On October 5th, 2023, UGM received a visit from H.E. Fabien Penone (Ambassador of France to Indonesia), Jules Irrmann (Director of Institut français Indonésie), and François Dabin (Director of Institut français Yogyakarta), to whom Prof. Dr. Wening gave a warm welcome Udasmoro, S.S., M.Hum., DEA. as Vice Rector for Education and Learning of UGM, Dr. Danang Sri Hadmoko, S.Si., M.Sc. as Dean of Faculty of Geography, Mimi Savitri, S.S., M.A., Ph.D. as Vice Dean for Research, Community Service, Cooperation, and Alumni of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, and Hayatul Cholsy, S.S., M.Hum. as Head of French Literature Study Program in Faculty of Cultural Sciences.
H.E. Fabien Penone emphasized that Indonesia is now the priority of the French government due to Indonesia’s growth as a democratic country, its membership in ASEAN, its role regarding the French Indo-Pacific strategies, and the importance of the collaboration between the south and north countries to work on global issues. Although collaborations and student mobility have long existed between UGM and French institutions, His Excellency touched on the lack of a network between the UGM and French institutions. “What is lacking is the density of networks between France and Indonesia, especially in the field of literature, science, research, and student mobility,” said H.E. Mr. Penone. This, therefore, will become one of the areas both parties will work on in the future.
Prof. Wening voiced the vision of UGM to constantly enhance its quality of education by increasing the number of scholars and online conferences/lectures that invite international scholars. Other collaboration schemes include double degree programs with French universities funded by LPDP (Educational Fund Management Institution), student mobility through IISMA (Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards), or summer schools by also collaborating with other universities. Moreover, His Excellency drew attention to the significance of museology, curatorial practices, and preservation of paintings or historical items in Indonesia, which can be an area of development for the Archeology and History departments in UGM.
This meeting also brought up delightful news. As UGM’s super creative hub is estimated to be completed in February 2024, UGM welcomes French universities or institutes to take part in arts and culture zone programs. This will most certainly be a boost to the long-standing cooperation from both sides. At last, the meeting was adjourned with a token exchange and photo session.