One of the primary missions of the Indonesia Open University (UT) is to provide access and equity in higher education for all Indonesian citizens wherever they are domiciled, including those in Cairo, Egypt. The Rector of UT and the Vice Rector for Partnerships during their Middle East trip had made a stop in Cairo on 21-22 November 2012 as part of UT’s outreach activities. They were received by the Indonesian Ambassador for Cairo, Mr. Nurfaizi, accompanied by the Education Attaché, Prof. Sangidu, and his staff. The meeting took place in a relaxed atmosphere with UT Rector, Prof. Ir. Belawati Tian, M.Ed., Ph.D., thoroughly explaining the what, for whom, and how to study at UT.
The Ambassador and the Attaché warmly welcomed UT’s plan to offer its study program to Indonesian citizens residing in Cairo and the surrounding areas. The presence of UT will enable the upgrading of the competencies of the Indonesian communities in Egypt, both at the Bachelor and Master level, to take place. The potential UT students are those who are currently studying in Egypt, those who have not successfully completed their studies on time, the staff of the Indonesian Embassy, as well as professional workers. The Indonesian students in Cairo are usually enrolled in religious study programs at the Al Azhar University or other universities in Egypt, thus they can also take the non-religious programs at UT to strengthen and expand their capacity, which will allow them to have a greater competitive edge in the work place.
A less formal meeting was also held between the Rector of UT with the Indonesian community in Cairo. The gathering began with a brief introduction about UT and followed by questions and answers. A number of participants said although they have heard about UT before, the presentation by the Rector of UT had given them a comprehensive understanding of UT. The enthusiasm to study at UT was evident from the questions posed by the participants. They also expressed appreciation for the information sharing by UT that will give them opportunity for a better tomorrow through UT.