In 1980, the University of Kentucky was invited by the Government of Indonesia and USAID to participate in the design and eventually the implementation of a program to assist ten (later enlarged to eleven) public institutions of higher education in Western Indonesia in improving their programs in agriculture and rural development. The project (Western Universities Agricultural Education Project) provided for upgrading of teaching, research, and public service programs. It also provided assistance in administration and management and in the implementation of the credit-hour system as mandated by the Directorate General of Higher Education. While primary emphasis was on agriculture, the project also encompassed the basic sciences, English language programs, libraries, and other university functions essential to a successful agricultural program.

Under a $22,000,000 technical assistance and training contract first awarded on June 1, 1981, the University of Kentucky provided 120 person years of long-term staffing in Indonesia, plus 55 short-term professionals to this project. These personnel helped teach 45 intensive short courses, helped select and prepare Indonesian faculty members for study abroad, helped develop curricula and instruction materials, assisted in Indonesian faculty and student research, as well as assisting in a wide variety of other technical and managerial tasks ranging from the development of language laboratories to the equipping of science labs. In this same period, 194 Indonesian faculty members received intensive preparation in English and were sent abroad for graduate work. When all faculty members have completed their graduate work, 173 completed M.S. degrees; and 50 completed Ph.D. degrees from institutions outside of Indonesia. A somewhat larger number received advanced degrees from Indonesian institutions. Under this project, the Rectors and Academic Vice Rectors and Deans of Agriculture from each of the eleven BKS-B Indonesian institutions have participated in a month-long academic administration short course held on the campus of the University of Kentucky to expand their horizons in university administration and management. Forty five short courses on a wide variety of subject matter were conducted in Indonesia for 1100 Indonesian faculty and staff using joint American-Indonesian teaching teams.

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