The recent virtual reunion evidenced the success of the longstanding AUN/SEED-Net Project in developing human resources in the engineering field through the collaboration with Japan-ASEAN.

On September 12, 2021, at 14.00 Indonesian time, the virtual event “AUN/SEED-Net ITB – Alumni Reunion” was held via Zoom, organized by Ms. Shinta Puspita, the former ITB administrative staff member responsible for coordinating the AUN/SEED-Net Project. Approximately 50 participants attended the event, including ITB professors, alumni, and staff.

It was a good opportunity for ITB faculty members to meet their former students after such a long time. Some students and former advisors had not seen each other for almost a decade. The meeting was held in an atmosphere of gratitude, good memories, and amicable conversation. The alumni exchanged stories about life after graduation, with many expressing that participating in the SN scholarship was a significant educational step in preparation for their future professions.
As well as the educational benefits, the alumni considered that studying at ITB offered a meaningful life and memorable experiences. Being exchange students at ITB provided them with an excellent opportunity to study, learn, and exchange cultures.

For almost two decades, ITB has been performing the role of Host Institution (HI) for ASEAN students, especially those from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. In the meantime, this institution also acts as the Sending Institution (SI), dispatching students to study at other AUN/SEED-Net Member Institutions (MIs) and Japanese Supporting Universities (JSUs). After completing their studies, graduates return to their home countries, taking up professions in the education, private, and government sectors. As a result, ITB has become pivotal in establishing strong SN network connections. Nowadays, the network plays a key role in academic cooperation and knowledge exchange among leading higher education institutions for engineering in the ASEAN and Japan.

With the support of the Foreign Affairs Department in the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at ITB, Prof. Andi Isra Mahyuddin participated in an in-depth interview on his experiences and lessons learned following the successful organization of the virtual gathering for alumni.

Prof. Mahyuddin shared some of the key factors involved in organizing a successful event.

  • The network formed through the AUN/SEED-Net Project has grown strong. Many of our colleagues actively keep in touch with former students. Many of these contacts have resulted in new collaborative activities. The latest being the collaboration with the ITC (Institute of Technology of Cambodia) to establish a Master’s Program in Energy Technology and Management.
  • On a more personal note, maintaining constant communication with alumni through social media has had a positive effect on our alumni. For example, there is a group account page on Facebook entitled “ITB Alumni – AUN/SEED-Net” consisting of 27 members. The idea started with a casual chat among alumni, subsequently leading to an online meeting (reunion) to be held via Zoom.
  • One of ITB’s former staff members, Ms. Shinta Puspita, played a central role in our latest gathering. She was able to contact many alumni through social media and took the initiative to organize the event online via Zoom. Besides inviting the alumni, Ms. Shinta Puspita also approached the professors who supervised the alumni during their studies at ITB.
  • Building a friendship with the alumni is also important. Ms. Shinta Puspita is friends with some of the alumni on Facebook, while Ms. Laras is in touch with others via Instagram.
  • After receiving an enthusiastic response from alumni regarding the event, Ms. Shinta Puspita decided to create an AUN/SEED-Net -ITB frame template where the alumni can insert their preferred picture. The alumni can then share the picture on Facebook or set it as a display picture on WhatsApp.
  • Based on our conversations with alumni during the reunion, most agreed that studying at ITB was one of their greatest experiences and provided a stepping-stone to their current career. Not only is it good for networking, but also for building friendships.

In addition, Prof. Mahyuddin shared some of the lessons learned from organizing the reunion.

  • Based on the positive experience of the reunion, ITB could better prepare topics for discussion in which everyone could participate. They could aim to reach out to more alumni and get more participants. A virtual background for the participants to use during the meeting would be good.
  • ITB could disseminate a link directing the alumni to an online Google form for updating their information.

Ultimately, ITB anticipates building on the success of the reunion by organizing more “get-togethers” in the future.

The Secretariat would like to express its deep gratitude and appreciation to the organizer for arranging this special event. This virtual reunion shows that the alumni network can be effectively maintained despite the restrictions on international travel resulting from the COVID-19 situation. It also demonstrates the strength of the academic network as a valuable AUN/SEED-Net asset.

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