Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The youngest american's
professor is an idonesian

Banyak orang mengira dia adalah saudara dari perdana menteri turkey, Tansu Ciller,karena namanya mirip dan kedengaran seperti nama orang jepang maka banyak pejabat jepang yang memintanya kembali ke jepang dan membangun industri di jepang.

Mereka tidak tahu bahwa Nelson tansu bukanlah orang turki,bukan pula orang jepang. ia adalah orang indonesia yang berasal dari medan.dan ia adalah seorang professor termuda (25 tahun) di Amerika dari universitas Wisconsin,Madison.

sebelum meninggalkan indonesia setelah menjadi finalist team indonesia pada olimpiade fisika.ia adalah lulusan terbaik dari SMU 1 utomo - Medan ( Horas medan ).

pada saat wawancara dengan CampusAsia majalah ( Majalahnya Universitas Pelita Harapan) di mana lieratur ini di ambil ada beberapa hal yang menarik yang di ucapkan oleh professor muda ini bahwa dari kecil dia telah mengagumi Albert einstein,Werner Heinsberg,Richard feynman,Murray Gell-Mann,bahwa mengapa Professor Indonesia Banyak yang berkarir dan berdedikasi di luar negeri setelah menjadi professor di sebabkan oleh dukungan pemerintah dan pendapatan mereka,di bandingkan dengan negara tetangga Singapura dan Malaysia yang besarnya bisa sampai 18 x lebih besar ditambah dukungan pemerintah yang begitu besar. di Amerika sana, masih kata professor muda ini bahwa professor adalah suatu profesi yang membanggakan sedangkan di indonesia professor tidak lebih sekedar pengajar yang gradenya lebih tinggi sedikit dari dosen. bahwa gaji guru sangat rendah sehingga para guru sulit focus untuk mengajar karena sibuk mencari sampingan untuk menutupi kebutuhan keluarga. dan bahwa dia lulus sarjana dalam 2 tahun dan 9 bulan dengan predikat Summa cum laude.

berikut wawancara dengan parofessor muda ini dalam bahasa inggris,tentang dunia pendidikan di indonesia termasuk pemikiran-pemikirannya untuk mensejajarkan dunia pendidikan indonesia dengan negara lainnya.sepertinya professor muda ini sudah agak lupa bahasa indonesia,ya sudah nggak papa pak prof,hitung2 biar kami belajar bahasa inggris dikit-dikit. :

"In interviews with a number of publications in the US and indonesia,nelson keeps saying he loves indonesia very much and still holds a green passport with the symbol of an eagle-- indonesia's coat of arms---on it."

People say the quality of education in indonesia is very low.do you agree with this,and what should be done?

To answer this question ,i think it's important to split the answer into two parts. first,I will address the elementary and secondary school system. second, i will address the university system in indonesia.
The quality of the education for elementary (SD) and secondary ( SMP and SMA ) education in some of the top schools in indonesia is very good.for example,some of the top high schools in major cities like jalrta,medan,bandung and surabaya have produced excelent students with very impressive national examination grades.
Students with access to education from the top schools can perform competitively in their university education in indonesia and abroad.thus the top students from the top indonesian school system can be as competitive as their counterparts from other countries as well- such as singapore,japan,the united stated,and UK.
the problem with indonesian elementary and secondary school system is related to the low quality of education available to students outside of the major cities.of course,there are some very good schools as well outside of the major cities,but i would like to draw attention to the quality of teachers in those regions.
We simply do not have enough good quality teachers for such a big country as ours.one approach is to improve the teachers' quality of life, and we have to make the teacher job a more desirable position.please keep in mind that we have to be able to provide teachers with better salary and benefits ,and of course ,the improved salary should be accompanied by higher expectations and higher qualifications.
We should learn from singapore and china,where often receive higher starting salaries than enggineers.by having such as singapore and malaysia.this is a fact that make me sad. i think we must focus on improving the quality of universities in indonesia. i really feel that for indonesia to progress,the uality of its univesities has to improve significantly.only by having excellent universities,can we give positive impact on the economy and society.

Indonesian professors have to work for 10 months to earn as much as Malaysian professor's average monthly salary.does this affect the quality of our university education?

