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To: Higher Education Community Subject: Working with Higher Education in Indonesia From: Peter McPherson, U.S. Co-Chair of Joint U.S.-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership (Council) and President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) Additional Initial and Core Members of Executive Committee of the Council: Dr. Walter Bumphus, President, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); Dr. Allan Goodman, CEO and President, Institute of International Education (IIE); Dr. Muriel Howard, President, American Association of State Universities and Colleges (AASCU); Hon. David Merrill, President, US-Indonesia Society (USINDO); Dr. Charles E. Morrison, President, East-West Center; and Ms. Suzanne M. McCarron, President, ExxonMobil Foundation. Date: April 4, 2011 Executive Summary The next couple of years might be the best opportunity ever for the U.S. academic community and others to expand their educational linkages with Indonesia. U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently launched a historic U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership (Partnership), a broad-based public-private five-year undertaking with education at its core. The Partnership seeks to enroll an additional 7,000 Indonesian students per year in U.S. colleges and universities across all disciplines. The Partnership also seeks to double the number of Americans studying in Indonesia, increase faculty exchanges, create research partnerships, strengthen Indonesian studies, and create opportunities for U.S. investment in Indonesia’s education sector. This memo invites interested U.S. colleges and universities to participate in this effort through joining and becoming active participants in the Joint U.S.-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership (Council) and its committees. The Council was created to work in coordination with the governments because of the strong desire of many in the U.S. academic community and others to provide leadership in reaching the Partnership’s goals. The Council will advise the U.S. academic community about U.S. or Indonesian government funds that are, or which may become, available. However, government efforts alone will cover only a small portion of potential opportunities and programs. Through initiatives to be designed by Council participants, we will work to develop solutions that will lower the cost of a U.S. education for Indonesians, make studying abroad in Indonesia more attractive to Americans, and many other measures which will benefit universities, students, and faculty in both countries during the next five years. The two Presidents are giving our Council an exceptionally strong endorsement. In their Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive Partnership, they placed non- governmental initiatives “at the core,” and said they were “pleased to welcome the formation of the U.S-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership, which seeks to harness the energies of the non-governmental, public, and private sectors in both countries in support of expanding bilateral programs in higher education, including…to double within five years the number of American and Indonesian students who study in each other’s country.” Thus, the framework is set for all interested parties to make the most of this opportunity. We invite you to indicate your interest in participating. Background In early 2010, the White House announced President Obama was going to visit Indonesia. With the encouragement of the White House, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) and the Association of American Universities (AAU), developed and circulated for signatures a letter about Indonesia for President Obama. A total of 137 U.S. research university presidents and chancellors signed the letter over about a 10-day period. The letter supported the President’s goal to strengthen ties between U.S. and Indonesian higher education institutions, including greatly expanded student exchanges and joint research efforts, and pledged “our full and enthusiastic cooperation with this effort.” While the letter was delivered to the White House, it was not released by the White House to the press because the trip was postponed twice. (See attached letter). Meanwhile, in response to President Yudhyono’s proposal to create a U.S.-Indonesia Partnership, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s acceptance, Ambassador David Merrill, President of the U.S.-Indonesia Society (USINDO), had been working to convene non-government groups to explore how they might want to utilize the impetus of the partnership to enhance bilateral education cooperation and exchanges. As the outcome of an April 2009 conference of non-governmental education organizations in Washington, an educators’ mission led by A۰P۰L۰U, USINDO, the Institute of International Education (IIE), and the East West-Center traveled to Indonesia in July 2009. This delegation met with senior officials at the Ministry of Education, rectors and other senior administrators at Indonesian institutions, the U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Commission, and current students and alumni, among others. As a result of this visit, the participants issued a major report in July 2010 with a set of substantive and organizational recommendations for developing U.S.-Indonesian educational cooperation under the Partnership, including that a Council be created to enable the non-government sector to exercise its own role in strengthening the educational relationship. (Report of the U.S. Higher Education Leaders Mission to Indonesia: Recommendations on U.S.