Esri Indonesia launched the Freedom to Learn: GIS for Everyone program in support of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Kebijakan Merdeka Belajar Program – Merdeka Campus (MBKM).

To help better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges the program encourages innovation, creative thinking and aims to equip students with real-world problem-solving skills — as well as the ability to use Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

The initiative comes as demand for these skills continues to grow — forecasts predict the global GIS market to be worth $21.15 billion by 2027.

Demand in the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow given increased use of GIS technology in agricultural, transportation, and construction industries.

Freedom to Learn: GIS for Everyone is part of the Esri Indonesia’s ongoing investment in Indonesia’s youth and its broader vision to cultivate the next generation of geospatial professionals.

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Partnering with 50 universities across the country — including Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), Universitas Indo Global Mandiri (UIGM), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) dan Universitas Mulawarman (UNMUL) — the company has granted close to 10,000 software licenses since 2014.

Esri Indonesia Director, Leslie Wong said “While GIS technology was once the sole domain of land management agencies, it is now becoming increasingly common inside commercial organisations across multiple industries such as AEC, banking, retail, plantations and more.

“From asset managers to policy makers and retailers — more professionals are now realising the value of leveraging geographic insight to make decisions, and the desire to visualise data on maps is growing.”

While some satellite navigation technology and mapping applications have become household names, Mr Wong explains that technical geospatial and analytical skills are essential to unlocking the value of their data and creating meaningful solutions to real-world challenges.

“Digital transformation initiatives such as Industry 4.0 will continue to spur demand for sophisticated technical skill-sets. This is why we need to proactively develop the skills of our future workforce and equip them with what they need to drive economic growth,” Mr Wong said.

Esri Indonesia has also partnered with Sekolah Tinggi Pertanahan Nasional (STPN) to host a competition to modernise the cadastre system — designed to broaden business knowledge, IT skills, and creativity of cadets using GIS technology.

"In the industrial era 4.0, reliable and professional human resources are required and of course, expertise that is more thematic in nature,” said Sekolah Tinggi Pertanahan Nasional Chair, Dr Ir Senthot Sudirman.

“We need to close the technology skills shortage gap and equip our students with the right technical and professional skills to participate and thrive in this digital economy.

“Our partnership with Esri Indonesia strives to make a positive contribution in solving various land problems and — more holistically — meet the needs of thematic and national mapping to support sustainable development in Indonesia.

Our top priority is to be able to offer learning opportunities beyond academia. We are excited to work with Esri Indonesia to equip our students with the skills they need to change the world around them.”

"Merdeka Belajar - Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) provides opportunities for students to learn beyond the scope of their main study programs and gain off-campus experience,” said Prof. drh. Aris Junaidi, Director of Learning and Student Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

MBKM also aims to accelerate innovation in higher education — we fully support Esri Indonesia in developing curriculums in line with industry needs, and ensuring students are equipped with the necessary skills to prepare them to join the workforce.”

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