IL News 027/2019
Jakarta, November 25th, 2019.

Last session topic is “Religious Freedom and Higher Education”. First speaker explained clearly about radicalism starting from the history of radicalism in universities rooted in the movement of students to the spectrum of radicalism, and the latest trends that the perpetrators of radicalism are women. She further explained that democracy, corruption, and nepotism, that allow difficult access for high achieving students to get good jobs, decreased sense of togetherness and direct contact, and education system that did not build critical thinking were a number of causes of radicalism that had now been infiltrated into the campus world.

Second speaker continued the presentation of the material by explaining that the phenomenon of radicalism in higher education has been going on for a long time, starting from nearing the end of Soeharto’s rule. At the end of Soeharto’s era, when almost all the extra-critical organizations focused on efforts to undermine the Soeharto’s regime, radical groups were actively engaged on campus. At the end of his presentation, he proposed a number of things that could be done to address this problem, such as strengthening extra-campus organizations especially in terms of writing, and strengthening the Student Unit in Pancasila Ideology that has been regulated through Government Regulation No.55 of 2018.

This last session discussed about the need for integrated and structured efforts from the government. Without them, change is impossible. Moreover, moderate groups need to strengthen their movement. As discussed in the first session about the need to strengthen political parties, participants in this session also saw the need for pluralistic struggles by taking into account political dynamics. Otherwise, we seem to be in a vacuum.