-Indonesia Enhanced Cooperation in Higher Education Under the Planned Comprehensive Partnership, http://www.aplu.org/NetCommunity/Document.Doc?id=2709 ) Governmental Educational Programs Under the Comprehensive Partnership In June 2010, President Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono at the G-20 conference in Toronto announced certain government-to-government education and research initiatives that will be part of the government’s contribution to the education component of the Partnership. The United States plans to spend about $165 million over five years for the U.S. Government’s contribution to certain educational activities under the Partnership Agreement, including enhanced State Department support for the Fulbright program, U.S. community colleges, and English language teaching; and USAID support to university-to-university partnerships and higher education programs within Indonesia (see attachment). Some of these funds have been committed, and some remain unencumbered. The Council has further details on these programs for member universities. In September 2010, a Plan of Action for the Partnership was agreed to by the two governments. Priorities include educating students and research partnerships, including: Study abroad for students from both countries; Graduate degrees and post-doctoral programs; Exchanges of teachers/lecturers/scientists; Joint degree programs; University partnerships and mutual recognition on academic degrees and certificates, as well as activities to improve secondary education in Indonesia; Strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation; Research and project development in mutually agreed areas; Development of a bilateral science and technology agreement; and Development of a Center of Scientific Excellence based on mutual interests and mutual benefits. Some of the relevant research areas that could be developed to strengthen bilateral cooperation could include the environment and climate change, marine and coastal resources, biodiversity, forest conservation, sustainable agriculture, food security, mining, culture, history, religion, and quality and adaptability of education. The two governments established a Working Group on Education to coordinate government efforts on the Partnership plan of action. The Working Group is composed of officials of both governments and reports to Secretary of State Clinton and Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. R.M. M. Natalegawa. Core Role of the Academic and Other Non-Government Sector in Expanding Educational Programs The programs financed by the U.S. government cover only a portion of the key areas of the desired educational relationship. For example, more than 80 percent of the increase sought in the number of Indonesians studying in the United States needs to be achieved through non-governmental solutions. Second, several areas of benefit to U.S. universities for enhancing the educational relationship are not addressed by intended government programs. Third, there was a strong desire for the U.S. non-government and university community to exercise its own leadership role in defining the potential improvements it wished to be realized under the educational component of the Partnership. In July 2010, APLU, USINDO, IIE, and the East West-Center, in cooperation with the Government of Indonesia, announced the creation of the “Joint U.S.-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership” to address key long-term areas of the educational relationship through initiatives such as those identified by the U.S. educators’ mission. The Council is described further below. Presidential Support for the Council On November 9, 2010, President Obama and President Yudhoyono signed the Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive Partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia (Attached). The Partnership provides a blueprint for opening a new era of bilateral relations. Both presidents highlighted the Council as a mechanism to ensure success of an enduring partnership, having “at its core people to people relations and dynamic collaboration with non- government groups. In this regard, the two leaders are pleased to welcome the formation of the U.S.–Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership, which seeks to harness the energies of the non-governmental, public, and private sectors in both countries in support of expanding bilateral programs in higher education including to help build Indonesia’s capacity to provide world class university education and to double within five years the number of American and Indonesian students who study in each other’s country.” Structure of U.S.-Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership (Council) The Council has been officially established and the Co-Chairs of the Council are Peter McPherson, President of A۰P۰L۰U, and Indonesia’s Vice Minister of National Education Dr. Fasli Jalal, in keeping with the national government’s large role with higher education in Indonesia. The Indonesian Deputy Co-Chair is the Vice Minister of Finance, who is also Director-General of the Indonesian budget, and the President of USINDO is the U.S. Vice-Chair. The core members of the Council on the U.S. side are the leaders of A۰P۰L۰U, the American Association of State Universities and Colleges (AASCU), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the East-West Center, ExxonMobil Foundation, IIE, and USINDO. This initial core membership is the U.S. Executive Committee, which will be expanded as appropriate. The Indonesian side of the Partnership is a mix of non-government and government leaders, including two leading educational foundations in Indonesia committed to expanding educational exchanges. A small Council staff is in place to ensure operational progress on realizing Council member initiatives. The full-time U.S. Executive Director of the Council, based in Washington, DC, is David Green who will develop and execute Council strategy and programs, in coordination with Council members and with the Indonesian Executive Director in Jakarta, Dr. Nizam, a senior aide to the Vice Minister of Education for Indonesia. Under the guidance of the Council, the Executive Directors will represent the Council in day-to-day interactions with government officials and private donors; design and implement priority educational activities supporting the Partnership; obtain funds for Council programs; assist Joint Council chairs and Working Group Chairs on development activities; and develop outreach and communications efforts in the United States and Indonesia. The Council’s Executive Committee is divided for convenience of operations into U.S. and Indonesian sections and these two sections will then coordinate as an overall Executive Committee. Much of the work of the Council will be conducted by Committees of the Executive Committee. The structure is described in more detail below. The Council’s Joint Committee on Indonesia/U.S. Student Exchanges The work of the Committee is