YOGYAKARTA-University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) increasingly strengthens its cooperation with the Austrian government. It is marked by the arrival of Minister for Research and Higher Education of Austria, Dr. Beatrix Karl and Austrian Ambassador Dr. Klaus Woelfer at UGM, Friday (18/2). UGM is the only university Beatrix visited in Indonesia. Before visiting the UGM, Beatrix has signed the MoU of higher education cooperation with the Minister of National Education in Jakarta.
According to Sugiharto Soeleman, Honorary Consul of Austria in Yogyakarta, in addition to visiting UGM, Dr Beatrix will also inaugurate the Austrian Consulate Office in Yogyakarta. The Austrian Consulate Office in Yogyakarta is the third consulate office, the others previously opened in Bandung and Surabaya. "This is the third consulate office after it opens in Bandung and Surabaya," said Sugiharto .
Sugiharto added that the focus on Indonesia’s cooperation with Austria through Yogyakarta will be emphasized in the field of arts and culture, education as well as trading. Inauguration of the Consulate Office will be conducted at the Kepatihan complex tonight. As for the location of the Austrian Consulate Office in Yogyakarta it takes place at the Jogja Gallery. “
"It happens that Sri Sultan is very open with the opening of this consulate office. Moreover, previously there has also been sister city cooperation between Tyrol with Yogyakarta, "he said.
He said diplomatic relations between Austria and Indonesia was officially opened in 1954 and Indonesia opened a diplomatic mission in Vienna in 1957. In 1961, the first Austrian Ambassador to Indonesia started to open an office in Jakarta. During this time, said Sugiharto, Indonesia is one of Austria’s largest trading partners in Southeast Asia. The trading between the two countries includes electric power, machinery, and environmentally friendly technology.
"In 2009 alone more than 5,000 Austrian tourists visited Indonesia," said Sugiharto.
UGM Austria Alumni Chairman, Prof. Dr. Harno Dwi Pranowo, M.S, explained about 45 doctor graduated from Austria in Indonesia, 20 people of them are from UGM. 8 of them had the title of professor. These doctors are from several universities in Austria such as Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna University.
"Especially the field of higher education is covered in the Asia-UNINET cooperation. Every year, Austria also offers scholarships for both students and lecturers of the two countries," said Harno.
Some alumni from Austrian University at UGM, among others, Dr. Khabib Mustafa, S. Si, M. Kom (Head of PPTIK), Prof. Dr. Junun Sartohadi (Head of Disaster Studies Centre), Prof. Dr. Tech.Ir Danang Parikesit, M. Sc (LPPM Chairman) and Prof. Dr.Agus Sartono (Deputy of Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare).
Head of the International Affairs, Dr Rachmat Sriwijaya added that the visitation of UGM as the only universities visited in Indonesia by Dr Beatrix indicates the faith of Austria to UGM. With this belief he hoped it will be followed by the development of more productive forms of cooperation.
"This belief is as a capital for more productive and increased relationships including on research," Rachmat said.
During her visit at UGM, Dr. Beatrix Karl took time to meet and have dialogue with the Rector of UGM Prof Ir Sudjarwadi, M. Eng., Ph.D., leaders of the university and the alumni of Austria at the Senate Hall of UGM.