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By Rifqy Hakimi, Associate Professor, ITB
The Indonesian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) job market needs increased experience with the latest technologies. To meet that need, Huawei has been working with one of the nation's leading universities to provide training and competitions that focus on fields such as cloud computing and routing and switching.
Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) is a state university in Bandung, Indonesia. Established in 1920, it's the nation's oldest technology-oriented university. Known as one of top universities in Indonesia, ITB ranked 313th in the 2021 QS World University Rankings, 62nd in the QS Asian University Rankings, and top five in National Higher Education ranking. ITB is one of the most selective schools in the science and engineering field in the nationwide state university entrance tests.
In Indonesia, university graduates often don't have the skillset required to work in ICT companies, so practical training and certification is needed for students to improve their skills to meet the industry's needs. However, it's not always particularly easy to persuade students to take training and try to gain certification. Although ITB's students are generally enthusiastic, there are several methods that are useful to encourage students to study. For example, events such as job fairs and ICT competitions can persuade students to learn and try to gain certifications.
ITB has been a Huawei partner for almost 10 years, maintaining enthustiasm for learning about Huawei's technologies throughout that period. With seven certified instructors, in 2020 alone, the university trained more than 200 students on Huawei's technologies and courses such as Routing and Switching and cloud computing, attaining a high pass rate compared with other universities. There are highly dedicated instructors, support from administrative staff who are ready to manage all Huawei ICT Academy activities, support from leaders, as well as cooperative and enthusiastic students.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ITB implemented another type of learning delivery — online training. This online training is usually a short course that is spread across eight days, with about four hours of training per day. These learning methods ensured the learning delivery was always running despite an unprecendeted situation.
Huawei also initiated a special program during the pandemic — LearnOn. Huawei provides all the tools needed for online learning with the Talent Online learning management system. Huawei provides Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the iLearningX platform (which includes webinars and exams) for teachers and students to learn online.
ITB has several ways to teach students about Huawei's technologies. The first way is partially integrated into the university curriculum. This method uses the Huawei hands-on lab guide in the laboratory practice course. The second way is fast-track training, which is usually delivered in a five-day period at the end of a semester. The third way is blended learning, in which the training is combined in-class and self study using the MOOC provided in Huawei Learning platform. The schedule is usually flexible and is dependent on the availability of the students and the instructor.
As well as being very active in developing talent, ITB has earned several achievements in Huawei events. In 2018 and 2019, ITB won National ICT Competition and became the winner of both Grand Prizes (for both the Cloud Track and the Network Track) at the Global Final of the ICT Competition, which was held in Shenzhen, China, in 2020. From August 25 to September 7, 2019, students from ITB were selected to join the Seeds For The Future program, which was held in Beijing and Shenzhen.
In December 2018, ITB first joined the National Level Huawei ICT Competition and won in the Network Track. After that, the ITB team represented Indonesia in the Southern Pacific Regional Final. The Regional Final took place in April 2019 in Malaysia. ITB's team won third place in the Network Track, behind Telkom University (Indonesia) in first place and University of Malaya (Malaysia) in second place. Even though the result wasn't completely satisfactory, the team had a rewarding experience and gained useful knowledge from the competition.
In November 2019, ITB competed in both the Network Track and the Cloud Track of the National Huawei ICT Competition 2019–2020, finishing in first place and ensuring its team would represent Indonesia in the Asia- Pacific Regional Final for the second consecutive year.
2020 was a challenging year, but ITB received the Excellent Global Talent Ecosystem Partners Award that September. That year, ITB was recognized as one of Huawei ICT Academy program's top university partners worldwide, winning both the Excellent Huawei ICT Academy (National) and Global Excellent Academy awards.
Then, as the winner of the ICT Competition Regional Final, the ITB team competed in the Global Final, which was held online from November 6–14, 2020, and involved 109 teams from 39 countries. The ITB team had just under three weeks to prepare, but won two Grand Prize titles in the Global Final — one for the Network Track and one for the Cloud Track.
However, success doesn't come overnight: It takes persistence, patience, and commitment. It's also very important to support students and lecturers to develop their skills.
ITB's rector, Professor Reini Wirahadikusumah Ph.D, encouraged ITB's students to maintain their enthusiasm, to work hard, and to never stop studying. "It's not the end; it's just the beginning. The achievement will be an excellent start to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, because the future of this country is in your hands," she said.
Professor Wirahadikusumah also acknowledged the importance of the programs that Huawei provides.
"Thank you to Huawei for providing a forum for students to learn more closely about ICT that is applied in the industrial world today, through several excellent programs, one of them is the Huawei ICT Competition," she said.
Professor Wirahadikusumah said that she hoped that the longstanding cooperation and collaboration between ITB and Huawei will continue and its scope will be broadened. She said this collaboration was critical to prepare people with the competence they need to work in the Indonesian ICT industry.
In the future, we hope that ITB will maintain and strengthen its cooperation with Huawei and continue to cultivate ICT skills.