with nine universities globally to promote student engagement through the enterprise’s focus on skill tracking and technological advancement–identifying new trends, opportunities, and risks. 

The urgency of utilizing technology to transform higher education in Indonesia cannot be overstated. With its vast population and diverse geographic landscape, leveraging technology is crucial to overcome barriers to accessibility and enhance educational quality. Based on the Center of Indonesian Policy Studies, in 2022, over 12,500 villages and 104,000 schools around Indonesia still have no internet access.1 McKinsey also estimated that between 400 million to 800 million individuals globally could lose their jobs by 2030 because of AI and automation.2

With the goal of increasing accessibility to world-class online courses, the Indonesian Cyber Education Institute (ICEI) strives to transform higher education in Indonesia, empowering students with 21st-century technology skills necessary for their future careers in the evolving digital economy. The ICEI aims to facilitate the provision of quality education by ensuring that the standards of online learning and distance education services are met, easing the proper selection of online courses for career development in the 4.0 industry.

Based on the Bristol 180DC team’s research across various industries in the Indonesian job landscape, they identified that the country is in high demand for technical skills such as data analysis, information technology, and software operations, alongside soft skills such as leadership and resource management. 

The emerging need for such capabilities provides a robust foundation to evaluate and improve a program structure in Indonesia’s current higher education system. Instead of emphasizing theoretical learning, the team proposed a Work-based Learning (WBL) Model to bridge the gap between knowledge obtained from university and the demand for skills in the workplace. Apprenticeships were found to provide the most value for students compared to internships, in which they will be given more responsibility on projects alongside their studies and are more likely to convert into full-time employment with partner companies. Furthermore, the program aims to collaborate with trusted tutors from Indonesian universities and industry experts to develop online materials and assessments using automated marking software.

“Working with Ashley, Alberto, Ben, Jewel, Nic, Theano, Zaid, and Zeynep was an absolute pleasure! Not only did they put so much hard work into the project, but they structured themselves and their work in such a polished and impressive way. I have no doubt that their output will be hugely valuable for Multiverz in helping them reach their ambitions.”

– Immy Ireland, Consultant at LanciaConsult, Project Mentor at 180DC Bristol

“Collaborating with the Bristol branch of 180DC has been an outstanding experience for Multiverz, particularly in our pursuit to gain valuable insights into work-based learning. The team's professionalism, dedication, and hard work led to a successful engagement. Insights provided by the team helped us redefine our approach to operational excellence and strategic planning on the topic”.

– Randeep Sudan, Founder and CEO of Multiverz

The team from the University of Bristol, comprising Ashley Fok, Alberto Panicucci, Benjamin Mason, Jewel Koh, Nicholas Sia, Theano Dimopoulou, Zaid Sater, and Zeynep Mesekoparan, worked hand-in-hand with Multiverz's Randeep Sudan and Vinny Nijhon to develop a strategic framework for a work-based learning program for the ICIEI.

The collaboration between 180DC Bristol and Multiverz is one of the many projects where 180DC fosters experiential learning opportunities in contributing towards social change. The team’s research and analysis further support the growing opportunity to transform Indonesia’s higher education system through technology.

Are you eager to learn more about 180DC's inspiring projects and the incredible opportunities we provide students and organizations? Stay connected with us on our website and social media for our latest stories!

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