Matching South Sulawesi young people’s education with fast growing industry

Indonesia has undergone rapid social and economic change in recent decades. Industrialisation has occurred in many areas and the move to democracy has supported the development of an emergent market economy. An enduring challenge, however, is matching workforce training and skills with the needs of key industries.

New research from the Partnership for Australia Indonesia Research (PAIR) has sought to help overcome this challenge with recommendations into development strategy for Universitas Hasanuddin (Unhas), a key education provider in the city of Makassar, the capital city of South Sulawesi province.

This research was driven by leading academics from the University of Melbourne and Universitas Gadjah Madah (Yogyakarta) as well as from Unhas itself.


The Partnership for Australia Indonesia Research (PAIR) oversees a series of small-scale initiatives that shed light on the interplay between governance, policy and capacity building in key sectors of the Indonesian socio-economic landscape. These initiatives are aimed at supporting four main research themes: commodities, transport, young people’s health and young people’s development.

As part of the young people’s skills development research stream, the report ‘Building stronger university to industry relations: a case study at Universitas Hasanuddin’ looks at existing collaboration between one of the largest autonomous universities in Indonesia and local industry.

Universitas Hasanuddin (Unhas) is located in the provincial capital of Makassar, a leading Indonesian port for global sea trade. The province of South Sulawesi is experiencing strong economic growth and the report provides several recommendations to Unhas.

Connecting education with industry

A central message from the report is that Universitas Hasanuddin should focus on applied research and development involving industry partners, with study outputs meeting market demands. The university should also seek funds in the form of grants so that it can create a higher technology readiness level (TRL) for its research products.

This was determined by a systematic comparison of the industry engagement strategies of the University of Melbourne and Universitas Gadjah Mada with that of Universitas Hasanuddin.

The authors found strong industry links with Unhas at the person-to-person level, meaning opportunities already exist to create more formal institutional connections in response to its need for a rigorous, innovative and locally specific development strategy.

The main findings are that Universitas Hasanuddin currently has limited capacity to involve industry partners in teaching and learning, and there is a need for a more systematic approach to encourage academic staff to learn about industry in their area.

Greater management focus in pushing industry ties is also needed, the researchers say. The report makes the case for creating an “enabling ecosystem” conducive to university-industry links based on key themes or pillars. These pillars are people, culture, funding, partnerships, places and programs.

The report also makes several recommendations for meaningful action:

  • Unhas should develop a precise definition of industry engagement, with each faculty having a distinct definition of priority industries.
  • The university should develop policies or regulations to govern industry engagement, including teaching practicums, work projects, course advisory committees, joint research projects, joint funding of research and intellectual property agreements.
  • The university should reach out to industries to increase the number of internship programs.
  • The university should recruit more professional staff with industry experience to collaborate with academic staff at the organisational level.
  • Unhas should support university-to-industry collaboration by developing a ‘find the expert’ IT system, allowing the public to know about the research interests and expertise of academic staff.
  • The university should set specific faculty targets for relationship-building, internships, guest lectures and joint research initiatives.


Project Leads:

Professor Mark Considine, University of Melbourne
Dr Mahatma Lanuru, Universitas Hasanuddin

Project Authors:

Dr Bahruddin, Universitas Gadjah Mada / University of Melbourne
Dr Franka Vaughan, University of Melbourne
Dr Jamaluddin Fitrah Alam, Universitas Hasanuddin
M Si Muhammad Agung Ady Mangilep, Universitas Hasanuddin
Ir Nezirah Ikasari, Universitas Hasanuddin
Rafika Nurul Hamdani Ramli, Universitas Hasanuddin


This report is the result of research funded by the Australian government through the Australia-Indonesia Centre under the PAIR program.


The Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR), an initiative of the Australia-Indonesia Centre, is supported by the Australian government and run in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology, the Indonesian Ministry of Transport, the provincial government of South Sulawesi and many organisations and individuals from communities and industry.

Australia-Indonesia Centre

The Australia-Indonesia Centre: The Australia-Indonesia Centre is a bilateral research consortium supported by the governments of Australia and Indonesia, as well as leading universities and industry in both countries. Established in 2014, the Centre works to advance the people-to-people and institutional links between the two nations in the fields of science, technology, education, innovation and culture. We do this through a research program that tackles shared challenges, and through our outreach activities that promote greater understanding of contemporary Indonesia and strengthen bilateral research linkages.


Considine, M., Lanuru, M., Bahruddin, B., Vaughan, F., Alam, J.F., Mangilep, M.A.A., Ikasari S.N., Ramli, R.N.H. (2023). ‘Building Stronger University to Industry Relations: A Case Study at Universitas Hasanuddin’, the Australia-Indonesia Centre.

First published on 26 October 2023.

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