Yogyakarta, October 27th 2023—Students also experience difficulties in accessing education. In this digital era, electronic devices are the main access to learning. Unfortunately, not all students have the same opportunity to own devices, such as laptops in optimal condition. This obstacle is the background for the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (Fisipol) UGM to provide assistance to students in the Laptop Lend Movement.
“We initially created this program during the pandemic. At that time, all learning was done online, and complaints came to us from students whose laptops were damaged, so they couldn’t write their thesis. By that issue, we provided 20 laptops at that time,” said Ika Wulandari Widyaningrum, M.B.A, as Head of Academic and Student Affairs. At that time, the laptops provided were donations from alumni and staff. The laptop loan program is specifically for students who are undertaking their final assignments but are hampered by the lack of adequate laptops. This program was launched when Fisipol celebrated its 65th Anniversary during the pandemic.
Because of the success of this program, which was initially only temporary, Fisipol UGM is still implementing the program to this day. The difference is, if previously it was only lent to students who were carrying out their final assignments, this time all students with academic interests can borrow. “We saw that there was a lot of demand for this, so we extended it until now. In the past, only undergraduate students were allowed to borrow, now other students are also allowed to borrow for a certain period of time. But we prioritize students that in their final semester,” said Ika.
The procedures required to borrow are also not complicated. Students only need to go to the administration office and fill out a loan form. In this form, students must fill in complete identification, the period of borrowing, and a statement that the laptop will be returned in the same condition as when borrowed. This is done to anticipate any damage during borrowing. To ensure prime condition when borrowed, Fisipol UGM also provides a special IT team to check the software and hardware that will be borrowed.
“For students who are working on a thesis, dissertation, there is a time period of three months. If they haven’t finished the work, it can be extended for another three months. But it’s only for that one period, so after that it has to be returned,” said Fia, Coordinator of the Laptop Loan Program. Meanwhile, for other active students, the loan period is only limited to three months. This rule is implemented so that the program can be implemented evenly. If during the loan period there is damage to the laptop, the student will not be given special sanctions, but will be asked to repair the damage and return it in good condition. This solution is provided so as not to burden students.
Not only that, this program is also an implementation of point 4, namely Quality Education. UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences is committed to making academic access easier for students. This commitment is proven not only by various digital academic programs, but also other learning support such as the laptop loan program. The hope is that this effort can inspire educational institutions to help support free learning and quality education.