Jakarta. The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, which is responsible for administering civilian foreign aid, is sending 47 Indonesian professionals to the United States under its scholarship scheme.
US Chargé d'Affairs Brian McFeeters hosted a reception for the professionals, who received scholarships from the Program to Extend Scholarships and Training to Achieve Sustainable Impacts (Prestasi) and the Governing Oil Palm Landscapes for Sustainability (GOLS) program.
GOLS is a joint initiative between Usaid and the Center for International Forestry Research (Cifor).
"These scholarships are an opportunity to advance young professionals' skills and educational goals, but more importantly, to improve their knowledge and experience that will help them make significant contributions to the future of Indonesia," McFeeters said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday (17/08).
At the same event, the chargé d'affairs also welcomed seven Indonesian USAID scholars who recently returned to the country upon completion of their master's and doctoral degrees in the United States.
"Studying in the US gives a lot of advantages — excellent lecturers, libraries and policies that we can learn from," said Hasbullah Thabaranay, a professor in public health at the University of Indonesia.
Hasbullah, who earned his master's and doctoral degrees in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the architects of Indonesia's National Health Insurance (JKN) plan.
Prestasi and GOLS are two among many US government programs designed to enhance bilateral cooperation. The goal is to improve the knowledge and skills of Indonesian professionals in addressing development challenges and promoting sustainable development.
Since 1950, around 3,900 Indonesians have obtained US scholarships to earn their degrees at American universities. Tens of thousands more have been trained in the US in non-degree programs.