Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry has informed that at least 725 thousand Indonesian college students have joined the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka or the Freedom in Learning and Campus (MBKM) program so far.

"Until now, there have been 725 thousand college students registered in the MBKM program," director of learning and student affairs at the ministry, Sri Suning Kusumawardani, said at the inauguration of the 2024 4th batch student exchange program (PMM) here on Wednesday.

The programs offered under MBKM include certified internship, independent study, the Teaching Campus, the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA), PMM, and the Village Building programs.

Kusumawardani informed that the MBKM programs have been utilized by college students, national and overseas universities, as well as partner companies.

"There are 1,300 universities that are participating (in the program). This is a good record for us to continue to move forward and make the educational transformation successful through the Kampus Merdeka program," she said.

She added that college students, universities, and partner industries have been enthusiastic about joining the MBKM program due to its innovative learning style and good testimonies.

"The MBKM programs have a focus on increasing skills based on (students') interests," she said.

For instance, the enthusiasm for the program can be seen from the number of participants in the 4th batch PMM, which has reached 57,822 Indonesian college students, she added.

PMM allows varsity students to study in other universities in Indonesia with the aim of strengthening unity amid diversity.

Kusumawardani said that PMM participants have the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural exchange and increase skills such as interpersonal communication, adaptation, and creativity, as well as strengthen tolerance.

PMM students get to meet other students from regions across the country, forge new friendships, share experiences, and learn about the archipelago's diverse culture.

"They will undergo the exchange program in universities outside their (home) island for one semester," she said.

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Translator: Astrid H, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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