The Importance of Developing Collaboration for Universities

Developing Collaboration for Universities

Developing human capacity can also mean that we increase someone’s capacity or ability. Capacity is not only related to academic aspects but is also related to the ability to build cooperation in a large group. A group united by a common goal. It implies that developing collaboration with other parties is an important aspect.

Achieving common goals is also not an easy job. Educational organizations such as universities or colleges whose composition of community members are plural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, diverse in skin color, multi-cultural, various backgrounds of expertise and school origin are something unique. It is unique because the management of higher education institutions like this requires intelligence and wisdom so that different backgrounds can be managed into a strength.

Many experiences have taught us that in pluralism or multiculturalism there are always cohesive and adhesive traits and attitudes. A cohesive attitude is an integration factor that can encourage cooperation, coordination, and solidarity. However, an adhesive attitude can be the forerunner of fragmentation which can harm the institution because of its pragmatic, instantaneous nature. In management terminology, an adhesive attitude will be more suitable to accommodate people who unite on considerations of temporary, ad-hoc, temporary interests. If the interests have been met, then at that time they ‘disbanded’. I describe the adhesive attitude as a committee organization. An organization is needed only to solve one particular problem. After the problem is solved, the committee organization can be dissolved immediately.

In the management of higher education institutions, what is needed is cohesive attitudes. Because a cohesive attitude is built based on common interests. It was built to fight for a common goal. It is not very pragmatic. It is bound by ‘one inner unity’ which is not only based on procedures, ‘reward and punishment’, but is also based on a unity of vision, unity of perception, unity of commitment, to form a group solidity like a big house that is inhabited and maintained together. It is in this ‘big house’ that various competencies are built, enhanced, given shared meaning through joint efforts to achieve collective goals. One of the important competencies that must be built in the ‘big house’ is the issue of trust, mutual trust.

In my opinion, building cooperation based on a foundation of mutual trust is one of the main cores of the capacity that every individual in a higher education institution must be posed. We often say that western people are those who are the most legitimate owners of individualistic, egoistic traits. But many studies have given us evidence that they can grow and develop into a prosperous, prosperous, and modern nation because they develop a high level of mutual trust among their citizens. We also call ourselves that eastern people like us are the most sociable, friendly, and a most communal group of people. However, we see that amid community, communalism, friendliness, togetherness that exists within us, the issue of mutual trust is the lowest. We are very easy to accuse each other, suspicious of each other. Maybe we still really need a joint project on cultivating that mutual trust.

One of the tricky questions we pose here, namely, how do we build the capacity to foster mutual trust among higher education administrators? The answer maybe we can start from an experiment by dividing various responsibilities to all components of the academic community in carrying out activities or activities. We do this experiment because we believe in the adage that every individual or person is very happy to be given responsibility rather than being given a task that is considered not very meaningful. We give that responsibility at the same time by giving the trust to manage the trust. Therefore, it is better, since now it has begun to be accustomed to or attempted to delegate various activities and responsibilities to all parts of education management. This kind of involvement, of course, after we make a rational assessment that the person given the responsibility and trust is seen as having the capacity, adequate ability to carry out the mandate.

Granted, assigning responsibility and trust can have far-reaching implications. Responsibility and trust also ‘test’ one’s commitment to the future of the institution. Therefore, one of the requirements for building cooperation is an unquestioned commitment. Commitment concerning the achievement of the goals that have been set. Work plan commitment, commitment to implementing strategies to achieve common goals. Commitment is something that must always be cultivated, respected, and implemented without compromise. A commitment is a solid foundation of the amount of effort to achieve a mutually determined future.

Another capacity that needs to be developed about building cooperation is conflict management. Conflict is something we cannot avoid. Many people conflict because of different perspectives. It could also be that conflict is caused by too great personal interests. Or even conflict can occur because expectations are too big, but those expectations are not channeled. Therefore, conflicts must be handled in an illegal, respectful, and mutually beneficial manner. The competence of someone who can resolve disputes due to conflict is the capacity and ability needed because resolving conflicts requires intelligence. Usually, conflict resolution is done through what we often refer to as a “win-win solution”. The ability to handle conflicts in a “win-win solution” as above is one of the competencies in building cooperation.

For institutions that are ‘immature’ but have strong traditions capital, the community understands good religious values, has a noble culture based on a religious foundation, I am more inclined to use mediation or arbitration methods (separator) in conflict resolution before the conflict develops far. Moreover, the conflict was encouraged to be resolved in court institutions. I recommend things like this not without reason. In my opinion, mediation activities have advantages. It doesn’t cost a lot. Mediation is cheap. Moreover, in mediation, some elements or values reconnect friendship in the resolution of disputes or conflicts.

Therefore, the ability to mediate and administer arbitration is one of the indispensable capacities in the administration of higher education. These competencies must be built carefully and together. It is no longer possible for us to use university leadership by using jargon like ‘angry man or angry women’. Errors or conflicts that arise tend to be resolved in angry, emotional ways. We all know and understand that differences in views and perceptions of something related to the ways we achieve common goals cannot be simply blamed. We must solve it by referring to the rules of the game that have been agreed upon and become the basis of all institutional management behavior.

Therefore, one of the important things to build the capacity of leaders, staff, and lecturers in terms of resolving various problems that have the potential to cause conflict, is the continuous effort to educate so that every member of the academic community respects the rules that have been made together. Especially if we know that the rules of the game for the management of higher education are not yet complete and detailed.


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