When many universities still dream about becoming world-class universities, Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) has already possessed internationalization characteristics since its establishment in 1955. This was mainly due to the fact that the two main founding fathers of UNPAR were the Bishop of Bandung, Mgr. PM. Arntz, OSC and the Bishop of Bogor, Mgr. Professor Dr. NJC. Geisse, OFM.
International partnership was also nurtured in UNPAR through networks of cooperation and active involvement with overseas universities, such as: International Network of Universities (INU), The Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asian(ACUCA), and the Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU). In addition, the networks of cooperation were developed based on the initiatives and follow-ups of lecturers’ cooperative groups, such as: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) through International collaborations and cooperation with various universities such as TU Dortmund in; Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands, Hiroshima University in Japan; Flinders University and Notre Dame University in Australia. The learning processes in UNPAR have increasingly been involving Lecturers-Researchers from renowned overseas Universities, for example, as Visiting Professors and for joint research (research fellows). UNPAR’s lecturers have had more involvement at the international level, for example, Professor Dr. Paulus P Rahardjo, an expert at Geotechnical/ Geo-engineering, who often becomes an invited speaker in international forums. International quality has also been displayed in the form of various publications of lecturers’ scientific works in numerous International Scientific Journals.
The steps to internationalize UNPAR were strengthened with the establishement of Kantor International dan Kerjasama /International Office and Cooperation (KIK) in 2011. KIK is the “terminal” that facilitates the traffic of cooperation between Parahyangan Catholic University’s academic communities and the industries, government, and other educational institutions (triple helix cooperation). KIK more specifically encourages and facilitates the internationalization process of Parahyangan Catholic University, either with developing international cooperation and programs or with student’s exchange and staff mobility. KIK is responsible for managing administration and hosting cultural adaptation and introduction, so that the number of international students of Parahyangan Catholic University will keep on increasing.
In terms of student affairs, UNPAR has students from different backgrounds, such as origin, language and religion, personal beliefs, habits and customs, ethnic groups and even countries. The number of overseas students has also increased. Those students studying at UNPAR are categorized into the following status:
- Regular Students, which means they follow the undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs offered by Parahyangan Catholic University.
- Mahasiswa Kemitraan Negara Berkembang/Developing Countries Partnership Program Students (KNB) supported by the Republic of Indonesia’s government by giving scholarships to overseas students to study at an Indonesian University including UNPAR.
- Student exchange program with a duration of 1-2 semester at UNPAR. The students originate from partner universities in the ACUCA network and INU as well as the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesia Studies (ACICIS)
- Student exchanges of a short 1-4 weeks duration at Parahyangan Catholic University, from partner universities such as The University of Notre Dame Australia, following the Intensive Course and Community Engagement Program held by Parahyangan Catholic University.
Currently, Parahyangan Catholic University has two joint master degree programs, namely: (1) Joint Master Degree Program in Water Resources Engineering, in cooperation with Hohai University China and (2) Joint Master Degree Program in Business Administration in cooperation with Jiangsu University China. Through these programs, students can study at UNPAR and the partner university and earn degrees from both.
The aspect that should be highlighted from the various achievements of internationalizing UNPAR, is that all of them are results of synergic cooperation. In addition, the achievements have been obtained through the harmony of objectives between various educational institutions to develop international cooperation based on equality and mutual respect, by way of promoting the value of science, technology, and the humanitarian values that bring about benefits for human life, as stated in article 50 of Law No 12, 2012 concerning higher education. It is in lieu with the UNPAR’s academic life principle which is based on humanities value.
Synergic cooperation has enabled UNPAR to adjust its purpose, process and organizational capacity that support the organizing of international level education as well as producing capable and competitive graduates.
Source: Article “Kerja sama Sinergis Wujudkan Internasionalisasi UNPAR” in KOMPAS newspaper – Griya Ilmu Edition 1 2015