16 June 2022

ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management Series #1: AUN Applauds the Collaborative Success of the unique ASEAN Master Degree Programme

By
Chanya Chinsukserm
AUN Programme Officer;

During 30-31 May 2022, the ASEAN University Network (AUN) visited the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Indonesia to document the tremendous success of the ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management. This event was among many of the AUN milestones that have been officially held on-site since the two-year pandemic lockdowns. Members from the AUN Secretariat thoroughly received warm hospitality from the academic community of FEB UGM. Among them were Prof. Dr. Didi Achjari as the Dean of FEB UGM and Chairperson of AUN-BE, Dr. Luluk Lusiantoro as the Executive Secretary of AUN-BE, Prof. Dr. Eduardus Tandelilin as the Programme Director of MM FEB UGM Jakarta Campus, Dr. Rocky Adiguna, as the Deputy Director of FEB MBA Programme Yogyakarta Campus, Dr. I Made Andi Arsana as the Head of Office of International Affairs, UGM.

The AUN Secretariat team recorded valuable insights of the ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management’s achievement through various interviews with the academic staff, faculty, and students. This master's degree is a pioneer programme initiated by the generous funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme is conducted in collaboration and shared leadership of the AUN-BE with the assistance of the University of Agder (UiA), Norway and the AUN. The programme offers interdisciplinary courses that seek to contribute to the complex problems of sustainability in Southeast Asia and the world. In particular, the future ASEAN leaders in this programme will be furnished with a sustainable mindset to guide the transition of today's businesses and communities towards environmental sustainability.

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The AUN Secretariat, supported by the UGM team, recorded valuable insights and achievements through various interviews with the academic staff, faculty, and students.

Programme Introduction

Esteemed students of the programme receive full scholarships covering all the way from tuition fees, living costs, and other study-related allowances. The programme builds upon the strong and highly successful AACSB-accredited MBA programme of the FEB UGM, ensuring professional and accredited quality education for the learners. Students will receive a dual degree, one MBA degree from UGM and one MSC degree from the UiA. The first batch of the ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management will complete the 2nd semester in July 2022. After that, students will participate in an internship programme in Norway and start writing their Master's thesis in the 3rd semester. Meanwhile, the programme is currently looking for prospective candidates for its second batch, in which its registration is open until 30 June 2022. Interviews for selected candidates will be held in August 2022. The potential candidates will be enrolled in an online Pre-MBA course and their 1st semester will be held offline in February 2023 at the UGM.

Dr. Rocky Adiguna, the Deputy Director of FEB MBA and the Programme Coordinator explained the design of the ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management consisting of three semesters. The core courses with the fundamentals of business and management are introduced in the 1st semester. The 2nd semester is divided into two parts: the first part presents the strategic management business, sustainable strategy, sustainable business strategy and the research method in concentration. Afterwards, students can choose between two tracks:

  • Track A combines energy resource management, urban planning and management, climate change law and greenhouse gas reduction.
  • Track B consists of forest and conservation management, marine resources and coastal management as well as food security and sustainable agriculture.

As for the 3rd semester, students are assigned to do an internship which includes the opportunity to work in business and industries in Norway. “We envisage that when they do the master thesis, they also write about the companies that they do the internship with. Thus, they should do some data collection while doing the internship and write a thesis which is relevant to the internship itself,” said Dr. Rocky. “We also have collaborations with companies or enterprises from Norway, which have some headquarters in Indonesia, Singapore, or other ASEAN regions.” Dr. Rocky emphasised the strength of collaboration and connection between ASEAN and Norway, paving the way for the foundation of sustainability in the corporate world.

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The first in-person meeting between students, lecturers, and the programme coordinators bursting with liveliness after one whole year of online education.

Crisis Management amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

According to the AUN Crisis Management Framework for International Student Mobility, an effective and trustable support from the host university is crucial for students being far from home and living in the new environment. The UGM and this ASEAN Master has successfully maintained the course integrity and delivered quality to the learners even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The classrooms are fully-equipped with hi-tech cameras and equipment that facilitate the lecturers in teaching their diverse course materials. The cameras easily track the lecturers’ movements around the classroom and whiteboards which immensely benefits the students and their online learning. When students are unable to attend the onsite courses, they can also follow the courses via online learning platforms. A hybrid learning system has successfully been adopted in order to provide accessibility to such education.

“It is a near scenario where students are fully coming back to the campus and we are preparing to facilitate some portion as online teaching, and some to be conducted in class,” said Dr. Rocky. “We are also relaxing some requirements for students to not mandatorily deliver in class, but they can also deliver it online as well. We learned from the past that online learning actually has some value in allowing students to be present in any way they like.” Dr. Rocky highlighted that they will combine the learning system in the next semester to come, provided that lecturers can be creative for more variation in their teaching styles and students can have the option of choosing their learning environments.

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The classrooms are fully-equipped with hi-tech cameras and equipment that facilitate the lecturers in teaching their diverse course materials.

Future Prospects

The AUN applauds the ASEAN Master in Sustainability Management for its huge success in assembling and integrating all ASEAN participants from ten member countries in this unique scholarship programme. “The goal is to invest in future leaders in ASEAN, so in the next ten-fifteen years, we can have leaders who have concerns of sustainability as a foundation and make use of it in their business, not just as an additional or extra perspective,” said Dr. Rocky. Students participating in this programme are projected to hold important positions or leadership roles to work closely with sustainability issues. The AUN will continue to spearhead support to create quality student mobility opportunities and expand its collaboration networks beyond the organisations.

Alongside the insight from the managerial position, there will be an interview with an extraordinary acumen from the students of this programme in upcoming issues. Stay tuned to find out more!