I agree with you that indonesian professors are not well paid.this is one of the mosttragic obstacles to having high quality tertiary education.this is very serious issue,and ihave always emphasized this point on many occasions.
We have to understand that professors are also human beings, they have families to feed,thus it's impotant to take this into proper consideration.
Let us be realistic that it's expensive to live in jakarta. I was in jakarta with my wife,Adela Gozali Yose,about a month ago, and I noticed the living expenses were high.in fact,I calculated the expenses and found that cost of living in jakarta was roughly 30% of that in the US.the average salary of professors is 80-30+times lower than that in US and Singapore,but the cost of livings only 3 times cheaper.
Thus ,it's not possible for indonesian professors to have the same standards of living,as their counterparts in singapore or US.
This explains why many of the best talents,who were planning to go back to indonesia,decide to expand their research and teaching career in US,Singapore,or europe.some other countries have lower entry barriers.Malaysia is an example,and it has now become a favorite destination.
One of my close friends-a faculty member at one of the top universities in indonesia told me that he was moving to malaysia.I was puzzled initially,as i tough he should be fine teaching at a top university in indonesia.but as we discussed this further, I realized that the only reason why he wanted to leave for Malaysia was that he needed better salary (jangankan jadi professor para wanita aja pindah kesana walaupun hanya jadi Askar wataniah )-because in indonesia he had to take other jobs,just to make ends meet.

In what ways can indonesia take advantage of the globalization of education,and what areas should be developed in order to increase indonesia's competitiveness in term of tertiary education?

In short term, Indonesian univesities should attemp to develop exchange programs with top universities in US,Europe,or Singapore.Judging from the nature of globalization,I think it would be more beneficial if indonesia universities tie themselves with english speaking universities.
By having this exchange program,indonesian universities would be able to develop joint academic and research programs with universities abroad. it's very helpful to have US- Based or Europe-based faculty members,who are familiar with indonesian culture and are interested in assisting indonesian universities.
This will also improve the chances of indonesian students for obtaining scholarship for their master's or doctorate education in US or Europe.
In the long term, we have to invest in our own people-indonesians-regardless of ethnic backgrounds.we have to be able to provide and train our students to best quality that we can,and sent them to top universities abroad for their post-graduate degrees in technical areas.
Hopefully ,the talented indonesians will be able to maximize the potentials abroad in their professional careers ( in industry or univesity),and then we can recruit them to profer positions in indonesia.
To realize this,we have to provide appropriate institutions or laboratories for them when they return,it's impossible for them to return,if they feel that there are better opportunities in singapore or malaysia.
Again,let us invest in our own people from all ethnicities,and let us help our future generation maximize their potentials.

What kind of advice would you propose to the government in order to upgrade the quality of our universities?

Universities in indonesia have to be able to recruit the best talents to be come their faculty members.Good faculties will bring good results,in terms of excellent research and teaching.
there are defenitely many other improvements that one can propose,for examples:
1- encourage more research from faculty and students
2- expand the graduate program at indonesian universities
3- Provide more research opportunities for undergraduate students.
we must learn a lot from Nanyang Technological University in singapore that has shown significant progress in only a few years of its existence.indonesian universities have to be ambitious in goals,and be ready to work extremely hard to realize it.

How many more years do you think one indonesian university will be listed along with the world's most prestigious universities?

I understand that indonesian always like to compare rankings,but please keep in mind that those rankings are not the true measures of university quality.the criteria for those rankings can also be misleading.the most important factor in advancing the quality of universities in indonesia is to build as strong foundation for the country.strong universities will allow the development of strong and educated society-one that is capable of generating economic and technological development.
I think univesities in indonesia should learn from National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in singapore.these universities are very competitive in Asia.Their approach is to recruit the best faculty members as they can.strong faculties will conduct active research,and they willpublish their research results in some of the high-impact international journals and conference publications.
These will provide strong recognition of the university,which will in turn improve the reputation of the university abroad.this proccess includes hiring the best faculty members,recruiting the most talented students,nurturing scholarly and research environment,maintaining high quality teaching,encouraging them to publish their research works,providing assistance to young faculty members,and retaining the best faculty and students by providing competitive compensations.

On your specific expertise ,what it's that can be useful for indonesia,now that you are a professor in America?

Our research areas are in the fields semi-conductor optoeelectronics materials and devices,and semiconductor nanotechnology.the applications of our research works include applications in energy,communications,and biotechnology.I think there are plenty of applications relevant for indonesia,especially relating to photovoltaic,solid state lighting and communications.

