the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Fact Sheet: U.S.-Indonesia Education Partnership

Close cooperation in education is a fundamental element of the Comprehensive Partnership.  In June 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a Higher Education Partnership in which the United States and Indonesia will commit to help build capacity to provide world-class university educations and to help double the number of American and Indonesian students who study in each other’s country.  A key element of the strategic approach is a whole of government effort to facilitate self-sustaining partnerships among U.S. and Indonesian institutions, foundations, corporations, universities, and individuals.  Recognizing that science and technology are engines of future growth and prosperity, special emphasis is being given to bilateral cooperation in these areas.

Higher Education

The United States will commit more than $165 million over five years to support the Higher Education Partnership.  To help jointly achieve the shared goals in higher education:

• The Department of State is expanding support for the binational Fulbright Program, making it one of the largest in the world.  The Fulbright Indonesia Research, Science and Technology program (FIRST), a five-year, $15 million initiative provides scholarships for Indonesians to study and conduct research in the United States in priority science and technology fields and for Americans to study, teach and conduct research in Indonesia in similar areas.  The Department of State’s Community College Initiative provides $2.5 million per year for scholarships for approximately 50 Indonesian students per year to study in the in one-year certificate programs and to bring approximately 18 faculty and educational administrators for professional development at U.S. community colleges.

• The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is creating partnerships, developing capacity, and expanding education opportunities.  The creation of University Partnerships between U.S. and Indonesian institutions improves research and lecturing, while also promoting faculty and student exchanges.  The Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy (HELM) Program supports Indonesian universities by building their capacity in organizational management, budget and financing, quality assurance and local outreach.  The scholarship program PRESTASI sends Indonesian professionals to degree programs and training in Indonesia, the United States or third countries.  The Development Credit Authority guarantees student loans for Indonesian students to attend universities in the United States and Indonesia.

• U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hosted Minister of Education and Culture Mohammad Nuh and more than 100 higher education leaders from both counties on October 31, 2011 in Washington, D.C. for the first U.S.-Indonesia Higher Education Summit.

• Our two governments will celebrate 2012 as the Year of Fulbright 60/20 celebrating the 60th anniversary of Fulbright in Indonesia and the 20th anniversary of the American-Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF), the binational commission that administers the Fulbright Program in Indonesia. 

Study in the U.S.

• The United States’ top priority in Indonesia is encouraging Indonesian students to study in the United States.  The Department of State has increased funding to $4.5 million annually for English-language training, student advising services, and other exchanges.  

• The United States Mission in Indonesia welcomes student visa applications.  In FY 2011, student visas applications increased to their highest figure within 10 years, and ninety-five percent of student visa applicants were approved. 

• The United States is increasing the profile of U.S. higher education institutions through education outreach to Indonesians.  Under Secretary Francisco J. Sanchez led the U.S. Department of Commerce’s largest-ever education mission to Indonesia in 2011, in partnership with the Putera Sampoerna Foundation.  Fifty-six U.S. higher education institutions participated in the mission, attracting thousands of prospective Indonesian students and their families.  The Fulbright Commission’s EducationUSA Fair brought an additional 45 universities to Indonesia to recruit students.  The two education fairs attracted more than 20,000 people.

• The U.S. Department of Commerce is developing partnerships to encourage more Indonesians to study in the United States.  Assistant Secretary of Commerce Suresh Kumar signed a memorandum with Putera Sampoerna Foundation’s ACCESS Education Beyond to promote cooperation between U.S. and Indonesian universities, and to connect U.S. higher education institutions with Indonesian students and education institutions. 

Basic Education

• USAID seeks to improve the quality of school management, governance, and teacher professional development within the Indonesian public school system.  By providing support in the areas of school budgeting and planning; creation of materials and tools to facilitate learning in reading, math and science; and dissemination of student-centered teaching methodologies, USAID will have an impact on the overall quality of secular and Islamic primary schools in selected provinces and districts.  The ultimate goal is to improve student performance and outcomes.  Activities are also underway to increase access to quality education for students with disabilities.

Library Partnerships and Collaboration

• The Library of Congress is developing the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS) with a consortium of universities, including Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, UC Berkeley, and UCLA, to further develop Indonesian studies and links between Indonesian and U.S. scholars.  The Library of Congress is also assisting the House Democracy Partnership with Indonesian parliament staff improvement.