Pendidikan Tinggi

I posted the small piece of writing below in a website several days ago as a requirement for a scholarship application. I consider the content is a bit basic. Hope you find it beneficial. I’ll be more than happy to asnwer your question regarding studying and scholarship at university abroad. Thanks

Meraih Pendidikan Tinggi Berkualitas

Sudah ada konsensus bahwa kualitas sumber daya manusia merupakan suatu hal yang penting bagi daya saing (competitiveness) suatu bangsa. Bangsa yang kaya akan sumber daya alam, namun tidak memiliki sumber daya manusia yang handal akan tertinggal oleh bangsa yang memiliki sumber daya alam terbatas, namun memiliki sumber daya manusia yang baik. Singapura, Korea Selatan, dan Jepang merupakan beberapa Negara yang membuktikan bahwa sumber daya manusia yang handal akan meningkatkan kualitas standard hidup (living standard) suatu Negara.

Salah satu kunci meningkatkan kualitas sumber daya manusia tersebut tentunya pendidikan. Pendidikan akan memberikan dasar bagi kita untuk mengembangkan ilmu, meningkatkan kualitas daya pikir analitik, dan mengembangkan keahlian lainnya. Bedasarkan laporan OECD, pada tahun 2012, penduduk Indonesia yang melanjutkan pendidikan yang lebih tinggi setelah lulus SMA hanya sekitar 10%, cukup jauh dibawah Negara-negara maju yang mencapai rata-rata 30%.

Berbicara tentang pendidikan yang berkualitas, untuk pendidikan tinggi, universitas-universitas terbaik luar negeri pada saat ini masih merupakan pilihan yang tepat. Sangat banyak hal yang bisa didapatkan dari pendidikan di luar negeri.

Pelajaran yang didapat

Disamping medapatkan ilmu pengetahuan dan meningkatkan kemampuan berbahasa asing, belajar di luar negeri juga memberi kita beberapa manfaat lainnya. Dua diantaranya adalah:

Pertama, kita bisa mengetahui sistem pendidikan atau sistem universitas yang baik. Kita akan bisa mengetahui betapa dosen-dosen pengajar di luar negeri pada umumnya merupakan orang-orang yang berkualitas, universitas dilengkapi dengan sarana belajar yang menunjang, serta banyaknya kegiatan ekstrakurikuler yang tersedia, seperti organisasi mahasiswa, public lectures dan institusi-institusi riset.

Kedua, tata kelola pemerintahan. Di samping belajar, jika kita tinggal di Negara yang lebih maju, kita akan bisa melihat atau mengambil pelajaran dari sistem tata kelola pemerintahan yang diterapkan oleh Negara tersebut. Kita bisa melihat hal-hal yang patut dicontoh dan dikembangkan oleh Negara kita, seperti kualitas transportasi publik, pemukiman, pelayanan kesehatan, dan pelayanan publik lainnya.

Banyak Beasiswa

Keinginan untuk bisa melanjutkan pendidikan di universitas terbaik di luar negeri biasanya cukup besar bagi masyarakat Indonesia, namun seringkali terbentur oleh biaya yang cukup besar. Hal yang ingin saya tekankan adalah sangat banyak beasiswa yang tersedia di universitas-universitas luar negeri, terutama bagi program paska sarjana di universitas-universitas terbaik. Universitas-universitas tersebut sangat  berusaha untuk ‘menggaet’ akademisi-akademisi berbakat ke Negara mereka. Pada umumnya, ketika kita mendaftar di salah satu program studi mereka, kita sudah langsung terdaftar sebagai pendaftar beasiswa di program tersebut. Pada saat pengumuman kelulusan pendaftaran, mereka akan memberi tahu apakah kita diterima dengan beasiswa, diterima tanpa beasiswa, atau tidak diterima.

Bagi kita yang tidak mendapatkan beasiswa dari kampus tersebut, masih banyak beasiswa-beasiswa lainnya yang tersedia. Salah satunya adalah program beasiswa unggulan dari kementrian pendidikan dan kebudayaan Indonesia (http://beasiswaunggulan.kemdiknas.go.id/).  Program ini memberikan bantuan untuk biaya hidup selama kuliah. Program ini merupakan sesuatu yang sangat tepat untuk dimanfaatkan. Dengan ini, pemerintah berharap kualitas sumber daya manusia Indonesia akan dapat menjadi lebih baik dengan menempuh pendidikan di luar negeri.