My massage to indonesia students is this: You should believe that you will be able to achieve your goals,as long as you are ready to work and study hard with full of determination and dedication.of course,all these have to be accompanied by discipline and honesty in accomplishing the goals.

Does goverment subsidy has anything to do with the quality of education?

Let us look at american universities.public universities are run by the board of regents (including state goverment representatives) with subsidies from the state goverments.
The tuition subsidies for students attending public universities in one state are different from those in others states.the only reason that the universities can provide such subsidized tuition rate is the fact that the residents have paid a separate additional "educational tax " to the state government.
America's private universities typically do not provide subsidized tuition rate, rather they provide scholarship for excellent students. again,these are not "free money ",rather these expenses are usually taken from the endowment funds of the university.
we can not expect the government to be a generous fund provider for our education.to improve the quality of our universities,all parties in society need to work together. In the US,all the top universities are self - sufficient and non-profit institutions.many private universities in indonesia are geared for profit. I am proponent of government supporting private universities that are self-sufficient and are non-profit .
The government can provide tax-break for universities.this is important,as it will allow universities to operate at lower cost.the government should also evaluate the universities based on certain metrics,and provide limited subsidy to universities based on their ranking.
The higher ranked universities should receive more subsidies,as statically its graduates will generate more economic return for indonesia.Again,in hte long run,the goal is to achieve indepedent universities than can self suistainable and non profit,by having strong endowment funds from alumni and industry.

In order to upgrade indonesia's competitiveness what it's should be done?

The quality of our universities depends on the quality of faculty members.the brilliant professors will conduct excellent research and provide high quality teachings,and these will improve the reputation of their universities and will inspire their students.
If we pay the professors better,we also expect excellence from them in research,teaching,and advising.the professors should be judged with international standards,similar to those in the US or Europe.
I believe that immediate implementation of this transformationis required for univesities in indonesia.

What should be done to turn indonesia into a producer (seller) of brainware such as taiwan and korea,instead of being a buyer all the time?

This is very dilematic issue.computer usage increasing,but we still are not a manufacturer yet.Taiwan and Korea are very advanced in producing semiconductor,computer parts,and consumer electronics.
In south east asia,singapore and malaysia are also emerging very strongly.
the success of taiwan and korea is made possible by the progress of their universities,Top universities in Taiwan ( National Taiwan University,National Chiao-Tung university and National Tsinghua University) as well as in korea (Seoul National University,KAIST,and Yonsei University)definetly produce high quality graduates.
High tech industry requires very big initial capital investment,thus it would be very risky for any investor to start such companies without considering many of the relevent issues.
Stability and security situation in indonesia is improving,but it's not enough to convince the investors.foreign and domestic investors will only invest when there's certainly of law.
We should focus on improving the quality of our universities particularly those in engineering and science.when the universities produce top-notch engineers and scientist,we will see significant numbers of entrepeneurs emerge in the area of high-tech in indonesia.

If one day you sit in the chair of indonesia's minister of research and technology,what would your priorities be?

The position of indonesia's Minister of Research and technology is very honorable.but my believe is that one does not apply for such position,rather one will only serve this position honorably when called upon.
When the right opportunity puts me in a ministerial position some day,I think there are plenty of activities that must be made our priorities.
We can set up a national science foundation similar to that in the US,that will fund research projects in universities.The US has an excellent system for this and indonesia needt to adopt it. But I am very happy with my current position at Lehigh and I am not seeking to move to other position. ( sayang sekali orang sepintar ini harus mengabdi di negara orang) apa boleh buat.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dari Bakul Ikan Jadi Pengusaha Sukses.

Susi Pudjiastuti saat menerima penghargaan dari pemerintah

Ibu ini tampil pada sebuah acara yg di selenggarakan oleh sebuah perusahaan BUMN pemerintah yang di pandu oleh artis Nurul Arifin bersama Suaminya. Ibu ini bisa menjadi sebuah inspirasi buat semua orang. pada akhir acara saya terkesan dengan celetukannya yang berbunyi " If we have something we could share..." barangkali semangat ini yg beliau miliki sehingga ia begitu kuat dalam menjalankan usahanya. di bawah ini adalah kisah nya yang di petik dari sebuah koran nasional pikiran Rakyat.........
Dari Bakul Ikan Jadi Pengusaha Sukses dan menerima Penghargaan Primaniyarta.

