Prof. Sunaryo Kartadinata Rector (Indonesian University of Education)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 (15:55) | 794 views | Print this Article

Sunaryo Kartadinata is the Rector of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), the Indonesian University of Education, since 2005. He was born in KAWALI, Ciamis, West Java and he is married and with three children. He has been a Guide and a Counselor for IKIP in Bandung. In addition to being the Rector of UPI, Sunaryo is the Chairman of PB ABKIN and Chief Executive ALPTKI (Association of Workforce Education Institute Indonesia).

‘’The moral values of our leaders influence their policies, regulations and of course their practices in education; we need to emphasize on education, not only, in terms of teaching all students to have skills and accumulating knowledge, but also in terms of meaning. That’s the essential point of education.’’

The Indonesian University of Education (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia-UPI) was incepted by the will of the government in order to fill the needs of the country. Could you please tell us more about the story and the major milestones of UPI?

UPI was formerly an institute for teacher education and educational sciences named IKIP Bandung. Between 1999 and 2000, it was transformed into a university and took the name Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia; Indonesian University of Education. “Education” is not only a name but it is the identity of our university because we believe that education is our main flagship, reason and responsibility and we do not move from education to another area. We have two university levels of pedagogic programs, Master’s and Doctoral degree since in 1970s. We have non pedagogy programs as well but always under the umbrella of education. That is the basic philosophy of our university and this is why we do not name it “State University of Bandung” but “Indonesian University of Education”. Since 2004 we are the only one of 10 IKIP (education universities) in Indonesia which were transformed into an autonomous university as University of Indonesia, ITB, IPB, Gadjah Mada University, Airlangga and USU. It is a great opportunity for UPI to develop its programs and improve the education in Indonesia in terms of teacher education and moral responsibility.

There are other universities specialized in training teachers. What are the main strength and competitive advantages of UPI compared to the others?

Similar to the other universities we specialize in education and teachers training. UPI has the unique advantage, at the moment, to be an autonomous institution which allows us to push ourselves to improve our quality, to produce more expertise in our field and to be able to compete at a global level. The best education is how this expertise is accompanied with values so we are ready to improve ourselves and to become the nation’s conscience and responsible for futures generation’s education. We have a great young generation and we have to educate them to become good citizens of Indonesia, responsible for the development of the nation, but also competitive at a global level.

Talking about global competitiveness, can you please elaborate on your international partnerships?

We have international partnership in any kinds of programs, with Australian and the US of course. For example last week we sent academic staff to attend a meeting in Bangkok for implementation of Credit Transfer Program for Asian students. We also have collaboration with Japanese universities; one of them is Tsukuba University since 2002. I was among the Indonesian delegation which incepted the center for research for international cooperation in Tsukuba, so the head quarter is in Tsukuba, but the representative part of the center is in UPI covering especially Asian countries. We have also an Australian study center collaborating with Monash University and the National Center for Australian study in Australia. They collaborate on cultural perspectives between Indonesian’s and Australian’s art and culture, especially Aboriginal studies. We also have a partnership with Bremen University in order to improve and prepare the quality of Indonesian academic staff under the umbrella of Asia links between Indonesia, Malaysia and Germany. Next December we will have new centers; Center for studies and TVET development – Technical and Vocational Education and Training. A professor from Bremen University will come here to implement any interest on the program which implements to open our university to a global and international perspective.

During the visit of US State Secretary Mrs. Hillary Clinton, she emphasized on the need of more cooperation in higher education and exchange programs between Indonesia and the US. What is your opinion and how will UPI benefit from better relations with the US?

We are open to any possibilities for collaborations. We have a program implemented and produced by USAID. We need to learn from Europe, Japan, the US and Australia. Of course our programs have to be rooted in our culture so we need to adjust and reorganize those but we learn from the international market. We have to be open. We are now doing research about ethno pedagogy which is pedagogy developed from our culture. We try to find how we can educate our prospective teachers loaded with Indonesian culture because we think of how children learn not be isolated from their culture. Teachers of UPI have to be aware and concerned about our culture itself.

This week the Minister of Education is going to be appointed by SBY, if you were chosen by SBY to be the minister what would be your first step?

I am very concerned by issues on moral values. They have to accompany expertise and lead generations of educated people. We have to insist, to reinforce and to make clear that it is the philosophical basis of our national education. As the moral values of our leaders influence their policies, regulations and of course their practices in education; we need to emphasize education not only in terms of teaching all students to have skills and accumulating knowledge but also in terms of meaning. That is the essential point of education. Indonesian people must have what we call cultural intelligence and awareness which are the basic foundations to establish good democratic country. They must be aware that education, not only economy, is the axis of Indonesian development. Consequently, education cannot be approached only from a political, economical and legal point of view but it has to be approached from a humanistic perspective.

UPI’s mission is to be a leading and outstanding university and you have the ambition to be ranked among Asia’s leading universities in 2025. Can you please tell us more about your strategy to achieve that?

We have to strengthen our education first and we have to answer that basic question: how can educational sciences become recognized as a science? Education has a philosophy and a scientific method of approach. We need to have an influential teacher education model.

What is your personal message for the readers of NYDN and to the visitor of our website about UPI and Indonesia?

I am Sunaryo Kartadinata, rector of the Indonesian University of Education, located in Bandung. Our university is responsible for providing teacher education in Indonesia. I would like to invite people from around the world to come to our campus. Bandung is a good city, our campus is very attractive, we have good facilities, cheap tuition fees and all kind of Indonesian traditional culture. Please come to our University because Bandung is a good place to learn for people all around the world.

Catatan :
Prof. Sunaryo Kartadinata merupakan Ketua Umum ISPI Pusat 2009-2014

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