Persiapan

Bagi program paska sarjana, hal penting yang harus dipersiapakan adalah study dan life plan serta kemampuan bahasa. Kita sudah harus bisa mengetahui target atau rencana hidup kita. Dengan demikian, kita bisa memilih universitas atau program yang tepat untuk membantu kita mencapai tujuan tersebut. Perbanyaklah membaca hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan bidang ketertarikan (field of interest) kita tersebut.

Bagi teman-teman yang masih kuliah di tingkat sarjana, perbanyaklah mengikuti kegiatan ekstrakurikuler, seperti organisasi-organisasi, community service, seminar-seminar, serta usahakan mendapatkan IPK yang baik. Hal-hal tersebut akan sangat membantu untuk bisa diterima di universitas terbaik di luar negeri.

Penutup

Indonesia merupakan Negara dengan penduduk terbesar keempat di dunia. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa Indonesia memiliki potensi besar untuk memberi kontribusi signifikan bagi pengembangan pengetahuan dan mendorong terciptanya arsitektur global yang lebih baik. Insyaallah, dengan level pendidikan yang lebih baik, Indonesia akan mampu menjadi Negara yang lebih maju dan makmur. Good luck!

Number one for me

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination” (QS. Luqman:14)

Allah’s verse above stress that we have to be someone who obey, take care of, and beneficial to our parents.

Let’s always try to be a good Muslim and a good child to them. Let’s always try to be the one who will make them happy. In qur’an words, it’s called qurrata ‘ayun, someone that can make their parents’ eyes cool.

We’ve grown up now; hopefully we still and will always able to make them happy. Hopefully the song below can remind us again about their love, especially our mother.

May we can gather in Allah’s paradise later with our parents.

Another Reflection

Sometimes, or quite often, I think about this life. This life is a test from Allah, to see, which one of us have a better ‘amal. We are definitely will be held responsible for everything that we’ve done in this life. Moreover, Allah mentioned repeatedly in the Qur’an that this life is just amusement and diversion, while the real and the eternal life is after our death. Thinking about this, sometimes make me want to drop anything that I currently do, concentrate more on religion study, teach religion subjects, being away from any duniawy (e.g. political, state) friction, etc.

But then, is that what Allah wants us to do? I think if many people are like that, then who will fix this messy world? Who will help the poor, weak, and disadvantaged society? Allah? For sure, but I believe His help should be channelled through human, and I believe that’s where our roles lie.

Looking back to the history, Prophet Muhammad, khalifah rasyidin, and some khalifah in bani umayyah and abbasiyah, all of them were a really good ‘abdullah (hamba Allah), and yet, also a very good leader who gave a lot benefit to the society. They transform the society, they made Islam world as the biggest power in the world for 700 years, etc. It reminds me to a training session that I attended several years ago. The trainer said, “Don’t ever contradicts things, such as, if I do this, I can’t do that. Insyaallah, everything can be done together and will result a good thing”. That time, the trainer gave example about being an academically sound student and a student activist, which later I discover being true; that it can be done alongside. Furthermore, Prophet said, the best human is the most beneficial to others, not just person who cares about himself. It’s person who gives the highest benefit to people around him.

Eventually, I conclude that, it is very possible to be someone that is close to Allah (have a lot of ‘amal,etc) and also involved in the state affairs for the good of society. Lastly, I want to share some lesson that I got from watching -my all-time favourite movie-Iron lady. Here they are:

  • First, in that movie, Margaret Thatcher, mentioned a really good quote (I believe we might already hear it) which stress the important of paying attention to our thoughts. Our Thoughts determine who we are. Thus, always think big, think holistically, don’t involve in trifling things. She said, ” Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, they become your destiny”. So my friends watch your thoughts! =)
  • Secondly, she mentioned the important of being firm, brave, and all out in everything. She said, “If we have a stand, we’ll fully stand on, or not at all”. So always be determined and brave. She also kind of mentioned something that I still have a bit reservation that is about being brave, She said something like: just think that other people don’t know anything, they’re dumb, just be confident.
  • “Never run with the crowd, go on your own way”.
  • “If you want to change this party, lead it! If you want to change this country, lead it!”
  • And finally, being a good leader is about saying the unsay-able and doing the undo-able. Never do thing that is just for the sake of popularity and the next election. Do it for the good of of our country.

That’s all, may we can a lesson from it. I believe our country can be much much better, if we, those who have the aspiration for the change, want to get involved, be prepared and take the lead. Insyaallah, as long as we keep being someone close to Allah, Allah will always help us, guide us, and strengthen us. May Allah always bless us all.

