The Independent Campus program’s ‘link and match’ program is not appropriate for universities


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) is promoting the Independent Campus program with the spirit of link and match to overcome the gap between educational qualifications and industry demands.

Link and match is a Ministry of Education and Culture policy developed to increase the relevance of education to work, business and industrial needs.

One of them is through the Certified Independent Study and Internship (MSIB) program which provides opportunities for students to hone their comprehensive skills to prepare for their future careers.

However, policies oriented towards work readiness are not appropriate when applied to universities. Link and Match in the Independent Campus program is more suitable for vocational education. Why?

1. Theory-oriented universities

Higher education has fundamental differences with vocational education . Universities generally have a broader and theoretical orientation, providing a variety of study programs involving various disciplines such as social sciences, humanities, science and arts.

According to Sri Shanti Ariani , lecturer at the Darul Kamal NW Kembang Kerang Islamic College (STAI), East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), higher education has a broader focus than vocational education, namely helping each individual grow and develop into a good person. wiser, empathetic, responsible, and have the ability to have a positive impact on society and the world around them.

The educational process in higher education aims to improve a person’s reflective ability in looking at various life problems . This suggests that humans do not just live life mechanically, but also give meaning to their experiences.

In addition, the educational process in college can help someone understand that what we learn and experience not only has an impact on ourselves, but also on other people .

Thus, the educational process in higher education involves deepening understanding in a more systematic and dynamic way.

This is as stated in Permendikbudristek no. 53 of 2023 article 9 paragraph e which states that the main competency of an undergraduate graduate is that he must master theoretical concepts in general and specific areas of knowledge and skills to solve problems in accordance with the scope of his work.

2. Industry needs are vocational education orientation

In Presidential Regulation number 68 of 2022 concerning the Revitalization of Vocational Education and Vocational Training, it is stated in Chapter III, article 8 paragraph 1 that the basic principles of organizing and vocational education are oriented towards the needs of the business world, competency-based and inclusive.

This means that vocational education prioritizes practical and applied education, especially skills that have direct relevance to the demands of the world of work .

The programs offered by vocational education focus on specific technical skills training, such as engineering, health, tourism and other fields.

The main goal of vocational schools is to produce graduates who are ready to immediately enter the world of work and have skills that suit market needs. Therefore, the link & match concept from the Merdeka Campus is appropriate to be implemented in vocational schools.

It needs clarity from the start

In Indonesia, there are 3,107 universities , while the number of vocational education institutions is only 1,365.

Compare this with Japan, for example, which only has 807 universities according to data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) . This number is much less than vocational education which reaches 2721 institutions.

In fact, according to a study conducted in 2021 , both Indonesia and Japan have relatively the same educational goals, namely developing people so that they grow into individuals with character and are useful for the wider community.

Referring to information from the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia , the education system in Japan has a nine-year compulsory education policy, consisting of six years in elementary school and three years in junior high school. Then, after someone has completed their compulsory education, they can choose whether they want to continue to a vocational level or further study at high school.

Since the beginning, the Japanese government has made clear the difference between the vocational education pathway and the high school-college pathway. That is why the number of vocational education in Japan is much greater than the number of universities.

Based on this data, perhaps what we need is not to impose the link and match concept on universities, but to increase the number of vocational education so that people can freely choose the type of school based on their individual needs and choices.

Author Bio: Yogie Pranowo is an Adjunct Associate Lecturer in Humanities Studies at Multimedia Nusantara University