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Selamat Datang! Leiden Law School visits Indonesia

At the end of November/early December a delegation from Leiden Law School led by Dean Joanne van der Leun visited partner universities and other organisations in Indonesia. A report by Anette van Sandwijk.

Leiden has a tradition of collaborative ventures with Indonesia that goes back a long time. The country is one of three priority regions for our University. Leiden Law School maintains partnerships with a number of universities, NGOs and other organisations;  the Van Vollenhove Institute in particular is an important partner in Leiden. The aim of this trip was to renew our acquaintance with this country which has a special relationship with Leiden Law School, to present our Law School to potential students through public lectures and presentations about our English-taught programmes and to explore and outline opportunities for working together in the area of education, teaching staff mobility, PhD research, providing advice and reinforcing capacity, and joint research.

Saturday 24 November: 

We were welcomed by Marrik Bellen from the Leiden University Representative Office/KITLV. It soon became clear that the rainy season had begun when slightly later dozens of scooter riders took shelter from a tropical rain shower under the full breadth of a viaduct, causing all traffic to come to a complete standstill.  

Sunday 25 November: meeting alumni

It was great fun and very interesting to meet alumni once again. During this event Ikali was also introduced: the association for Leiden alumni in Indonesia. Leiden Law School alumni play a very active role in this organisation.

Leiden alumni in Jakarta

Monday 26 November: visit to partner Universitas Indonesia

In the morning we attended the presentation of a book on child marriages (Mies Grijns). Afterwards, we met Dean Melda who indicated her desire to cooperate more intensively with our Law School. In the afternoon Joanne van der Leun and Adriaan Bedner gave lectures, followed by a presentation by Anette van Sandwijk and Henk Hulshof about our exchange and (Advanced) LLM programmes and International Children's Rights in particular. In the evening Joanne van der Leun held a Cleveringa Lecture at the Erasmus House which was well attended.

Tuesday 27 November: NESO, LeIP and Supreme Court

The day started with a visit to Nuffic NESO Indonesia, which is increasingly involved in collaborations with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The NESO works well with the Leiden representation in Jakarta. The Netherlands is the second country, after the United Kingdom, chosen as a destination by Indonesian students. Then we paid a visit to ‘little Leiden’ in Jakarta: the Leiden University Representative Office/KITLV and the Indonesian Institute for Independent Judiciary (LeIP),  an NGO involved in reforming the legal sector which strives for transparency in the judiciary. LeIP is a critical partner of the Indonesian High Court of Justice and is involved in many projects aimed at reform. In addition we visited Jentera Law School before travelling on to the Supreme Court  (Mahkamah Agung) where we spoke with Judge Takdir Rahmadi. This Court currently has fifty judges, three of whom are women. Reform and transparency are also issues receiving attention here.

Wednesday 28 November: Semarang

We were collected by Paramita Prananingtyas of Universitas Diponegoro. After lunch,  attention was focussed on the signing of the Plan of Operation with this university. As part of this agreement, exchange periods in Leiden can now be set up for students. In the evening we were guests at a dinner at a restaurant with Dutch roots, one of many located in Semarang.

Signing the agreement with Universitas Diponegoro

Thursday 29 November: to Yogyakarta

We left by car via Magelang for Yogyakarta. After a number of days which had mainly been spent indoors it was wonderful to see something of Indonesia itself. On the journey we stopped a few times, also to buy Nanka, a delicious fruit, and we enjoyed seeing something of daily life in Indonesia.

En route to Yogyakarta

Friday 30 November: Universitas Gadjah Mada and Universitas Airlangga (3 December)

On Friday the day started with an early meeting with Dean Sigit Riyanto of Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta). This university hopes within three to four years to have achieved changes in education so that needs in the labour market can be better met. It is hoped to achieve this through smaller groups of students, more interactive teaching and involvement of experts (also from other faculties). For some time now we have been facilitating student exchanges with UGM and we also met up with a number of our exchange alumni. After lectures and a lunch, we had an interesting meeting with a number of young staff members about conducting research and the challenges confronting them. The most important conclusion was that a sound organisation is a definite prerequisite for conducting research. The final part of the programme was a visit to Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya. Leiden Law School has enjoyed good relations for a long time with this law faculty and again a number of Leiden alumni are now working here.

Lecture by Adriaan Bedner at Universitas Airlangga

Successful week

We look back on a very successful week. Indonesia is a fast-developing country and the law faculties are keeping pace with these developments. At many of our partners the first efforts of Leiden Law School and in particular Adriaan Bedner appear to be making a contribution in this process. Internationalisation is also a contributing factor. Many researchers have spent part of their education abroad. More specific collaborations are an objective, where the emphasis is on research and publications. For both students and staff, there are many interesting opportunities to spend a period in Indonesia or to set up collaboration projects. In addition, we met many wonderful colleagues who have good ideas and spoke to many of our alumni. And the rainy season...  It’s still great to enjoy 30 degrees in December and to eat delicious nasi gudeg!

For more information about academic staff and student mobility to Indonesia and other collaboration opportunities please contact Anette van Sandwijk: a.m.m.van.sandwijk@law.leidenuniv.nl.

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