The development of technology and science is strongly related to international cooperation since most of the development takes place in developed countries. International cooperation in form of research and development is conducted in collaboration with foreign universities, research institutions, companies, or individuals to improve the transfer of technology and to promote participation from academicians.
Indonesia as a strategic country with abundant natural resources and diverse culture has attracted many foreign researchers. And based on the data from the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education in 2009, foreign researchers’ interest kept growing, which can be observed from the increasing number of research permit application submitted per year. However, international cooperation needs to be kept under control to optimize the output and prevent or minimize disadvantages.
To provide insight about conducting international research and how to evaluate the output, the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education assigned Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) to host a discussion session on Foreign Research Permit on Monday (Aug 8 2017).
The session discussed legal regulations, inter-instance coordination, and supervision of foreign research permit and its evaluation, so that the research could run as planned and the output could benefit both sides. Serving as the presenter were Sri Wahyono, the head of Foreign Research Permit Section; Yusuf Surachman, researcher from the Institute of Technology Assessment and Application; Hari Sutrisno, the head of the Zoology Department of the Indonesian Institute of Science; Titi Sudaryanti, the section head of the Center for Resource Conservation of Central Java; and Yayan Indriana, the head of the Traffic and Stay Permit Immigration Division of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Central Java.
According to Sri Wahyono, a number of cases showed that researches conducted with foreign counterparts lacked of control and regulation, which led to disadvantages for Indonesian institutions.
“A foreign student conducted a research in Papua said he was in a joint-research with a professor from an Indonesian university. Yet he did the research all by himself and later we found that the professor only did the lobbying for the student to get access to conduct the research,” he told the audience. He added that besides passive participation from Indonesian counterparts, their underrating the permission or agreement procedure/papers for the research is another main issue causing loss for Indonesian side.
Meanwhile, Murni Ramli, the Deputy of UNS International Office, explained that the loss for Indonesian side is usually in form of research samples being taken abroad without any legal procedure. What’s more, publication also matters. “The research was done with Indonesian researchers, but in the publication, the Indonesian researchers’ name did not appear,” she said.
The participants of the discussion session were officers and academicians from UNS and other higher education institutions, also several government institutions such as the Immigration Office, Research Centers, Police Department, and several research and conservation-related nongovernmental organizations with a total number of 100 participants.
This Foreign Research Permit is not meant to burden researchers, but it is simply a mechanism to direct the process and output for mutual benefits. The permit is mostly addressed for research on Indonesian natural resources and biodiversity.
“In UNS, our lecturers actively conduct research with partner universities. With this discussion, we hope that they will not easily invite foreign researchers to do research on Bengawan Solo, on this, on that, without a legal permit,” Murni said at the end of the session.