2009-07-01 00:00

Indonesian students return home after two years

After two years of MSc studies the two guest students from Indonesia, Khamdan Cahyari och Ryan Anugrah Putra, who were granted the Scholarship Waste Refinery – Indonesia, return home - many experiences richer and with ideas of how to use their achieved knowledge and skills within energy and material recovery.

Khamdan Cahyari och Ryan Anugra Putra.What was your time in Borås like?

Ryan: -  We have experienced a lot, both when it comes to the studies and the daily life in Sweden.

Khamdan: - We have met many nice helpful people. And we got time to look around, too. Sweden has so much forest! Among other things we also visited Öland where we biked around. 

And the University of Borås?

Ryan: - The university is good. There is a really good library where the staff has been very helpful and the access to magazines is excellent. Back in Indonesia it is really difficult to find anything like it. The courses for the MSc study programme in Resource Recovery – Sustainable Engineering have been really interesting. You have a special way of looking at waste here, you look at it as useful raw material that can be transformed into different new products. If the waste was seen in the same way in Indonesia, it would solve many of the problems there

Khamdan: - There is a difference in having to think about getting food for the day as many people have to, compared to in Europe where you don’t have to think about food, and instead can focus on the environment. In Indonesia the study fees are high and many good students try to find a job instead. The way of the studies is also different. Here you focus on that the students should reflect about what they learn, you try to make the students like what they learn and in that way make the subject interesting. In Indonesia you study many more courses at the same time and you try to squeeze as much knowledge in the head as possible which makes the time for reflection and the interest fades away.

What were your expectations when you came to Sweden  two years ago?

Ryan: - I hoped that I would get the knowledge to be able to become an entrepreneur within waste management. Both to be able to improve the environment and to do something about the unemployment at home. We have got a lot of knowledge about waste management, but the education did not focus on entrepreneurship more than theoretically.

Khamdan: - I wanted to learn more about Sweden and get new experiences and knowledge to bring back home, and my expectations have been more than fulfilled. We really have learned how to re-use waste. 

What have been the most interesting part of the education?

Khamdan: - The courses about biogas and bioethanol production. In Indonesia we have a lot of organic waste that very well could be processed into fuel.

Ryan: - I agree, but I would also like to add the course Life Cycle Assessment where we learned about different methods that can be used for recovery and about which is the most suitable for different kinds of recovery. This is necessary knowledge when you are to make a decision.

What is your thesis work about?

- We did a thesis work about biogas production from fruit waste at the public company Borås Energi & Miljö.

What about the future?

Khamdan: - I want to work in the waste management business, maybe at a company and then later on start my own company…or maybe continue to study or do research.

Ryan: - I want to continue to study and do research. Primarily I want to study outside of Indonesia a bit more to get further experience from different places.

What are you doing in ten years?

Ryan: - I hopefully have a PhD degree and I have started my own company.

Khamdan: - I hope that I have my own company in the waste management business. And I also hope I have my own restaurant, because I am really interested in food.

Both: Hopefully more Indonesian students will come to Sweden to study, because Indonesia really needs more engineers who can help solving the problems with the waste. 


Khamdan Cahyari and Ryan Anugra Putra came to the University of Borås as guest students on the scholarship “Waste Refinery – Indonesia”. The scholarship was initiated by Olle Engström, a local politician who is very interested in environmental issues, and on a visit to Indonesia got engaged in the needs for help with the waste management. Today most of the waste is deposited on land filling areas and the piles are continuously growing. Olle Engström engaged private persons, organisations and companies in and around Borås to finance the scholarship. The School of Engineering is also envolved in a project about waste recovery and biogas production from waste in Indonesia supported by Sida, the city of Borås and the consortium Waste Refinery.

Khamdan and Ryan returned to Indonesia in the end of June.

Text and photo: Solveig Klug