Following up the visit of leaders of 14 American colleges in July 2010, Vice Dean of Engineering Faculty, Lehigh University in USA, Gerard P. Lennon, PhD, explored the possibility of cooperation with Universitas Gadjah Mada. He said on Wednesday (11/8) that the cooperation on students exchange is for undergraduate students.
Received by the Executive Secretary of UGM, Drs. Djoko Moerdiyanto, M.A., and Head of Office of International Affairs, Dr. Rachmat Sriwijaya, Gerard P. Lennon viewed that UGM has many similarities with Lehigh University. Both universities exist due to the land grant. Lehigh University received the grant from the government, while UGM obtained the land from the Sultanate palace and the government.
According to Djoko, from the visit last July, the American Embassy recorded about 20 American universities are interested in cooperating with UGM. Considering various factors, however, their number was reduced to 12 universities. "One of the twelve universities is Lehigh University in Pennsylvania," he said in his office.
He explained that about the exchange of undergraduate programs, UGM and Lehigh University would immediately discuss the pattern of cooperation. "UGM undergraduate students will study there, on the contrary Lehigh University undergraduates study at UGM. Therefore, we’ll see the opportunity, who would fund the program should be considered together. UGM may seek grant funds or funds from Ministry of National Education," he added.
Besides the hard sciences like engineering, Lehigh University is also developing interdisciplinary field so that undergraduate students of Engineering program of Lehigh University are accustomed to study the sciences outside their discipline, such as social sciences, art sciences and literature. It is very suitable if some students get the opportunity to study at UGM later, and they will be required to take courses in cultural and social sciences.
He explained that graduates of Lehigh University until recently have become popular in most universities in America. Apart from the scientific side, the graduates were provided with American culture. This condition is similar to UGM that has a slogan to educate the whole person, that teaching students is not only scientifically but also sharpening instincts. "So, for a student, it is not enough just to have the science of engineering, environment and machinery, but he needs social sciences. Getting only social American Culture is not sufficient for graduates of Lehigh University. They need the cultures of other countries. Indonesia and UGM seem to be an option to enrich their graduate candidates. If UGM graduates are not only rich in culture of Indonesia, but also equipped with global culture, the Lehigh University also wants the same thing for their students, smart in sciences as well as in culture," Djoko concluded.