Jakarta (ANTARA) - Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Anwar Makarim established cooperation in education with the United Kingdom and the Northern Ireland governments with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

"In implementing the Merdeka Belajar (Freedom in Learning) program, we emphasize the importance of social responsibility towards the quality of education," Makarim said here on Friday.

He signed the MoU with UK Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan during a bilateral meeting.

The areas of cooperation agreed upon in the MoU include talent mobility, research exchange, joint publication, scholarships, and link and match between universities and industry.

During their discussion at the British Department for Education’s office, the two ministers exchanged information on each country's focus and priorities in the education sector.

Makarim told Secretary Keegan about Merdeka Belajar, which aims to realize quality human resources and improve the education system in Indonesia.

According to him, the quality of education in Indonesia is being improved with the help of various breakthrough programs, such as student exchange, provision of scholarships through endowment funds, research development, technology utilization in education, and the establishment of international campuses.

The ministry's main breakthrough in higher education has been the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (Freedom in Learning, Freedom in Campus) program, where undergraduate students get the opportunity to hone their abilities according to their interests by studying for a maximum of three semesters outside their study program.

"They can choose to do internships, develop socio-entrepreneurship, or take part in the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) or vocational IISMA," he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary Keegan expressed her support for the Merdeka Belajar program by emphasizing the importance of connecting education with the needs of the industrial world.

According to her, the education sector and the industrial world need to support each other to develop students' relevant skills.

She said the education sector must ensure that university graduates have the relevant skills and knowledge that are valuable in the job market.

She also expressed the hope that the cooperation that has been going well between Indonesia and the UK would be strengthened in the future.

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Translator: Astrid H, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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