NIU President Lisa Freeman will welcome a cabinet-level Indonesian delegation led by the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Prof. H. Mohamad Nasir, to NIU on Thursday, Sept. 19. Nasir, whose position is parallel to that of the U.S. Secretary of Education, will be accompanied by Secretary General Ainun Na’im, Director General Ali Ghufron Mukti, International Cooperation and Public Communication Affairs Head Nada Marsudi, in addition to members of the Republic of Indonesia Consulate General, Chicago, headed by Consul General Rosmalawati Chalid.
“The Consulate and NIU share a common objective of advancing better understanding towards the region of Southeast Asia and Indonesia through programs such as sister schools initiatives and curriculum infusion through the World History Advanced Placement course,” Chalid said, noting the 70-year anniversary of bilateral U.S.-Indonesian relations. “In the larger picture, these relations are an important building block for a strong relationship between Midwest USA and Indonesia. This high-level visit is an important impetus to reach this objective.”
Nasiri will meet with Freeman and other top-level administrators in the morning and will give a public talk, “Research, Technology and Higher Education in Indonesia,” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 315 Altgeld. Indonesian language students will also have the chance to practice their Bahasa during a brief meet-and-greet with Nasir prior to his talk.
“We are honored to host Dr. Nasir and his important delegation from the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education,” said Eric Jones, acting director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, which is coordinating the visit with the Chicago consulate. “NIU has a long and storied relationship with the country, its impressive students, and institutions of higher education. Indonesians graduating from NIU were instrumental in writing Indonesia’s new constitution, have been appointed as ministers and populate influential posts across Indonesia’s governmental, non-governmental and educational landscape.”
Jones noted that NIU looks forward to further connecting units across campus to sites across Indonesia, “not only in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but also in the colleges of Education, Business, Engineering and Visual and Performing Arts.” Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation and the largest country in Southeast Asia with a population of 261 million.