The annual series of Erasmus Days event are organised again around the world this year, including in Indonesia. The Erasmus Days series are a platform for alumni of the European Union (EU)-funded Erasmus Scholarship programme to inspire other youths about the benefits of mobility, by sharing their Erasmus experience and on how Erasmus impacts and shapes their lives.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Erasmus alumni arranged various virtual activities this year under the theme "Act Today for Our Tomorrow". The EU Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E Mr Vincent Piket stated, “We are proud of the enthusiasm of the Erasmus alumni to contribute to Indonesia and at the same time promoting this scholarship programme despite the current pandemic situation. We believe in the potential and contribution made by thousands of Erasmus alumni in Indonesia to help solve global problems.”
On the theme of the event, Ambassador Piket said, “The EU has recently launched a European Green Deal, the EU’s roadmap towards a sustainable future, with the ultimate goal of achieving a climate-neutral continent by 2050. The role of youth to overcome environment and climate change issues are very important. Therefore, it is expected that the Erasmus Days can be a momentum to undertake real actions.”
Hanif Falah, Country Representative of Erasmus Mundus Association Indonesia explained, “The alumni come from various different educational backgrounds and are joining together to find solutions for a better change. One of the important and urgent issues to discuss is environmental issues, especially climate change. Climate change is a cross-sectoral issue, thus requiring sector-based solutions as well. Alumni with different backgrounds are expected to be able to contribute in their respective fields either through work or social initiatives," said Hanif. “Personally, the Erasmus Scholarship has given me the opportunity to take a deeper look at the studies and career I have taken in the fields of development and public policy," he explained.
Another Erasmus alumnus, Sekar Sari, said, “Upon completing my International Relations studies from Gadjah Mada University, I was determined to pursue studies in arts and cultural diplomacy. I was lucky to get an Erasmus Scholarship, and became the first student from Indonesia to major in Master of Art at Choreomundus - International Master on Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage.” Sekar added, “The learning process at Choreomundus encouraged me to be able to explore cultural arts again, especially through the practice of acting and dance along with their surrounding aspects, including a comprehensive study of cultural arts and making cultural arts a strategy in the life of society, nation and state.”
This year’s Erasmus Days event featured speakers from Eco Camp and Waste Solution Hub who shared best practices around waste management as an attempt to mitigate climate change. The Erasmus Days also presented a discussion on how the EU can help Indonesian youth take action against climate change. Erasmus alumni also provided consultation on Erasmus scholarships during Erasmus Days.
More than 1,900 Indonesian students and scholars have concluded their studies in European countries through the Erasmus Scholarships. More than 500 European students and lecturers have also benefitted from the Erasmus programme, enabling them to pursue short-term education or to teach at various universities in Indonesia.