The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) had the honour of welcoming esteemed guests from the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (FEBUI) on November 14, 2023. This significant visit, led by Dr. Teguh Dartanto, Dean of FEBUI, along with Dr. Isfandiarni Rosidin (Director of the International Undergraduate Program (KKI)) and Dr. Putu Geniki Natih (Head of the International Office), marked a pivotal step in reinforcing and broadening our existing academic partnerships.

Representing VUA were Prof. Arjen van Witteloostuijn (Dean of SBE), Prof. Elco van Burg (Vice Dean), and Prof. Henri de Groot (Head of the Department of Spatial Economics). The convergence of these academic minds underscored the visit’s primary objective: to fortify the foundation of our long-standing collaboration and explore new avenues for partnership.

Collaborative programmes, integrating the expertise of VUA with the academic rigour of FEBUI

SBE proudly acknowledges the existing double degree master’s programme between the STREEM, Development Economics, and Accounting at VUA and Graduate Programmes at FEBUI. These collaborative programmes, which seamlessly integrate the expertise of VU Amsterdam with the academic rigor of FEBUI, exemplify our commitment to cultivating a dynamic academic exchange. This ongoing partnership is a clear reflection of our joint aspiration to foster international academic excellence. By providing students with diverse, high-caliber educational opportunities, we continue to enhance the global academic landscape, benefiting both our students and faculty through enriched learning and research experiences.

A notable highlight of the visit was the in-depth discussion with the Spatial Economics Department, led by Prof. Henri de Groot. The focus here was on the annual intensive course in Urban, Transport, and Environmental Economics at FEBUI. This course, initiated in 2018, has been a cornerstone of our collaboration. Despite a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are enthusiastic about its return in the upcoming year. The course has been instrumental in guiding many FEBUI students to join the STREEM master’s program at VU Amsterdam.

Joint dedication to excellence in higher education

In addition, a future plan discussed during this visit involves a potential joint research collaboration on the new capital city of Indonesia. This research aims to explore various aspects including urban development, spatial planning, environmental concerns, and transportation issues associated with the new capital.
During the visit, while we touched upon the ongoing academic collaborations, a significant portion of our dialogue centered around exploring new collaborative ventures. Currently, there is a promising initiative underway for curriculum mapping for a double degree bachelor’s program in accounting. This initiative, a joint effort between the SBE at VUA and FEBUI’s International Undergraduate Programme, is just the starting point of what we envision as a more expansive collaboration. Looking ahead, there is potential to extend this collaboration to include all majors (economics, management, Islamic economics, and Islamic business).

The visit from FEBUI’s delegation represents not just the continuation of a fruitful partnership but also the expansion of our academic horizons. As we look forward to implementing these initiatives, we remain committed to nurturing an academic environment that is innovative, inclusive, and globally interconnected. This collaboration stands as a beacon of international academic cooperation, reflecting both institutions’ dedication to excellence in higher education. We eagerly anticipate the positive impacts these programmes will have on our students, faculty, and the broader academic community.

Hengky Kurniawan
December 2023