Sogang University Holds Completion Ceremony for the Laboratory Building of Department of Chemical Education of Sanata Dharma University in Indonesia
- Aimed at Contributing to the Advancement of Developing Countries through Higher Education and Nurturing Excellent Teachers in Indonesia -
▲(From the left) Jong Gou Park, President of Sogang University, Yohanes Eka Priyatma, President of the Sanata Dharma University
On September 6, the Center for International Cooperation in Science and Technology (chief researcher: Lee Won Koo) of Sogang University held the completion ceremony for the laboratory building of the Department of Chemical Education of Sanata Dharma University in Indonesia. This location for lectures and practical trainings was built as part of the International Cooperation Program for Universities implemented by the Korean Ministry of Education, with the purpose of supporting the advancement of higher education in developing countries. The project was funded by the local university.
The Center for International Cooperation in Science and Technology of Sogang University participated in this project from 2016 to establish the Department of Chemistry Education in Sanata Dharma University located in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta, dubbed a city of education. The completion ceremony was held by the Indonesian university in collaboration with Sogang University and the Korean Ministry of Education.
The ceremony was attended by 200 participants, including Jong Gou Park, president of Sogang University, Lee Won Koo, chief researcher of Sogang University’s Center for International Cooperation in Science and Technology, Shin Kwan-woo, professor of Chemistry at Sogang Univ., Mikyung Shin, director general of the Educational Internationalization Division of the Ministry of Education, Choi Yeon-su, head of the Office of International Networks of Directorate for International Affairs of the National Research Foundation of Korea, Didi, director of Private University Coordinator of Indonesia, Fr Sunu, Indonesian Jesuit of Society of Jesus, Johanes, president of the Sanata Dharma University, Fr Susanto, chairman of the Sanata Dharma University Foundation, and students from Sanata Dharma University. A celebrating mass for the newly completed building was followed by a board hanging ceremony for the equipment and experiment space. Students also showcased celebratory performances on-stage. Additionally, diverse side events were organized in hopes for the prosperity of the new building and the department.
▲Lee Won Koo, chief researcher of Sogang University’s Center for International Cooperation in Science and Technology
Lee Won Koo, who is chief researcher of the center and responsible for the project, said, “The purpose of the project is to contribute to the advancement of developing countries through education. The admitted students have come from all across the nation. In 2021, the first graduates will emerge and return to their hometowns as teachers. As such, our goal is to help the department firmly establish itself as the birthplace of ‘the most superior teachers in Indonesia.’” He added, “I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia, the Korean Ministry of Education, and the National Research Foundation of Korea for not sparing any efforts in nurturing prominent teachers in the science and technology sector.”
The laboratory building is planned to host rooms for basic experiments, analysis, organic and physics experiments, spaces for practicing for lectures, and rooms for creative atelier for equipment (including elemental analyzers) for high-tech education, research, and STEM education. Each lab has state-of-the-art equipment and devices needed for experiments, allowing students to be trained through a balanced program similar to the chemistry education of Korean students. Sogang University has ensured that Indonesian students will perform the experiments based on an in-depth understanding by distributing instructional videos in Indonesian on the experimental process.
Meanwhile, the Department of Chemistry Education of Sanata Dharma University was approved by the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education in 2016. After that, starting from 2017, it has admitted and educated students. The operation of the department has been driven by Sogang University’s Chemistry Department in participation with several faculty members of the Natural Science Department. Currently, a total of 115 students across three grades have been attending the department. The admissions rate has been 5.8 to 1 over the last three years, showing that it has successfully attracted outstanding students across the nation even though it is quite a new department. As fruitful results of this project, local lectures and a reeducation program for teachers and faculty recruiting and training programs have been in operation. The construction of the 4-floor building of independent labs has been completed to train students of the Department of Chemistry and Biology Education since its establishment in December 2018, preparing them to become science teachers.
The Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education issued the approval for launching the Department of Chemistry Education in December 2016, just 6 months after the Korean Ministry of Education finally endorsed the project. During the process, the Indonesian Ministry took into account the lack of science teachers across the nation. The urgent need to nurture competent science teachers with capabilities based on theory and training was considered as well. Sanata Dharma University accepted its first freshmen in August 2017 and newly recruited 5 faculty members. Three out of the 5 faculty members were sent to Korea as national scholarship students and in the process of gaining PhD at Sogang University. After completing the course, they are expected to work as faculty members.