Indonesia and Timor Leste have a very special relationship as both countries geographically share their land borders and therefore they have many similarities, in terms of social, culture, and religion. The official language spoken in Timor Leste is Tetun Portugese Language, and yet most Timor Leste population use Indonesian Language in their daily life. This is one form of active roles that support the development of Timor Leste.
Education is a mutual understanding, which means that it is a driving force of the social trade or movement in order to gain the national welfare, prosperity and interest that will serve as a bridge for inter-communities in one country with the international communities. In the development of the world’s education, Timor Leste still needs some experts in various fields of sciences in order to build the nation.
In order to support the education in Timor Leste, Indonesia Open University or UT was present and participated at the Exhibition of Indonesia Higher Education Expo 2019 having the theme of “Achieving your success through better education 4.0” which is held on 25 – 27 April 2019 at Indonesian Culture Center (PBI) Building, Dili, Timor Leste. The participants of the expo include 19 Indonesian universities and 9 universities from Timor Leste. At this exhibition, UT Director-Kupang, Drs. Yos Sudarso, M.Pd briefly explained about UT in front of the expo visitors.
The exhibition was also attended by Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia Muhadjir Effendy who was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for Timor Leste, Sahat Sitorus and Menteri Luar Negeri Timor Leste Dionisio Soeres Babo. The visit of Minister of Education and Culture to Timor Leste was made simultaneously for the inauguration of the new building of Indonesian Culture Center (PBI) in Timor Leste. In his visit, Muhadjir Effendy had the opportunity to visit UT stand and said that Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) strongly supports UT in providing higher education services.
UT participation in this expo was warmly welcomed by many, not only the people who visited the exhibition, but also the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia who gave full support for the event. Sahat Sitorus expected UT to be able to help to serve and work together in improving the Education in Timor Leste. Furthermore, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia expressed that UT has the education capacity which is required today. In line with that, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia also said that Timor Leste does not solely rely on oil or gas, but also depend on high quality or highly skilled manpower. Indonesia and Timor Leste are committed to supporting the education advancement so it can produce reliable human resources.