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U.S. College and University Leaders Visit Indonesia to Build Linkages in Higher Education

Institute of International Education and IIEF Lead Workshop and Study Tour of Indonesian Campuses

BANDUNG, April 28, 2011—Leaders from U.S. colleges and universities and Indonesian universities met in Indonesia from April 25-29 to take part in a workshop and study tour focused on strengthening higher education ties between the two countries. The event is part of the U.S.-Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity, a two-year initiative sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and launched with IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education in September 2010 to increase the number of U.S. students who study abroad in Indonesia.

The program focused on the challenges and opportunities for U.S. and Indonesian higher education leaders in building institutional linkages and improving Indonesia’s capacity to host more study abroad students from the United States. Several officials from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and the Indonesian Ministry of National Education attended the event, including Mr. Ted Osius, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy; Dr. Harris Iskandar, Secretary, Directorate General of Higher Education for the Indonesian Ministry of National Education; and Mr. Frank Whitaker, Cultural Affairs Officer for the U.S. Embassy.

For the first two days participants discussed a number of relevant topics including the higher education systems of both countries, methods for developing successful international partnerships, and best practices in sending and hosting globally mobile students. The group also examined case studies of model study abroad programs. For the ensuing three days, the U.S. participants took part in site visits to the Indonesian participants’ campuses, and met with students, faculty and administrators to learn more about Indonesian higher education and culture firsthand and work with the Indonesian institutions on expanding their capacity to host American study abroad students.

The six Indonesian universities participating in the program and workshop are Airlangga University, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Gadjah Mada University, and University of Indonesia. These institutions are committed to internationalizing their campuses and hosting more U.S. and international students through participation in the program.

The participating U.S. institutions are Chatham University, Lehigh University, Miami Dade College, Texas A&M University, University of Michigan, and University of Washington, representing a cross-section of America’s colleges and universities.

The goals of the U.S.-Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity are to help Indonesian institutions evaluate and improve their international capacity in order to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad in Indonesia, and identify both general and country-specific best practices to build study abroad capacity. As part of the State Department-sponsored program and in advance of the workshop in Indonesia, the IIE Center for International Partnerships produced a report based on the findings of a survey of more than 150 U.S. higher education institutions conducted in December 2010 and January 2011.

“Expanding U.S. Study Abroad to Indonesia: U.S. Perspectives and Steps for Expansion” reveals that while the current level of engagement between the two countries higher education communities is relatively weak, the relationship is poised for stronger ties. Survey respondents identified a number of tangible ideas that could be implemented to improve U.S. study abroad to Indonesia, including: increasing knowledge and awareness about Indonesia on campus; providing more study abroad scholarship opportunities for students; offering more institutional funding for study abroad offices; and introducing U.S. institutions to appropriate Indonesian host campuses.

The IIE Center for International Partnerships will produce another report that assesses the outcomes of the Indonesian campus study tour and chronicles the program’s results. This first survey of U.S. campuses’ perceptions will be complemented by a study of Indonesian host campus perceptions, to be included in the final report. As part of the partnership program the Indonesian participants will visit U.S. campuses in 2012.

“Strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Indonesia through higher education is a critical goal for both countries, and it is an honor for IIE, in collaboration with the Indonesian International Education Foundation (IIEF), to facilitate constructive partnerships between institutions in the U.S. and Indonesia,” says IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman. “The Institute has made a long term commitment, along with ECA, to deepening this relationship and looks forward to having an effective, sustained impact.” Dr. Goodman led several delegations of U.S. higher education leaders to Indonesia and was a co-founder of the Joint U.S.-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnerships.

According to IIE’s annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, also supported by ECA, close to 7,000 students from Indonesia were enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities in 2009/10, while less than 200 U.S. students studied abroad in Indonesia in academic year 2008/09 (the most recent year for which data on U.S. students receiving credit for study abroad is available). Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy after India and the U.S., and has the largest Muslim population in the world. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have called for increased collaboration in education between the United States and Indonesia on separate trips to Indonesia in 2010 and 2009.

Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,100 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

IIE works through the Indonesian International Education Foundation (IIEF) to administer programs in Indonesia. IIEF is an Indonesian organization which administers higher education scholarship programs for in-country and overseas study, as well as short-term training programs for professionals and scholars. IIEF works closely with the Indonesian Government, in particular the Indonesian Ministry of National Education, to implement a variety of programs aimed at promoting Indonesian education and international exchange. IIEF administers the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP), as well as the Indonesia English Language Study Program (IELSP), in partnership with IIE, for the U.S. Department of State.

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