Minister of Research Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia, Prof. H. Mohamad Nasir, Ph.D., Ak., attended and gave his guidance in the 34th anniversary or Dies of Natalis of Indonesia Open University (UT) this year. This event was attended by all leaders and officers within UT’s head office, UT Bogor, UT Jakarta, and UT Serang which was held at Indonesia Open University Convention Center (UTCC), on 4 September 2018. More than 500 UT students were invited to join the event. Minister of Research Technology and Higher Education or Menristekdikti also accosted and connected to the academicians of UT’s offices from various regions in Indonesia, by video conference. “Indonesia Open University has become an option, but not the last option. This is one choice to better educate the sons and daughters of Indonesia” said Minister of Research Technology and Higher Education or Menristekdikti at the opening of his speech. He suggested that the current theme “Unifying The Islands, Building The Nation” is a very relevant theme to the current era.
According to him, in this 4.0 industrial revolution era, there is an extraordinary shift of disruption innovation. Looking back to the past, Minister of Research Technology and Higher Education mentioned the beginning of the first industrial revolution which was marked by the invention of steam engine. Furthermore, from this steam engine, there were emerged other kinds of machinery which forced the automatization. Ever since, the technology shifting has been moving very rapidly up to this industrial revolution 4.0 which has shifted so many things to digital platforms.
Minister of Research Technology and Higher Education said that the very significant impact of the industrial revolution 4.0 in education is the existence of distance learning. Higher education must give broader spaces and opportunities. Once again, he expects that the society will not deem UT as the last choice, and yet this is the flexible choice for education provided to all Indonesians who wish to pursue better higher education. He asked UT to continue to improve its learning system quality and quality assurance. He sees that UT has progressed very well and achieved an outstanding development in its 34th anniversary this year. “UT students have to think positively. To this end, the products will surely be positive as well,” he suggested.
UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., feels grateful and proud, in its 34th anniversary this year, UT has been able to stand as one of the government’s guards in improving HR quality in Indonesia through the improvement of Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) or Angka Partisipasi Kasar (APK) in universities. Since its establishment in the year of 1984, UT has proved to be able to perform the government’s mandate in advancing the equal distribution for the access to higher education to the remote areas and even, abroad with the total number of alumnus reaching up to 1.7 million graduates.
He also said that at this moment, UT has been trying very seriously to play active roles in improving Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) or Angka Partisipasi Kasar (APK) in universities. Based on the available data, the current ratio of the number of graduates to the state university capacity other than UT is not balanced. There are more than 2 million senior high school graduates, who cannot be accommodated in State Universities or PTN. The data show that UT as a State University has a great amount of opportunity to assist the government to improve Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) or Angka Partisipasi Kasar (APK) in universities. This is due to the extent of the services, accessibility, and capacity of UT services.
UT’s Rector also added that for the purpose of the improvement of Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) or Angka Partisipasi Kasar (APK), then UT will continue to take concrete steps, through one of its programs which is to establish new cooperation and strengthening the cooperation with state and private universities (PTN and PTS). Until today, UT has signed the memorandum of understanding with more than 30 state and private universities. This cooperation is related to the implementation of distance learning and online learning education. UT is ready to make the programs of Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Kemenristekdikti) a success in developing the distance learning and online learning education in Indonesia.
In this 34th Dies Natalis, UT Rector also officially launched a book, titled “Cyber University untuk Negeri”. This book is symbolically presented to the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Menristekdikti) and UT’s former Rectors. Furthermore, in this event, UT also provides free tuition fees for the UT students who were affected by Lombok disaster. The event which was held until late afternoon was sponsored by BRI, Bank Mandiri, BTN, BNI, PT Pos Indonesia, and Cooperative Association Koperasi Karunika.