Bahkan sekarang bisnis beliau telah merambah ke perusahaan penerbangan,dengan nama SUSI AIR
Sekitar 25 tahun yang lalu, wanita ini hanya seorang bakul ikan. Ia rela begadang tiap malam untuk berburu ikan segar dari para nelayan di Pantai Pangandaran. Setelah dua tahun bergelut dengan bau amis, ia yang tidak tamat SMA itu justru lahir sebagai pengusaha sukses. Ia adalah Susi Pudjiastuti, Presiden Direktur PT ASI Pudjiastuti.

Wanita yang terbiasa mengemudikan mobil truk ini tidak menyangka bakal meraih penghargaan Primaniyarta Award 2005, untuk kategori usaha kecil menengah (UKM). Susi dinilai tim independen, sebagai pengusaha yang gigih menembus pasar ekspor.
Susi menyadari proses seleksi untuk pemberian penghargaan ka-tegori perusahaan pengekspor terbaik di negeri ini, cukup ketat. Selain diseleksi oleh Badan Pengembangan Ekspor Nasional (BPEN), proses pemilihannya juga melibatkan majalah Swa, Kamar Dagang dan Industri (Kadin) dan tim Pascasarjana Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Indonesia.
Penghargaannya ada tiga kategori, yaitu perusahaan pengekspor besar, pengekspor UKM dan pengekspor merk global.
Untuk kategori pengekspor UKM total asetnya tak boleh lebih dari Rp 10 miliar. Hal dinilai bukan saja kegigihan dalam melakukan ekspor, tapi juga kesinambungan dan perjuangan dalam menembus pasar ekspor.
Diterimanya Primaniyarta UKM bagi Susi, bisa jadi sebagai pengakuan dari pemerintah atas kerja kerasnya. Ia merasa telah jungkir balik dalam membangun usahanya, dimulai sebagai bakul ikan. "Ini pengakuan dari pemerintah pusat. Saya senang sekali bisa mendapatkan penghargaan ini," kata Susi.
Saat ditemui "PR", Susi mengaku masih kebingungan, bakal tampil dengan pakaian apa di acara pemberian penghargaan itu. Jika mengenakan pakaian nasional, ia bermasalah dengan rambutnya. "Rambut saya ini pendek, bagaimana nanti kalau pakai gelung," katanya sambil tertawa.
Susi mengungkapkan, pilihan sebagai bakul ikan dilakoninya, karena sadar bahwa selembar ijazah SMP, sulit laku untuk bekerja kantoran di sektor formal. Awal tahun 80-an, ia drop out (DO) dari sebuah SMA di Yogyakarta. Lalu, pulang kampung ke Pangandaran. Di daerah inilah, ia memilih sebagai bakul ikan.
tak disangka, usaha yang digelutinya berkembang pesat. Ia pun merambah wilayah Cirebon dan Indramayu. Di pantura, bukan hanya jual ikan, tapi juga kodok. Di daerah ini, usahanya mulai menunjukkan hasil, semula bisa memasarkan 50 kg ikan/hari menjadi satu ton/hari. Ikan itu ia jual langsung ke Jakarta.

Saat itu, saya kadang menyetir truk sendiri untuk membawa ikan di Jakarta. Tidur di gudang pabrik ikan milik bandar di Jakarta. Setelah mendapatkan uang, lalu balik lagi ke Cirebon. Itu dilakukan mulai tahun 1985 hingga 1987," kenang Susi. (undang sudrajat/”pr”)***

Sekali lagi kisah di atas menegaskan bahwa jenis kelamin,pendidikan tidaklah seratus persen mempengaruhi sesorang untuk menjadi sukses,ibu susi rela tidur berhari-hari di pantai,naik truck walaupun agak aneh kedengarannya karena beliau seorang wanita, ibu susi bahkan tidak sampai lulus SMA apa lantas ia berkecil hati,tidak! bahkan beberapa pertanyaan dan istilah di lontarkan dalam bahasa asing yang kedengarannya cukup fasih dalam acara "your Smile" dan Kick Andy bahkan beliau menikah dengan seorang yang berkebangsaan Jerman.........Pendidikan adalah penting tapi bukan segalanya,uang juga penting tapi juga bukan segalanya dua hal yang lebih penting adalah tekad dan kerja keras..........

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