SEAMEO BIOTROP had the honor of hosting a delegation from Universitas Sumatra Utara (USU) on their visit aimed at establishing renewed collaborations. The delegation consisted of esteemed members, including Prof. Dr. apt. Poppy A.Z. Hasibuan, M.Si, Vice Rector for Research, Community Service, and Cooperation, and Dr. Arida Susilowati, S.Hut., M.Si, Global Partnership Manager. The visit was conducted on 8 June 2023.
Upon their arrival at the Studio Room of SEAMEO BIOTROP, the USU delegation was warmly received by representatives from SEAMEO BIOTROP, including the Manager, Unit Head, and Head of Section. The meeting aimed to reignite collaboration between the two institutions, building upon their previous partnership that spanned from 2015 to 2018.
“As USU enters the second phase of its strategic plan (Renstra), the university is actively seeking international collaborations and consortia to support academic activities, research endeavors, community service, and the KKN MBKM program. We are looking forwards towards collaboration with SEAMEO BIOTROP as the regional centre of tropical biology”, said Prof Poppy during her remarks.
One of the innovative learning processes introduced by USU is the Thematic Community Service Learning Program (KKNT) - MBKM. This program offers students pursuing a Bachelor's degree (excluding health sciences) the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experiences in rural areas. By participating in this program, students contribute to community development while enhancing their own academic growth.
During the visit, potential areas of collaboration were explored, including International internships, where USU seeks to establish internship programs with international organizations to provide valuable exposure and practical training opportunities for its students. In the aspect of collaborative research, USU encourages collaborative research initiatives with Indonesian universities and other higher education institutions. USU's faculty members are encouraged to seek research partnerships to further enhance scientific advancements.
During their visit, the delegations from USU visits various facilities and laboratories in SEAMEO BIOTROP, including natural product laboratory, stingless bee garden, hydroponic greenhouse, mushroom house, and tissue culture laboratory.
The visit of the Universitas Sumatra Utara delegation marks a significant step toward future collaborations between USU and SEAMEO BIOTROP. Both institutions share a commitment to academic excellence, research, and community engagement, and this meeting serves as a platform to explore mutual benefits and drive innovation in the field of biotechnology and tropical biology. (hcn)