27 Feb 2016

A Teacher Amongst a Family of Educators

Akhmad Nurul Kawakip, Master of Arts in Asia-Pacific Studies, completed his first degree in Indonesia at the Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Sunan Ampel - a State Institute of Islamic Studies in Surabaya.

Raised in Pasuruan, a city near Surabaya,  Akhmad always believed he would follow his parents – both teachers – into the education sector.

“In elementary and high school, I tended to prefer learning languages and social sciences.”

In 2006, he began his two-year master’s program at Victoria University, building on his previous degree in education from Institut Agama Islam Negeri Sunan Ampel.

“I decided to apply for an Australia Awards scholarship because of the good reputation Australia has in education and because many Indonesian leaders have graduated from Australian universities,” Akhmad said.

While in Melbourne for his graduate studies, Akhmad was very impressed with the many resources available at the library, as well as the academic activities conducted at the university – all of which gave him the inspiration to do his best to improve his own knowledge development.

Asked if he had any advice for prospective scholarship applicants, Akhmad pondered that prior to applying for an Australia Awards or any other scholarships, candidates need to prepare their language skills thoroughly.

“With all lectures being conducted in English, competent language skills play a key role in one’s success in being granted a scholarship.”

Now a lecturer and researcher at Universitas Islam Negeri Maulana Malik Ibrahim in Malang, Akhmad implements his recently acquired skills from his Australia Awards experience in his day-to-day interaction with his students. Akhmad is also appointed as secretary for Universitas Islam Negeri Malang Press in which he also works as book editor.

With plans to extend his postgraduate studies to PhD level in Australia in the future, in the little spare time he has available, Akhmad likes to read and do voluntary work.

Akhmad is currently involved in academic and social activities such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) Workshop, Training Indonesia’s Young Leaders: Muslim Intellectual as agent of change, the learning assistance program for Islamic schools program (LAPIS) and social organisations such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) – one of the largest independent Islamic organisations in the world committed to charitable works.

During his studies in Melbourne, Akhmad was also involved actively in the Nahdlatul Ulama Australia and New Zealand special branch (NU Cabang Istimewa).

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