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Cablegate: East Java: Education Cooperation a Priority for Local

VZCZCXRO3512
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0081/01 1920821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100821Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0248
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0234
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0129
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0129
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0253

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SURABAYA 000081

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/PD, EAP/RSP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL KPAO PREL ECON EAID ID
SUBJECT: EAST JAVA: EDUCATION COOPERATION A PRIORITY FOR LOCAL
OFFICIALS, ACADEMICS, AND BUSINESS LEADERS

SURABAYA 00000081 001.2 OF 002


This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: During a July 4 visit to Surabaya, Ambassador
Hume discussed the prospects for enhanced education cooperation
between the U.S. and Indonesia with local officials, academics,
and business leaders. All stressed the importance of
establishing necessary infrastructure and institutions to take
full advantage of educational exchanges and highlighted the need
for practical skills that reflect economic development
realities. Business leaders pointed to a need for vocational
training aimed at local conditions. The Surabaya-Seattle Sister
Cities representatives identified educational exchanges as one
of three priorities for future cooperation. The Ambassador
offered to support local efforts to develop public-private
partnerships for education and cultural exchanges and noted the
interest of Seattle-based businesses and organizations in
increased cooperation with Indonesia. End Summary.

Educational Exchanges
---------------------------

2. (SBU) In a roundtable discussion with Ambassador Hume,
Surabaya businessmen and academics highlighted the importance of
domestic reform and increased cooperation with U.S. institutions
to strengthen Indonesia's educational system. With only 7,000
PhDs, Indonesia is at a disadvantage when competing for
high-value investment or taking advantage of available exchange
programs. As an example, Ambassador Hume noted that the
Ministry of Health had only nominated three qualified people for
20 training slots in the United States. Kacung Marijan, a
professor of political science at Airlangga University, noted
that while the constitution mandated 20 percent of the national
budget be spent on education, it wasn't simply a question of
throwing government money at the problem. Priority should be
placed on strengthening educational institutions and
infrastructure to ensure that schools and universities were
better prepared to take advantage of exchanges of people and
ideas.

Private-Public Sector Paradigm
--------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Ambassador Hume stressed that both Indonesia and the
United States must benefit from institutional exchanges. If
not, projects will die on the vine. He highlighted the
importance of a private-public sector paradigm by which the
government plays a facilitating and coordinating role that
allows many types of interaction, exchanges, cooperation to take
place smoothly and effectively. For example, Stanford sends
roughly 15 students a year to study in Indonesia, a program it
runs without USG or Indonesian Government involvement. Wibisono
Hardjopranoto, Rector of Surabaya University, agreed, noting
that three Yale University students were currently in Surabaya
studying the economic impact of the Sidoarjo mudflow. They had
contacted Surabaya University directly through the internet.

4. (SBU) Kresnayana Yahya, Director of Enciety Consultants,
stressed that education exchanges could be improved by focusing
on projects that have a real impact on society and the lives of
students. He suggested that the local Brantas river management
project would benefit from examining the Tennessee Valley
Authority and how it manages water supply issues across state
borders. Frank Pandji, Director of PT Mepoly Industry Corp.,
stressed that vocational education had to target economic
realities in a given area. It made no sense, he argued, to
provide vocational training that did not match local industries
or employment needs.

Seattle-Surabaya Sister City Association
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. (SBU) In a separate meeting with Ambassador Hume, the Vice
President of the Seattle-Surabaya Sister City Association
(SSSCA) said Surabaya city government officials had identified
educational exchanges as one on three priority areas for
cooperation. The other two priorities are urban transportation
planning and training of health care professionals and health
care institution building. The University of Washington has an
excellent teaching hospital that could partner with its Surabaya
counterparts. The Ambassador offered to write a targeted letter
of support for the SSSCA's efforts highlighting the lifting of
the travel warning and encouraging public-private partnerships.
There are a number of large, Washington state-based corporations
with current of potential equities in Indonesia including

SURABAYA 00000081 002.2 OF 002


Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft. (Note: Los Angeles and Jakarta
have a sister-city relationship, which we are looking to expand.
According to the Indonesian Consul in San Francisco, California
and Yogyakarta have a sister-province/state relationship, which
Indonesia is hoping to rejuvenate.)
MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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