Upskill Post Graduate Semester Program First Run, A Feedback Summary 2023
Entering the last week of upskill’s Tropical Coastal Ecology and Community-Based Management postgraduate semester program, our team and our first student, Henrik Schmidt from Switzerland, sat together in a feedback meeting to discuss the entire semester, what has been done, achieved and what our program might be lacking.
The feedback came from everyone involved, university and faculty as the provider and facilitator, upskill team as a mediator and organizer and the student himself as a participant. The feedback session was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from our program, spanning 16 weeks from March to June 2023, proved to be an exceptional experience, surpassing our expectations.
The meeting was conducted by Ir. Dayu Astarini, M.Sc Ph.D, upskill’s head of program for postgraduate studies and Udayana university’s Coordinator of the Magister Study Program for Environmental Sciences, participating in the meeting, Henrik Schmidt, our first participant for the program whose background is environmental sciences with focus on biology and anthroposphere in ETH Swiss, and has been a Biology teacher for a college for the past 15 years. The Upskill team, including Laura Korwa as the Program Manager, Rima Maulida as the Program Coordinator were also present.
Based on the feedback received, we agreed that the semester program of Tropical Coastal Ecology and Community-Based Management program has been meticulously prepared and well-structured. One opening remark from our participant, Henrik, stated that he feels that the lecturers were not only highly knowledgeable, but also friendly, approachable, and genuinely interested in our progress. This created a welcoming atmosphere that greatly contributed to a positive learning environment.
One aspect that stood out and was being highlighted through the discussion, was the program's flexibility. It ensured that there was always someone available to address any concerns or make adjustments to the program as needed, this flexibility was particularly beneficial for participants such as Henrik who had families. The program allowed its participants to bring families along, making it more accessible and manageable.
The program feedback also discusses a strong emphasis on community engagement and organized exciting excursions. These experiences were highly praised by both the upskill team and Henrik. The university provided us with valuable exposure to the local community and various activities, which greatly enhanced our understanding of tropical ecology and the Balinese way of life. The excursions allowed us to explore the region and fostered a deeper connection with the community, leaving a lasting impression on all of us.
Throughout the discussion, we shared each other’s appreciation and the interactive learning experiences provided by Udayana university and Prof Dayu’s team, the emphasis on community-based activities and field trips allowed us to connect and get to know local communities and ultimately gain a deeper understanding of their ecological and cultural contexts. Moreover, the feedback meeting highlighted that the program has value beyond academic purposes, the experiences and scientific excursions were seen as not only educational but also as potential tourist attractions.
In conclusion, we are more than blessed to have the Tropical Coastal Ecology and Community-Based Management semester program as a resounding success. Some key points we note of the program to have carefully chosen topics, structured approach, friendly atmosphere, flexibility, and community engagement elements. The program's achievements and positive feedback serve as a testament to its value for our future participants. We are looking forward to our upcoming winter semester of postgraduate program this September!
By Billy Bagus