Rejuvenation

Bismillah,

I just got back from a three days visit to Jakarta. Since I traveled in the city mostly by taxi, there are some ‘classic’ lessons that I got from the driver. What I mean by classic is something that I might already have heard but sometime forget. Here they are:

  • From the driver from Soetta Airport to Depok, this minangese old man reminded me again about the power of Allah. He reminds me that there is no need to be so stressful. When we face a problem and already think and do many things to solve it,however the problem still exist, then pray to our God. He is the one who create and decide everything. Why don’t we just ask Him to help us. If He help us, then no body can defeat us; if He abandon us, then who else can help us? So no need to be that stressful.
  • Secondly from driver from Depok to Soetta. He again reminds me about the key thing in this life, that is to pray (beribadah) to Allah. He told me a story about someone who got punishment in his grave by Allah, just two hours after she buried. Na’udzbillahi min zalik. Allah, please place us among those who are saved from ‘azab kubur dan ‘azab neraka.
  • Lastly, from changi airport to college green taxi driver. He reminds me that this life should be fun. There is no meaning when we have a lot of money but we can’t enjoy it. Everything that we do, we should have fun. If we don’t have fun on it, then maybe we should choose another thing to work on. I’ll always try to enjoy things that I do.

That’s it, hope that’s helpful. I felt like this amazing trip not only give a lot of knowledge to me (since I interviewed top level government official in Jakarta), but also a spiritual refreshment for me. Alhamdulillah,, all thanks to Allah. Hope we can always be someone that is grateful to Allah, can always remember Him, and do a good thing in His way.

Finally found a book store

Alhamdulillah, I am very happy that finally I have time again to write on this blog, after what my friends called “a hell week of assignments” at school.

A few days ago, I finally have a chance to visit book store in Singapore,  more over, it’s the biggest book store in the country. It reminded me what I did in the last four to five years. I lived near a book store in Depok, almost can visit it every night. I think visiting, reading (and most unlikely buying) books at store is one thing that can make me so happy. I guest I love reading.

There are several lesson that I can get from reading that day, mainly reading Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY)’s book, from third world to first world country. Here are some lessons that got:

  • Mr LKY mentioned that key things that made Singapore success are the rule of law, independent judiciary, stable-competent-and honest government. I do really think those things are true. Somehow, these are exactly what Indonesia are lacking right now. Some time I think why can’t we have a rule of law in place? Are we that dumb-to not have that? Why? Somehow it’s a bit contradictory with Islam teaching. Islam teach us to be honest, obey the leader, just, etc. Why can’t we? Lack of education? Don’t want to practice religion? We’ve got to change.
  • Mr LKY also outline two key success in having a good bureaucracy. He said, we need someone who have a good personal motivation, meaning he have a strong motivation to serve the country, and there is personal reward available. In simple term, a sufficient compensation.  They are also a person that excel in their given role, discipline, hardworking, united, and efficient. He said, “we need a good man to have a good government”.
  • Mr LKY also stress the important of having a great university. The population should be educated, even we need to attract talent so that the innovation could grow. I really dream to have a great university in Indonesia. University where the academic atmosphere is really strong. I promised my self to make UI be better than NUS. I think a bot scary part of the story is that if UI, the best university that we have in Indonesia now is really really bad, then how about the other hundreds universities that we have? I met several out standing students from several Indonesian universities last year. I think they’re good. Hopefully can be a change maker in governing university later.
  • Then, equal opportunities for all and meritocracy, with the best men and women for the job, especially leaders in government.
Lastly, I would say Mr LKY is not a perfect person, many deficiencies. A lot criticism about the oppressed civil liberties, however, his achievement in bringing Singapore to be a great country should also be complimented.
On my second day visiting the book store, I met an Indonesian there. I think we talked quite long, around 1.5 hours. We talked about Indonesia’s condition which then reach the conclusion, maybe what we need is the time. We need another 20 to 30 years when the “old people” who are contaminated with orde baru “go away”. Sounds a bit sarcastic, but I do think that’s true. These old people have just too contaminated with the whole corrupt practice in the last 30 to 40 years. Besides, the reformer generation was around 20’s in 1998, which means now they are around 35. I think when they are 50 or 60 something, we’ll have Indonesia’s generation who are fully committed to reform plus a more educated young society and less contaminated with corruption. I hope that time will come soon.

In the midst huge negative atmosphere that we have in Indonesia, I think it’s worthwhile to keep the optimism. As the song below. I believe we can have a much better Indonesia. Maybe we don’t need the 20-30 years that I said above. Maybe it’ll happen soon, because of us. Wish Allah always bless us, bless our country, and guide us to His Jannah.