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Dr. Jopie Paruntu,
Rector, Sam Ratulangi University,
Manado, Indonesia


The development of the East-ASEAN region will be determined by the availability of natural and human resources, technology, finance and sound management. Besides these, it is also important to consider the role of socio-cultural aspects as supporting elements. All of these potential components of development will rely on the role of education (e.g. formal and non-formal education). Higher education as a subsystem of formal education will, in its mission, substantially prepare experts and professionals who are really needed to develop and transform all the available natural resources for the welfare of the people, especially in the East-ASEAN area. The constraints in the development of formal education that have to be studied could be found in the elementary and intermediate education which will not cover the entire region, especially remote regions and islands, so the input of higher education is still unequally distributed. In preparing and determining a common strategy in human resource development in the East-ASEAN area, it is necessary to conduct a common study among higher educational institutions in this region to create both symbiotic-mutualistic relationships and research activities as well, so that each institution will participate based on their strengths and capabilities. This conceptual paper will deal with some ideas on higher education in Indonesia, particularly in BIMP-EAGA, and propose conceptual development by considering future cooperation among higher education institutions on human resource development and research and development activities in the East-ASEAN area.


Higher education in Indonesia constitutes a formal institution that has the authority to conduct and develop higher education, teaching, research activities, and public services. These tasks have to be substantially accomplished to produce the desired results, which are highly-qualified human resources and competitive research. The outcomes have to benefit both the development and welfare of the nation. Based on recent progress in the field of technology, higher education is not location-specific any more. It now has the possibilities for distance learning activities via the Internet as well as further opportunities for cooperation and progress in sharing scientific and technological information. Each higher education institution has its own experts and research staff, research and educational infrastructures, and facilities. All of these assets should be well organized and targeted towards the achievement of common objectives, and of national development. The objectives of higher education and learning are to produce qualified experts and professionals who are capable of participating in regional development, and to train and prepare other potential people to become new experts and professionals. The research activities are directed toward producing information on scientific achievements, development concepts, and studies on science, technology, and arts. This should not be for the sake of science, technology, and arts only, but should also be for the benefits of regional development and the welfare of the people. Community services are directed toward the urgent needs of the community such as implementation of appropriate technology and other applicable activities which have been proposed by the community concerned or surveyed by investigators. Through these tasks, higher education has been and is still playing a substantial role in national development by securing human welfare, national stability, and world peace.


For Indonesia, the higher education institutions that will play a substantial role in the development of the East-ASEAN area include all state or public universities in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Irian Jaya (14 universities and institutes), and Mulawarman University and some private higher educational institutions in East Kalimantan province. The University of Hasanuddin located in South Sulawesi is the largest among these, with 12 faculties, two polytechnics, and one postgraduate programme.

Our university, Sam Ratulangi University, has nine faculties and schools, one polytechnic, and one postgraduate school. The faculties include medicine, engineering, agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and marine science, economics, law, social and political sciences, and letters. There are 34 study programmes which offer “Sarjana Strata 1” and diploma programmes. The polytechnic offers diploma degrees for five different study programmes. The postgraduate school offers a master degree in eight fields of study, and a school for specialists in medical science in six fields of specialization.

The Institute of Teacher Training, located in Tondano, the capital city of Minahasa Regency, recently began offering 22 study programmes in six faculties/schools. The School of Teacher Training in Gorontalo, located in Gorontalo City, offers nine undergraduate study programmes. Mulawarman University, located in Samarinda, the capital city of East Kalimantan Province, consists of six faculties and offers 22 undergraduate study programmes and one graduate programme for a masters’ degree in forestry, which is the major specialization of this university. It is worth mentioning here that Hasanuddin University, Sam Ratulangi University, Mulawarman University, the Institute of Teacher Training, and the School of Teacher Training have long been members of an association of universities known as the Eastern Indonesia State Universities Cooperative which has 14 state universities as members. These universities located in the Eastern part of Indonesia, are as follows:

1) Hasanuddin University Ujung Pandang
2) Sam Ratulangi University Manado
3) Mulawarman University Samarinda
4) Tadulako University Palu
5) Halu-Uleo University Kendari
6) Pattimura University Ambon
7) Cenderawasih University Jayapura
8) Palangkaraya University Palangkaraya
9) Lambung Mangkurat University Banjarmasin
10) Tanjangpura University Pontianak
11) Institute of Teacher Training Ujung Pandang
12) Institute of Teacher Training Tondano
13) School of Teacher Training Gorontalo
14) Islamic Institute of Higher Learning Ujung Pandang

This association of state universities, established in 1983, has its central office in Ujung Pandang (South Sulawesi). Its members meet annually and a lot of collaborative activities have been carried out, benefiting all the members.


The role of higher education in the BIMP-EAGA cooperation scheme is very important and demanding because human resource development is a necessity and should be worked out efficiently by all higher education institutions. It is important to note that each university in the East-ASEAN area offers its own unique advantages, and specific fields of study and strengths, which are open for collaborative activities. It is expected that the scheme of cooperation among higher education institutions should be based on symbiotic-mutualistic principles where the sharing of science and technology, expertise, skills, and research results is the strategic component supporting the development of the East-ASEAN area. We would like to propose the following cooperative activity plan:

A)  Cooperation in the field of education and teaching through:
1)  teacher and student exchange programmes
2) graduate (MS, PhD) studies
3) post-graduate activities
4) field schools
5) curriculum development
6) teaching methodologies
7) university management
8) distance learning/teleconference
9) library network
10) laboratory development
11) language learning programmes
12) apprenticeship programmes
13) training seminars, symposia, and workshops
14) education information exchange

B)  Cooperation in the field of research and development (R&D) through:
1)  research management
2) exchange of information and communication of research results
3) improving research capabilities
4) publication and dissemination of research results

C) Cooperation in the field of public services through:
1)  public service in the East-ASEAN area
2) training and updating field workers
3) community-oriented activities


Constraints in the implementation of these cooperation schemes have to be anticipated. These constraints may include different educational systems, language barriers, contrasting vision and mission, and socio-cultural disparities.

It is important to discuss these constraints and to deliberately work out the same perception in advance before the common programmes, so that this cooperation plan will strengthen and benefit all participants and encourage and support the development of the East-ASEAN area.


Higher education in Indonesia, as a national asset based upon the three-pronged mission of education, research, and public service, is thoroughly involved in national development and working for the advancement of science and technology. Regarding the role of higher education in human resource development, particularly in BIMP-EAGA, it is important to consider that collaborative efforts among higher education institutions should be based on mutual benefits and interests. This may be attained through promotion of activities that will benefit the institutions concerned and the region as a whole.


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