As the largest and the best university in Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada has the duty to prepare the young generation to compete in international community while still rooted in Indonesian culture and interest. The best UGM graduates have to be able to make Indonesia as a prosperous and dignified country as well as one of those that awaken Asia.
“The theme of this year’s National Education is Increasing Quality and Access to Education that is Fair. We hope with this we will be able to resolve poverty, ignorance and the condition of lagging behind in civilisation,” said Rector of UGM, Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M, Soc., Sc, in the yard of UGM Main Office on Thursday (2/5), leading the ceremony to mark National Education Day 2013.
To the teaching and non-teaching staff, the Rector mentioned the new UNDP report entitled The Rise of The South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. It showed that development of the South has progressed tremendously, which is predicted to take over the dominance of the North. In the past 150 years, world economy was dominated by the North. But now, their dominance has been challenged by big economies such as China, Brasil and India in the first rank, followed by Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey in the second rank.
“Indonesia’s contribution is predicted to be very significant. Analysts from Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank said that Indonesia is currently the 16th world big economies, and it will rise up to the tenth in 2040,” he said.
Unfortunately, however, amidst the opportunity, the Rector laments the quality of Indonesian human resource. UNESCO report in 2013 showed the Education Development Index is at 69 of 127 countries. Education Ministry report says that the number of illiteracy is 6.7 million in 2011. “This became Indonesia’s big challenge to have reliable human resource,” he explained.
Therefore, UGM is still comitted to increase access to education for impoverished students and those from the most isolated, remote and disadvantaged regions. For academic year of 2013/2014, UGM targets at 18 percent of new students who will pay zero rupiah, even some may receive living allowance. Meanwhile, some 29% students will pay tuition partially.
“So, as much as 47 percent of new students will receive scholarships, and UGM will continue to increase the quality of the tridharma implementations,” he added.