The Opening of the 37th Dies Natalis of Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) & UT’s National Disporseni (National Scientific Discussions, Sports and Arts Week) 2021 on Thursday, 24 June 2021 was held in order to commence a series of activities towards the UT’s Dies Natalis on 4 September 2021. The event was attended by the Spokesperson of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (MPR RI) H. Bambang Soesatyo, S.E., M.B.A. The program was held at Universitas Terbuka Convention Center (UTCC), Tangerang Selatan and it was also broadcast online through Zoom and Youtube Live.
Bambang explained that today the implementation of Study from Home forces all the stakeholders to adapt themselves with the improved literacy of information technology and to ensure the availability of sufficient facilities and infrastructure. UT was already far ahead long before the covid-19 pandemic occurred. “Open and distance education can also help the government program in improving the education access distribution, as education is the constitutional right of every citizen and one of the goals that the government of a state is established is to educate the people” Bambang said when giving his remarks on this activity.
The theme of the 37th university’s anniversary of Dies Natalis of Universitas Terbuka (UT) is “building superior human resources through Digital Learning Ecosystem” & UT’s National Disporseni 2021 has the theme of ”Enhancing Student’s Success through Integrity, Sportsmanship, and Creativity.” In such event, the Spokesperson of MPR RI was greeted by the UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., PhD. Prof. Ojat hopes that with the presence of the Spokesperson of MPR RI, it would be able to boost the spirit of UT’s employees and push forward the participants to achieve in the UT’s National Disporseni 2021.
Prof. Ojat said that the UT’s National Disporseni 2021 is one form of realizations for Independent Campus (Kampus Merdeka) as it is not only followed by UT’s students, but also participated by the students from other higher education institutions, which include 31 state and private universities and colleges. The event was organized in order to increase the level of competitiveness and to strengthen the brotherhood among the students and universities.
In this opportunity, the UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., PhD., also expressed his ideas on Mandatory University Education (Wajib Kuliah) as a realization of social justice for all the people of Indonesia. Prof. Ojat explained that in the past, Mandatory Study program (Wajib Belajar) was known as the 9-year mandatory study in 1994, and later, it continued with the 12-year mandatory study in 2015, and today, with the focus on creating superior human resources, Universitas Terbuka initiates and proposes the Mandatory University Education program or called program Wajib Kuliah. According to Prof. Ojat, the Mandatory University Education program is a strategic solution that supports human resource development program which was initiated by the government.
Prof. Ojat also explained about the facts that there are at least 2 primary reasons found in the society that make the people fail to attend school and university; namely: firstly, financial reason (economic condition) as they do not have the financial capacity to support or pay their education, and secondly, geographical reason as they reside in remote areas, which makes it impossible for them to go to the main cities to study and some other reasons, such as jobs and other social commitments. “Universitas Terbuka or Indonesia Open University is provided by the government in order to respond to the 2 main issues above. First, UT has consistently been offering quality education programs at an affordable cost,” he continued in his speech. Furthermore, Prof. Ojat added that, in the future, it is expected that the education costs of Universitas Terbuka can be free and all the operating costs for UT can be fully borne by the government and other stakeholders. Through the Mandatory University Education program, Universitas Terbuka would be able to become a strategic instrument of the government in order to realize the even distribution of education.
Universitas Terbuka also awarded the scholarships in this university’s anniversary or Dies Natalis for blind students which were presented symbolically by the Spokesperson of MPR RI, H. Bambang Soesatyo, S.E., M.B.A. who was accompanied by Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., PhD. The scholarships were granted to the blind students who were represented by a student from the Department of Communication Science of Distance Learning Education Unit UPBJJ-UT Jakarta. The scholarships were awarded as a realization of inclusive education services for all the people, including the disabled persons.
The program was carried on with the prayers and the promise of athletes for the successful run of the UT’s National Disporseni 2021, and then followed by a question-and-answer session as well as the launching of Si Supel application that will support the education services for the students, and the whole program was closed with the performance of Universitas Terbuka’s employees band.