UGM and nine other universities have initiated the establishment of University Forum for Country Borders (Forpertas). The Forum is a form of realisation of university roles in managing state borders and acceleration of development in those areas.
“This role has actually been played by UGM in the outermost regions, but now we give it a legal umbrella to make it stronger, more ordered and synergistic,” said Acting Secretary of National Agency of Border Management, Widodo Sigit Pudjianto, alongside a gathering with parents of UGM new students on Monday (6/8) in Grha Sabha Pramana UGM after the signing of cooperation agreement between Home Affairs Ministry and BNPP and Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry. The agreement is on administrative capacity enhancement of government and acceleration of development of state border areas.
He said the agreement was the grounds for development acceleration through cooperation with universities joining Forpertas. The universities are UGM, Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP), Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November (ITS), and Universitas Mulawarman.
“If done in synergy, I believe in one or two years the result could be seen that can improve the welfare of the people living in the borders,” he said.
Secretary General of Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry, Ainun Naim, said the cooperation signing and declaration of forum establishment were done by UGM as these were in line with UGM mission to give attention to border areas development.
He said border issues were very important and in need of special attention, which explains the Ministry’s special programme for those areas.
“We have done many things related to border development, there are Student Community Service, deployment of new graduates, and Bidikmisi scholarship. We should not see the development just in terms of physical aspect,” he said.
Ainun encouraged other universities to develop technologies that can help improve the economy and welfare in disadvantaged regions. For example, converter kit technology for traditional fishing boat or agricultural superior seed development for better outcomes for society,
To work out the joint programme, the ten universities will meet up from Monday to Tuesday (7/8).
The event that brought together parents of the new students and university leadership also presented descriptions from Vice-Rector of Education, Learning, and Student Affairs, as well as presentation of laptops to four new students from less fortunate families and a student that has made outstanding achievements.
In front of the parents, Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., expressed hopes that the new students would be tough learners that have the spirit to do their best and help advance the nation.