to increase the number and diversity of Indonesian students studying in the United States and American students studying in Indonesia. The larger aim is to increase the number of Indonesians studying in the United States from the current 7,000 to at least 14,000 per year by the end of 2015, or as soon thereafter as possible. We see currently planned government and current private efforts as achieving perhaps 3,000-4,000 of the needed increase. Therefore, the Council needs to engineer a way of enabling the remaining 3,000-4,000 by the end of 2015. This will include innovative ways to lower the cost of a U.S. education, guarantee student loans by governments, achieve a higher percentage of Indonesians in international student enrollments on U.S. campuses, better prepare Indonesians for U.S. study, and better market U.S. educational institutions in Indonesia. In recent meetings with the U.S. Department of State, we discussed ideas how we might be able to put together groups of faculty coming from Indonesia for “re-charging” development experiences with faculty in the United States. It is believed participating U.S. universities could become magnets to attract Indonesian students through their efforts and those of the Committee and Council. In addition, the State Department is interested in identifying and recruiting students in Indonesia and possibly giving some priority to U.S. schools in the access to those students. We are also working with the Indonesian government on ways to participate in programming for 100 new American students per year in Indonesia , who will be financed by the Indonesian Government, and who we believe should come from U.S. institutions who participate in the Council. IIE is conducting a survey of U.S. perceptions of study abroad to Indonesia. The survey is designed to gain perceptions of U.S. higher education institutions that will be utilized to prepare a white paper to advise the U.S. Department of State on study abroad capacity both here and in Indonesia. The Council’s Joint Committee on Indonesia/U.S. Higher Education Joint Research (CIRE) The Committee will focus on increasing university-to-university partnerships in priority areas of joint research and scientific importance to be jointly decided such as climate change, biodiversity, forestry, oceans, religion, language, and others. Already, at least one major U.S. university is actively exploring a climate change partnership with an Indonesian university, with assistance from the Council. Given the importance of integrating education and research, there are a number of cross-commission activities that may be facilitated either by a separate Committee and/or through the Council including: Building capacity of U.S. universities in Indonesian studies and Indonesian universities in American studies; Facilitating the efforts of U.S. universities to build Indonesian-based educational institutions, including branch campuses; Targeting programs to build Indonesian capacity to educate women and girls in science and math, or other fields; and Creating a commission focusing on the private and foundation sector. The Joint Declaration of the two governments identified a wide range of issues including education, environment, energy, and food science and technology as areas to advance cooperation and encouraged the role of public-private partnerships to help address these and other complex challenges such as climate change. The U.S. Chair of each of the Joint Committees would serve on the Executive Committee of the Council. Note that we are now at the development stages of the Committee and there will be excellent opportunities to contribute and shape the directions going forward. There are great expectations for both student exchange and joint research activities, but it will take dedication and work to achieve the needed impact. Next Steps and Finances We seek committed leadership from U.S. higher education institutions to lead and/or participate in the Committee. Those of us sending this e-mail are committed to assist in raising and/or contributing to the resources requirements described below and we would ask participants in these Committees to help do so as well. As to necessary resources, the total direct budget for the Council here and in Indonesia will be approximately $375,000 annually. We are working to secure substantial contributions from Indonesian sources and U.S. foundations and corporations, and are making some progress. For example, the ExxonMobil Foundation has made a $100,000 grant to the Council, and other corporate foundations are considering support. We will be asking university and college leaders who wish to be actively involved in the Council and its Commissions, and who see opportunities for their institution, to help raise and/or contribute to this effort. We anticipate that the first bilateral Council meeting will be held in Washington, D C, in May, and a meeting in Jakarta later. Thus, it is very important to determine both interests and commitments of our institutions by April 15, 2011. Future activities we want to call to your attention include the “Education Mission” to Indonesia and Vietnam in early April organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce and a U.S.-Indonesia Ministers of Education Summit in Washington, DC, to be organized by the U.S. Department of Education in June 2011. We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss participation in the Council and Committee with you. We are excited about the enormous opportunities to strengthen our commitment to higher education through long-term relationships between the U.S. and Indonesia. The presidents of each country have studied in each other’s nation, and are both deeply committed to strengthening U.S.-Indonesia educational connections. With their commitment and what we can do together through the Council and Committee, we should be able to make a real difference. If you are interested in exploring with us your participation in the Council or Committee, please indicate your interest April 15 or as soon as possible with an e-mail or phone call to David Green at firstname.lastname@example.org/(202) 232-5381 or Peter McPherson at PMcPherson@APLU.ORG/(202) 478-6060 and David Merrill at Dmerrill@usindo.org/ (202) 232-1400 would be happy to talk with you as well.
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