This year in February 2022, West Papua has gained another splendid achievement and recognition. For the first time in the history of this province – and Indonesia too – West Papua is going to have its own international university.
The government has issued the project’s permit and is also supported by the churches in the regions.
The university’s name is UIP, or Universitas Internasional Papua (The International University of Papua). UIP will be the very first international-based university in West Papua. The Education Maga Foundation is currently working on building the university. The soft launch had been held in February in Jayapura, right after the permit was approved.
It is already common knowledge that West Papua has been working hard to reduce the poverty issues in their regions. Being the regions in Indonesia still in a developing process, these two regions still have numerous issues regarding access to basic needs, like health, education, jobs, and education.
Samuel Tabuni, the Papuan Education Maga Foundation chairman, believed that the university could provide young Papuans with more insight into the world. That way, they may be able to compete at both levels, the national and international alike.
UIP hopes to recruit 500 students for starters with 24 lecturers to teach them in their first couple of faculties. The first one is science, and the second is technology. UIP will also have its teacher training centre and educational science centre.
UIP is currently being built on a property of around 30 hectares. The location is in Telaga Ria Hill, Jayapura District, in 2022. The university will also have colleges, a building for the college, lecture theatres, students’ facilities, an auditorium, and a church.
According to a spokesman from the presidential team, they are hoping that UIP will raise the standard of educational quality for people in the eastern part of Indonesia. Abetnego Tarigan, the deputy chairman of the Presidential Staff Office, even stated: “It will hopefully result in a workforce that will answer new challenges in the job market”.
Abetnego Tarigan is not the only one with high hopes for this international university. Father Alberto John Bunay, the Papuan Indigenous Forum chairman, also hopes that the university will help empower Papuan and West Papuan youngsters. He mentioned it to the UCA News on February 18, 2022:
“Young Papuans need to compete with other Indonesian regions. The government should support it.”
Last but not least, Petrus Canisius Mandagi, the Archbishop from The Sacred Heart in Merauke, Papua, also gave a warm welcome to UIP. According to him, the university should be the pride source for every Papuan. The opportunity should not be forsaken to provide for the future.
Other Facts about UIP
There are other facts about UIP that you are bound to find out:
– Their local and foreign lecturers.
To meet the international criterion while at the same time sticking to local values, UIP will hire a battalion of local and foreign lecturers to teach their students. These lecturers will be hired based on their educational backgrounds to meet UIP’s needs as a progressive accelerant in the land of Papua.
– The university’s partnerships with other foreign universities globally.
UIP will also make sure to adjust to the international qualifications for higher learning through its partnerships with other foreign universities worldwide.
Due to this Covid-19 pandemic era, UIP will also have online classes. It will reduce the cost of studying overseas. Indeed, students may not experience the opportunity to travel to another country for that, but at least they can still access courses from foreign universities without actually going there.
Hopefully, UIP will be the next big thing to support West Papuan education.