Tuesday afternoon, on July 18th 2017, at the residence of HE Mr Joseph Donovan, the US Ambassador, in Jakarta, there was an unusual awesome scenery and environtment.

Around 34 young Indonesian students were so beautiful and handsome, wearing their lovely Indonesian traditional clothes. Those 34 bright Indonesian students are amongst the smartest generations of Indonesia. They receive the scholarship from the US Government.

Twenty five (25) of them are funded by USAID PRESTASI (Program to Extend Scholarship and Training to Achieve Sustainable Impacts), while nine (9) of them are funded by CIFOR. In total, 34 of young Indonesian students will go to the USA this year (2017) and take their Master and PhD programs in the fields of environment, health, economy, law enforcement, democracy and education in general.

HE Mr. Joseph Donovan, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia explained that the USG already provided the Indonesians, the scholarships since the year of 1950. Up to now, around 4000 scholarships have been provided to assist the Government of Indonesia, for improving the quality of human resources. Through the PRESTASI program, since 2010, around 300 scholarships have been dedicated to the young Indonesian generation.

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Nada Marsudi, in her capacity as the Head Bureau, Cooperation and Public Communication, the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology (MoRTHE) informed the audience that Indonesia and USA really made breakthrough programs in the last seven years of their bilateral cooperation in HESTI (2010 – now).

On 29 March 2010, Indonesia and USA signed the Science Technology Agreement and on 14 December 2016, the Individual Arrangement (IA) between Indonesia and USAID – under the Education Portfolio, was signed by Secretary General Prof Ainun Na’im and Director of Education, USAid, Mr. Peter Cronin. This IA covers three main projects/activities, namely

a. SHERA (Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliances)
b. PRESTASI II and III
c. PEER (Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research).

Moreover, the PRESTASI scholarships will also support the existing various scholarship programs owned by the Indonesian – MoRTHE (BUDI, PSDMU, RisetPro et all) , as well as LPDP scholarship program from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance.

Nada Marsudi also appreciated the US Government for supporting the STI development of Indonesia and ASEAN Countries, by launching the US ASEAN Science Awards for Woman and the US ASEAN ST Fellowship program in 2012, in which than in the last three years, the Indonesian MoRTHE has become the host for the US ASEAN ST fellowship program.

Both HE Ambassador Joseph Donovan and Nada congratulated the Indonesian scholars and are very proud of them. However, they also reminded them to return to Indonesia once their studies are completed. The new experiences and knowledges that the scholars will gain in USA, are hopefully would inspires them, the next golden generation of Indonesia, in creating innovative programs that could be implemented in Indonesia.

Attending the event of ‘USAID Scholara send-off Reception and Network, 1872017, were also Ms Erin McKee, Director of USAID Indonesia, Mr Randall Martin, PRESTASI Chief of Party, Jalu Cahyanto and his USAID colleagues.

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