MANILA, PHILIPPINES (21 September 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $79.48 million loan to improve education and research at two Indonesian public universities to boost the country’s innovation capacity and global competitiveness amid the fourth industrial revolution.
The Higher Education for Technology and Innovation Project will build an academic building and four innovation centers at the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) in Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia, focusing on graphic design and other creative industries, maritime technology, electric vehicles, and advanced information and communication technology and robotics.
The project will also fund a new teaching hospital at the Universitas Lampung (UNILA) in Lampung Province and strengthen medical education amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The hospital will specialize in tropical infectious diseases, metabolic disorders, geriatrics, and rehabilitative medicine. It will also construct a research center with five laboratories and multidisciplinary research programs on health and life sciences.
“Higher education and research are two key drivers of technology development and innovation,” said ADB Principal Education Specialist Lynnette Perez. “The project will improve the teaching and learning quality at two major public universities in Indonesia, provide new research facilities and grants to support the commercialization of new products, and foster collaboration between universities and industry.”
The Government of Indonesia has recognized the importance of improving the quality of higher education and research, as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on student access to high-quality learning and research.
ITS ranks among Indonesia’s top 10 universities and specializes in science, technology, engineering, and arts. Its location facilitates access for students and industry in eastern Indonesia to high-quality education and research, thus contributing to the government’s objective of achieving regional equity.
The project support for UNILA, which already has a medical education study program, will help enhance health care services in Sumatra and expand access to high-quality medical education, services, and research addressing regional health problems.
The project is in line with Indonesia’s National Medium-Term Development Plan, 2020–2024, which prioritizes strengthening higher education to support technological change, innovation, and entrepreneurship for human capital development. It is also in line with ADB’s 2020–2024 country partnership strategy for Indonesia, which aims to strengthen the country’s health care system and bolster education quality.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.