For the first time in the 36-year course of history of the Indonesian Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT), the graduation ceremony was performed in the internet online, on Tuesday (21/7/2020). The graduating students followed the graduation ceremony by zoom application for those who were both at home in Indonesia or abroad, such as in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. In the mean time, the representatives of the best graduates, as many as 5 graduating students from each UPBJJ office, took part in the ceremony who were spread in 39 Offices of Distance Learning Education Program Unit – Indonesia Open University (UPBJJ- UT) across Indonesia through Video Conference (Vicon). The proceeding of the graduation ceremony, which was attended by UT’s Rector and the members of the Senate as well as the representatives of the University’s Alumni Association or IKA UT was taking venue at the University’s Convention Center (UTCC). The public may also watch the ceremony live on Youtube-based UT TV. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, the graduation ceremony was held by following the Health Protocols for Covid-19 and went solemnly.
As many as 903 graduating students were following this 2nd ceremony in the academic year 2019/2020. The graduates who participated the ceremony online consist of the student graduates from the Faculty of Law, Social Sciences and Political Sciences (FHISIP), the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FST), the Faculty of Pedagogy and Education Sciences (FKIP), the Faculty of Economics (FE), as well as the graduating students of the Master Programs. The best graduates in this ceremony are Amna Fitri (Master of Administration Science, Specialization of Public Administration from UPBJJ-UT Banda Aceh) with Cumulative GPA 4.00 and Tukiyah (Bachelor of Early Child Education Study Program from UPBJJ-UT Purwokerto) with Cumulative GPA 3.99.
In his graduation speech, UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat., M.Bus., Ph.D, congratulated the graduates who have successfully completed their education at UT. He advised them that, even though it was held online, the graduation proceeding was still meaningful and full of joy. In this occasion, the Rector brought up the theme of “UT in the New Normal Life Era”. For UT’s students, distance learning or distance education (PJJ) is nothing new. UT is used to with the utilization of technology as one of the education supporting tools, especially for online technology.
While Covid-19 pandemic still strikes overwhelmingly, the people are required to adapt themselves both in working and in studying from home. The distance education innovation developed by UT has become the reference for other universities or higher education institutions in managing the internet learning. Until today, UT has established cooperation with various universities in order to implement distance learning in terms of the development of learning management system (LMS), digital teaching materials, as well as training and counseling technical assistance. The latest technology innovation that has been developed has made UT a modern, flexible, affordable, and quality higher education institution. UT has succeeded in making a number of breakthroughs, starting from the student registration, digital teaching materials, synchronous and asynchronous academic services, as well as online examination systems which are equipped with online proctoring, that will start immediately in this semester.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Indonesia’s Vice President, Prof. Dr. K. H. Ma'ruf Amin, in his graduation speech, also congratulated the university’s graduates. He advised them to become the agents of change in the societies and to actually contribute to the state and nation’s development. Superior human resources would become the key to win the global competition with smart quality and high productivity. Ma'ruf Amin appreciates the UT’s accomplishment in helping the country’s human resource capacity building by opening the access to the higher education for the people of Indonesia. UT becomes the pioneer and leader in distance learning (PJJ) and it is expected that it would improve the Gross Enrollment Rare (GER) in a better fashion. This would align with the government’s road map in order to improve the country’s higher education in an unlimited scale and at affordable costs.
The graduation event continued with the calling of the graduates’ names and it was closed with the Recitation of UT’s Graduate Student Oath which was led by one the best graduates and followed by other graduating students, as well as the presentation of UT’s by the Rector to the President of UT’s Alumni Association or IKA-UT, Drs. Leles Sudarmanto, M.M.