Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the 4th Anniversary of American Corner at University of Tanjungpura, West Kalimantan
Rector Thamrin Usman, Governor Cornelis, vice rectors, faculty, government leaders, students, and friends.
I am delighted to join you today to open the “Kampung America-Indonesia” event in order to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the American Corner at UNTAN.
This event is part of our most important objective, which is to further improve the people to people ties between the United States and Indonesia.
Today the young people and the general public in Pontianak will be able to learn about:
- U.S. higher education opportunities,
- build awareness about one of our most important mutual priorities, that of protecting our environment, and
- participate in a series of music, dance and drawing competitions.
- The final event will be a “Go Green Fashion show.
First, a little about the American Corner here. We have 10 American Corners in Indonesia, and our Corner at UNTAN is one of the most vibrant.
It has hosted nearly 3,000 programs since its opening on February 16, 2012. It has been an excellent partner in strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and Indonesia in five core areas:
- cultural programs such as this event today,
- the sharing of general information about America,
- opportunities for studying in the United States.
- English language learning: As you know, we have an English Language Fellow at UNTAN as well as two Fulbright English Teaching Assistants in Pontianak schools – SMK 5 and SMA St. Petrus.
- And U.S. alumni engagement: I had lunch earlier today here in Pontianak with a few folks that we have sent to the U.S. on programs ranging from a few weeks executive training for civil servants and members of civil society to a Fulbright scholar who earned a masters degree in the United States and is now a lecturer at another of Pontianak’s fine universities.
Let me talk a little about graduate studies in the United States. West Kalimantan in general and UNTAN in particular, are preparing youth for a future in a more globalized world and we want you to build on this foundation by considering the United States for your graduate studies.
The U.S. offers a variety of what are widely considered some of the world’s finest Masters and PhD programs.
One measure of that is that the U.S. spends more than any other country in the world on academic research — $23 billion per year. In fact UNTAN’s Professor Gusti Anshari received a U.S. PEER Research Grant in 2014, although it was for considerably less than $23 billion!
American higher education institutions are known for the quality of their faculty and facilities. That’s why many of the Nobel prizes in science each year are won by American and foreign researchers working in US university labs.
A U.S. degree is the worldwide standard for excellence and you can feel confident that pursuing an advanced degree from one of the 1,700 graduate degree-granting U.S. institutions will help you achieve your career goals.
At this Corner, you will have access to resources that can help you begin your journey to study in America. You will find guides to help you research the right university and academic program for you, in addition to test preparation materials and a vast network of online tools.
We hope that the Corner here will continue to benefit West Kalimantan’s people through its valuable resources and engaging programs that will foster goodwill and continued dialogue between our people. Thank you for joining us in today’s anniversary celebrations!