As a series of the huge festivity of its 37th University Anniversary or Dies Natalis, Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) organized the Meeting with Public Figures (TPF) 2021 which was broadcast virtually on Youtube UT-TV channel, on Thursday (15/7/2021). With the theme of the UT’s 37th Dies Natalis, “Building Superior Human Resources through Digital Learning Ecosystem.” This year’s TPF invited two public figures, Kamasean Yoce Matthews, who is nicknamed Sean, a female student of the Department of Law, Universitas Terbuka Distance Learning Office or UPBJJ-UT Jakarta whose profession is a singer and she is the Runner-Up or second winner of Indonesian Idol 2012 and Jahru who is a student of the Department of Communication Science, Universitas Terbuka Distance Learning Office or UPBJJ-UT Serang who is now the Tourism Ambassador of the Province of Banten, as well as was selected as one of the Finalists of Kang-Nong (Mister and Miss), the Province of Banten in 2020. The program was led by two hosts, namely Tengku Lufiana, S.Sos. and Nisa Afriza, M. KM. The program was watched by all chairmen, officials, top executives, civitas academica, educators, students, and other stakeholders.
Prior to the opening of the events, Dr. Sofjan Aripin, M.Si., the General Chairman of the UT’s 37th Dies Natalis stated that the event is intended to introduce UT to the public in general and to make it a favorite university where students should study. By using the technology during this pandemic time, then TPF 2021 managed to present two public figure virtually, using the principle of Distance Learning Education or Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) applied by UT for 37 years. No troubles or barrier of communication whatsoever found during the event, including during the time of Covid-19 pandemic.
The program was officially opened by the UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat., M.Bus., Ph.D. In his remarks, Prof. Ojat stated that during the time of Covid-19 pandemic, he people are forced to adapt to work and study remotely from home. UT has developed an innovation of Distance Learning Education (PJJ) and it becomes the guiding reference for other universities in the learning management through network in the past year. Besides that, UT also continues to make innovations in providing flexible services for the students, especially in the utilization of technology that deals with the current pandemic situations. The services include, among others, Take Home Exam (THE) services that have been successfully followed by all the UT’s students since the last semester.
According to the two public figures, Sean and Jahru, they admitted that THE have put them at ease where during the time of this pandemic, they can take exams and stay at home. Other flexibility that they have in their study with UT also includes their ability to freely manage their own times for their school and other activities as well as the learning process that can be accessed wherever and whenever. Sean has adapted herself with her busy activities as a professional singer and Jahru with his activities in the Mister and Miss (Kang-Nong) events of the Province of Banten. When enrolling the university, the two public figures were never expecting that UT is a state university (PTN) as its learning system is different than that of other state universities, which is online. During this pandemic, Sean and Jahru are no longer surprised with the online university courses as they have been accustomed to the online learning system that UT has been implementing.
The program was concluded with the remarks by both public figures in the 37th anniversary of UT. Sean stated that he hopes UT would be always successful, advancing, and making more innovations for the Indonesia’s education systems. In the mean time, Jahru hopes that UT would be successful, glorious, able to improve its quality in all sectors of educations and continues to be consistent as a campus o excellence. The series of the UT’s 37th Dies Natalis continue for the celebration with various other activities, including the breaking of MURI Record, National Discussion, Sports and Arts Week or Disporseninas 2021, various webinars, seminars and contests