Universitas Terbuka’s 38th Anniversary: Moving Up and Forward Together in New Paradigm for UT as Higher Education Institution as Legal Entity State University (PTN BH)

Universitas Terbuka (UT) has entered its 38th anniversary marking it as the pioneer of Open and Distance University across the Archipelago. After its opening on 22 June 2022, a series of events for its 38th Dies Natalis or Anniversary and UT’s National Scientific Discussions, Sports, and Arts Week 2022 has reached its peak on Sunday, 4 September 2022 with the theme on “Moving Up and Forward Together in New Paradigm for UT as Higher Education Institution as Legal Entity State University (PTN BH)”. The programs were done offline at UT Convention Center for Civitas Academica at Universitas Terbuka Headquarter and on by Zoom for the civitas academica of the Distance Learning Education Units – Universitas Terbuka (UPBJJ-UT). In addition, the series of the programs were alos aired live on UT’s YouTube TV Channel.

The ceremony of the celebration was attended by the Chairman dn Spokesperson of People's Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (MPR RI), the Representative of the Chief of National Police of the Republic of Indonesia, Supervisory Board of Universitas Terbuka, Chairman of the UT’s Senate, Social Sector Specialists at the Asian Development Bank, Mayor of City of Sungai Penuh, Regent of Tanjung Jabung Barat Regency, UT’s Rector for Period 2001-2005 and Period 2005-2009, UT’s Rector for Period 2009-2013, and Period 2013-2017, current heads and directors in Universitas Terbuka, former heads and directors in UT, Vice Rector 4 of Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, heads and directors of UT’s partners, Representatives of Microsoft, all the civitas academica in UT, both at the headquarter and the Distance Learning Education Units – Universitas Terbuka (UPBJJ-UT), and all the invited guests.

The series of the programs started with the activity report of the Chairman of the Committee of the UT’s 38th Dies Natalis 2022 who is the Dean of Faculty of Economics, Dr. Meirani Harsasi, S.E., M.Si., which was then followed by the remarks of the Rector.

In his address, the Rector of Universitas Terbuka, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., said that the celebration of its 38th Dies Natalis or Anniversary this time is very special since UT will soon become a university of Higher Education Institution as Legal Entity State University (PTN BH) which will hold greater range of autonomy in terms of both academic and non-academic. With such autonomy, Universitas Terbuka would be more agile, flexible, and can run faster in coping with the challenges in the disprutive era during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UT’s current growth is the results of good program planning, mapping of challenges and opportunities as well as the anticipation of difficulties to be dealt with and always learning lessons from the mistakes or faults that are made in the past time.

Furthermore, as one form of the realization as a cyber university, Universitas Terbuka will make use of metaverse in order to support the university’s academic and non-academic services. Therefore, the student will have more experience so that it is expected that they would be more competitive and reliable. One of the innovations that are intended to improve the services to the students and stakeholders is that online proctoring which allows the students to do their examination that continue to be perfected from their residences and the service coverage areas that can be expanded further. He added that it will get easier and more affordable. In terms of technology, it is more wide spread among the people who will have better technology literacy. This is an opportunity for UT. As 70 percent of the ages of the UT’s students are under 30 years, it means that Universitas Terbuka is accepted and endeared even more by the young generation, including those who are just graduated from senior high school. 

Universitas Terbuka has also put forward the academic principles and norms which, in turn, becomes the only open and distance university in Asia that, in every three years, always welcomes the International Council for Open and Distance Education which is based in Oslo, Norway to conduct Quality Review on UT’s products and services. The purposes of the Quality Review are to assure that UT has implemented the best standards applied by open universities around the globe. With this, UT is regarded as one of the best open universities in the world so that it becomes the destination for other universities and institutions to conduct comparative study and pilot programs.

Afterward, the series of the celebration of its anniversary continued with the performance of the guest stars from NAFF as well as the performance of the Kangen Band’s Vocalist, Mahesa Andika Setiawan, who is now also a new student of the Distance Learning Education Units – Universitas Terbuka (UPBJJ-UT) Lampung.

In this opportunity, it was also first launched one UT’s innovation, which is the issue of the book titled “Dies Natalis UT ke-38”, the launching of SIPPP, the launching of the new application “Kerja Sama AKSARA”, the launching of UT Corporate University, and the launching of KIIARA. In addition to that, in the festivity of the celebration of UT’s anniversary, a collaboration was also entered into between UT and the Government of the City of Kota Sungai Penuh on the implementation of Three Principles of Higher Education Institutions (TRIDARMA Perguruan Tinggi) as well as memorandum of agreement (kesepakatan bersama) between UT and the Government of the Regency of Tanjung Jabung Barat on education, research, and community services by way of open and distance education services for the people.

In the event, it was also announced the winners of 11 competititions held during the programs of the UT’s 38th Dies Natalis or Anniversary in 2022. The festivity during the series of the 38th Dies Natalis or Anniversary of Universitas Terbuka was experienced by the UT’s family both the employees in UT’s headquarter and Directors of UPBJJ-UT who have not enjoyed togetherness for long period after the outbreak of the pandemic as the events could no longer be held offline.