IO, Surabaya – The success of November 10 Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS) in developing its Marine Transportation Engineering Department (Transla) has grabbed the attention of other universities. One of those is Pattimura (Unpatti) in Ambon, Maluku, which plans on opening a similar department, working together with ITS. The plan was stated by the Unpatti Rector himself, Prof. Dr. MJ Saptenno SH. M.Hum. along with his staff in a visit to the ITS campus in the ITS Rectorate building.
The collaboration is a follow-up to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the rector of ITS, Hasanuddin University (Unhas), Makassar and Unpatti on November 2017. The MoU was created specifically for the development of higher education in marine transportation. Saptenno states that after being separated from North Maluku province, Maluku Province itself still had 1,340 islands in its region. In order to maintain everything pertaining to resources in the islands, they would need reliable maritime transportation.
“This is the basis of our (Unpatti) decision to create a Department of Maritime Transportation Engineering,” he explained. He said that the maritime transportation problems in Maluku had long been unresolved as a result of there not being one organization that researched the problem well.
“Because of that, we hope this collaboration with ITS will help solve those problems,” he said.
So far, said Saptenno, Maluku Province only relies on motorboats from small businesses, traditional fishing boats, and even sailboats as a means of transportation. These means of transportation are holding back the acceleration of infrastructure development in the province.
“There are in fact many natural resources in the Maluku province islands, but they (Maluku people) do not know how to market them, as the maritime transport and infrastructure aren’t adequate,” he continued.
As an example, he talked about the fish caught in the Aru Islands, and how there was no concept of how to monetize them in order to increase the region’s prosperity. Also, how there was a large potential for tourism in the small Maluku islands but there have been no studies on how to create a tourist destination that can attract domestic and international visitors. Another area in need of development and study was forestry.
“As a result, we need to work together with ITS so that we can collaborate in various ways in the future so that the potential may be used fully, but our approach must be scientific,’ he asserted. Meanwhile, ITS Maritime Transportation Engineering Department Head Ir Tri Ahmadi Ph.D. stated that the collaboration was an honor for the department, as they have been entrusted to help Unpatti create their new department.
“We are very happy to be able to help our brothers and sisters in a region surrounded by water to help accelerate their infrastructure development, by connectivity and mobility for the prosperity of the people of the region,” concluded Tri.
Discussing the details of the collaboration, Tri said that ITS would help create a curriculum and ITS teaching staff could teach together with the lecturers at Unpatti. ITS’s laboratory would also be available for use by Unpatti students. ITS students will also conduct a field study in Maluku.
“As a result of the numerous problems specific to Maluku, which are not present in East Java, the experience will be very valuable for ITS students,” he explained.
Tri also explained that in Indonesia there are eight provinces whose territory is mostly water and islands. Among them are the Riau Islands, Maluku, North Maluku, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Bangka Belitung, North Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi.
“In order to develop those provinces, there needs to be reliable maritime transportation,” he said.
The ITS Maritime Transportation Engineering Department was chosen as the first and only department in Indonesia to take on the responsibility of helping the eight provinces develop maritime transportation infrastructure, in line with their development aims. “Thus, in the future they will be able to develop their own regions,” he concluded.
The plan, in line with direction directly from the Republic of Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub RI), is for Unpatti’s new department to be officially opened in the next semester in September. As of now, at least 20 students are ready to undergo studies at the new department. (ITS)