Bill Gates, founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during a visit to Universitas Gadjah Mada on Saturday (5/4) praised the student community service programme run by the university. In his visit to Faculty of Medicine, Bill Gates met with Rector, Prof. Dr. Pratikno M.Soc.Sc, Vice Rectors, and the leadership of Faculty of Medicine.
Pratikno welcomed the visit made by Bill Gates. In recognition of Bill Gates’ interest in community service, Pratikno explained that UGM is the university of the people. "Initially, UGM was established by Indonesian people for the Indonesian people. One of UGM’s excellent programmes is community empowerment that is implemented in the Student Community Service (KKN),” he explained.
Pratikno told the history of UGM Student Community Service which was started with the deployment of assistant teachers to regions that need them. "Currently, it is implemented across multidisciplines, aiming at resolving problems affecting the country, such as health, disaster, renewable energy, and so on,” he said.
Bill Gates highly praised this programme. “The UGM programme is very interesting to see as it has the multidisciplined nature and is enhanced by indigenous knowledge resources," he explained.
He further expressed his intention to learn more about UGM and establish a cooperation. “I would like to return to the UGM for a longer visit and meet the students here,” he said.
He came to see the Dengue project that is developed by the Eliminate Dengue Project-Yogyakarta, a research led by Faculty of Medicine UGM and funded by Yayasan Tahija, Indonesia.
Bill Gates’ interest in the research emerged due to the fact that Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through the Grand Challenges in Global Health from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports the Eliminate Dengue Program-Global that is carried out in Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, China, and Singapore, with the main researchers coming from Faculty of Science, Monash University.
A video of the meeting between the Rector of UGM and Bill Gates can be seen here.