Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994


The U.S.-Indonesia Joint Council on Higher Education Partnership remains the only non-governmental organization recognized by the Presidents of both the United States and Indonesia in their Joint Declaration of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership

Report on the Joint Council (2017)

The Council’s extensive network has continued to be beneficial to many Indonesian and American counterparts in the education sector.  USINDO has continued to facilitate a variety of partnerships and meetings through this network. Recent activities include:


Facilitating meetings between University of Maryland and the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Public Information.

USINDO helped to facilitate a meeting between the University of Maryland and the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Public Information regarding a possible collaboration in developing the organizational design of Indonesia’s new Cyber and National Encryption Agency (BSSN) – the organization charged with securing cyber infrastructures deemed critical to economic development and national security. This meeting was held in July 2017 as part of the visit to Indonesia of Dean of the University of Maryland Public Policy School, Robert Orr.


Facilitating meetings between University of Colorado Boulder and the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

 USINDO is helping to facilitate a meeting between University of Colorado Boulder and representatives from the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). The delegation will be visiting Indonesia in February 2018 to attend a series of EducationUSA sponsored higher education fairs, and are interested in meeting with representatives of the LPDP scholarship program to explore more opportunities to encourage qualified Indonesians to study at Colorado, an LPDP-approved university.

Report on the Joint Council (2010 - 2016)

The presidents of the United States and Indonesia are pleased to welcome the formation of the U.S. – Indonesia Council for Higher Education Partnership, which seeks to harness the energies of the non-governmental, public, and private sectors in both countries in support of expanding bilateral programs in higher education including to help build Indonesia’s capacity to provide world-class university education and to double within five years the number of American and Indonesian students who study in each other’s country.”

Joint Declaration of the Comprehensive Partnership, Article 7

White House Press Release, November 2010

Five Years of Connecting American and Indonesian Students and Universities

The two presidents set out a five-year timeframe for enhancing U.S.-Indonesian higher education collaboration and within these five years, the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Council on Higher Education Partnership (“Joint Council”):

  • Sent over 1,000 Indonesian and American students to each other’s respective countries for study.
  • Leveraged over $34 million in scholarships and grants to support student exchange.
  • Established 11 university partnerships between American and Indonesian universities and institutions.
  • More than doubled the number of Indonesian Government scholarship recipients (LPDP scholars) studying in the United States annually through the creation of the Indonesian Graduate Student Scholarship Fund.


Increasing Bi-lateral Student Exchange

For the fifth consecutive year, the number of Indonesians studying in the United States has increased.  Up 25% from five years ago, 8,727 Indonesians enrolled at U.S. universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the academic year 2015-16.  This is the highest number of Indonesian students in the United States in over a decade.

When the Joint Council was established, enrollment of Indonesian students at American universities was trending down while the number of Americans studying in Indonesia was flat.  Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Joint Council, American and Indonesian universities, and support from the public and private sectors, we have helped to reverse the downward trend and reach a new high in the number Americans studying in Indonesia.

This past year saw the highest number on record of Americans choosing to study in Indonesia.  Up approximately 100-fold from a decade ago, 534 Americans studied abroad in Indonesia.

All numbers are from the 2016 Open Doors Report funded by the U.S. Department of State and published by the Institute of International Education.


Separate from the collaborative efforts mentioned above, the Joint Council has helped establish student pipelines between American and Indonesian universities to increase student exchange.  Since 2011, the Joint Council, with great support and effort from universities in both countries, has helped over 1,000 Americans and Indonesians study in each other’s respective countries through its university partnerships.  In the years to come, we anticipate that these pipelines will continue to strengthen our higher educational ties and provide opportunities for future student mobility.


Increasing Institutional Partnerships

The Joint Council, working with universities in both countries, has helped establish the following eleven partnerships primarily in the science and technology fields.  These partnerships have led to greater faculty research collaboration, increased study abroad opportunities, and serve as pipelines for student mobility.

  • Northern Arizona University & University of Mataram: Forestry management
  • Rutgers University & Banda Islands’ Hatta-Syahrir College of Fisheries: Marine science and cultural preservation
  • Rutgers University & Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB): Chemical engineering
  • Texas A&M University & Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB): Chemical engineering
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) & Indonesian Education Endowment Fund: Increase the number of Indonesian graduate students at UCLA
  • University of Hawaii Manoa & Universitas Islam Indonesia: Urban and regional planning
  • University of Illinois & Indonesian Education Endowment Fund: Increase the number of Indonesian graduate students at Illinois
  • University of Maryland & Bappenas: Public policy and staff training
  • University of Maryland & Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB): Chemical engineering
  • University of Missouri & Indonesian Press Association: Investigative journalism
  • University of Missouri & Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB): Plant/crop sciences and Agroforestry


Resolving Constraints to Choosing the U.S. for Study:

In 2012, the Indonesian Government established a $1.4 billion scholarship fund to send Indonesians abroad for graduate study.  This fund, known as the Indonesian Education Endowment Fund (LPDP), has sent thousands of Indonesians abroad for graduate study but very few have matriculated at American universities.  The vast majority has chosen to study in Australia, Japan, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

In response to such low enrollment numbers at American universities, the Joint Council established focus groups with Indonesian students and learned that the cost of taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) was a major constraint that prevented funded scholars from even applying to US universities.

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Joint Council established the Indonesian Graduate Application Support Fund (“The Fund”) to provide free GRE and GMAT test vouchers, and free GRE test preparation courses, to LPDP scholars interested in studying in the United States.  To date the Joint Council has distributed over 300 GRE and GMAT test vouchers to LPDP Scholars applying to US universities and provided two 8-week GRE test preparation course to 24 LPDP scholars.  Two-thirds of those students who received test vouchers and one-third of those enrolled in test preparation courses matriculated at U.S. universities.

The Fund has been extremely successful and more than doubled the number of LPDP scholars studying in the United States.

Contributions to the Fund came from the following nine U.S. universities in addition to support from the Indonesia-based Ancora Foundation:


  • Harvard University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Washington