On Monday, July 11ᵗʰ, twenty-seven faculty members of various universities from across Indonesia gathered in Depok for the opening ceremony of the Master Training stage of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) Pathfinder Project, a programme jointly conducted by the Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Indonesia (UI), Depok and University of Sheffield English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC), UK. This UK-ID capacity building programme is one of eight British Council funded UK-ID English Digital Innovation Partnership programmes.
The attendees of this ceremony, which marked the commencement of the face-to-face stage of the EMI Pathfinder programme, consisted of both English and subject lecturers from all across the country. These participants attended in pairs, representing their respective institutions, with the aim of developing their capacities in English language teaching and the teaching of subjects through English in Indonesian Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia.
Held on campus grounds of Universitas Indonesia in Depok, this opening session began with a welcoming speech from the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia, Dr. Bondan Kanumoyoso, M.Hum., who highlighted the rapid rise of EMI in line with the growth of the internationalisation of education.
“The implementation of EMI in higher education poses a considerable challenge to Indonesian universities,” commented Mr. Kanumuyoso before sharing his hopes for the materials and outcome of the programme to become valuable aid for HE institutions across Indonesia as part of their planning of EMI implementation.
British Ambassador to Indonesia, Owen Jenkins gave a special address remotely via video conference, highlighting the shift of roles which the English language has played in recent decades in higher education. According to Jenkins, English has become “an essential tool for 21ˢᵗ century life” as the lingua franca within various academic fields, across studies of social sciences and engineering to various creative industries. “I really think that this Pathfinder program can make a significant difference to the way that English is used across the academic institutions of Indonesia.” stated Jenkins. He later stressed the importance of participants sharing gained experience and expertise with their colleagues at their home institutions.
Also in attendance was Director Education, English, and Society at the British Council Indonesia, Colm Downes. Downes shared with participants the primary aim of the British Council’s UK-ID English Digital Innovation Partnership “to develop and share free professional development resources, specifically crafted for Indonesian English teachers and English and EMI lecturers working in higher education institutions.
On the uniqueness of the EMI Pathfinder Project, Downes highlighted the blend of online and on-site sessions in addition to the wide variety of participants – both in origin by location and in field of expertise – as two advantages of the programme which will allow participants to learn from as well as learning from the course instructors.
The face-to-face sessions are to be held over the course of one week, involving participants representing twenty-two different institutions of higher education. The attendants of this intensive stage of the programme are divided into two cohorts spread over ten days in total, with the first batch attending from July 11 to July 15 and the second batch from July 18 to July 22.
In total it is expected that approximately 70 participants will complete the intensive training in Depok. Following this stage, participants are expected to cascade training to fellow English and EMI lecturers back at their home institutions, reaching approximately 450 university lecturers in total.
Maura Sekar-Amarati L, student at Universitas Indonesia