Indonesia Open University

At a Glance

  • Links the administration of 38 regional offices
  • Increases the frequency of meetings, facilitating planning and enrollment
  • Cuts costs and travel time for faculty and staff
  • Offers courses to students and the public in disparate locations

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Indonesia Open University can cross 6,000 islands to reach a potential 600,000 students

With close to a quarter billion people populating 6,000 islands scattered on both sides of the Equator, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country on the planet. Educating its populace through the 38 campuses of Indonesia Open University (Universitas Terbuka) is an enormous challenge.

The university, with its main campus in Jakarta, is a state school applying a distance and open learning system, reaching 600,000 Indonesian students across multiple locations, including those in remote areas of the country and overseas. The university works in conjunction with other state universities, private institutions, and government agencies to conduct education programs. Executive staff and administrators previously relied on quarterly meetings, email, and the postal system to communicate. This resulted in considerable time and cost spent traveling long distances.

Streamlined administration means better student outreach

To defy the distance between campuses, the university selected Polycom meeting room and voice solutions. Installed at all 38 far-flung campuses, they have helped expedite and improve internal communications, and enabled immediate team meetings when required.

"Administration is an enormous responsibility," says Professor lr. Tian Belawati, Rector of Universitas Terbuka. "Implementing video collaboration has eased the pressure on our staff in solving issues and adhering to deadlines. Simply having the ability to meet face-to-face is changing how we communicate with our colleagues in other regions of Indonesia."

The university has also extended the benefits of video collaboration to students and the general public by allowing them to join seminars, workshops, and public lectures. A professor of mathematics based in Bandung (140 km southeast of Jakarta) held a 'Public Study of Mathematics' session for participants at all campuses nationwide. "The feedback has been extremely positive," said Professor Belawati. "Students can ask questions in real-time and it doesn’t matter where they are located." These solutions also allow the university staff to record lectures for viewing at a later date and to post to its website.

Professor Belawati says that Universitas Terbuka will look to further utilize video collaboration for simultaneous lectures and tutorials across campuses. "We see every day how video has brought efficiency for our management and administration teams. In the future, we will look to enrich our curriculums with video technology."

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