Jakarta – AMINEF, the Fulbright Commission in Indonesia, and PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) have agreed to continue to provide scholarships for candidates from the provinces of Papua to study for two semesters at community colleges in the United States. Freeport Indonesia is providing two million U.S. dollars for the period 2023-2028 to fund about 10 Papuan participants per year in the U.S. State Department’s Community College Initiative (CCI) program. The program is managed by a consortium of American community colleges centered at Northern Virginia Community College.
CCI participants are recruited from historically underrepresented and underserved communities. In Indonesia, AMINEF aims to recruit applicants beyond major cities on Java and from communities with limited opportunities to study abroad. About 30 Indonesians participate every year, and this special collaboration with PTFI allows a strong representation from the six provinces of Papua.
The pledged grant to the Community College Initiative (CCI) program became official with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 12 May 2023 at @america, Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta. AMINEF Executive Director Alan Feinstein and PT Freeport Indonesia President Director Tony Wenas signed the document, witnessed by Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Jakarta Michael F. Kleine, and Governor of the Province of Central Papua Ribka Haluk, who both gave remarks. The signing ceremony also showcased three alumni from Papua who talked about their experiences.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with AMINEF to provide opportunities for Papuan students to study in the United States. This scholarship program demonstrates our commitment to education and helping to build a brighter future for the people of Papua,” said PT Freeport Indonesia President Director Tony Wenas.
The MoU continues an ongoing collaboration between Freeport Indonesia and AMINEF that began in 1998. The new AMINEF-Freeport Indonesia collaboration welcomes any citizen of the six Papua provinces who meet the merit-based selection criteria to apply for two semesters of study at an American community college. Through the U.S. State Department-funded CCI program, Papuan students, like their counterparts from other parts of Indonesia, can study various fields, such as agriculture, applied engineering, business management, early childhood education, information technology, media, and tourism and hospitality management.
The American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF) is the Fulbright Commission managing the Fulbright program and other educational exchange programs funded by the U.S. and Indonesian governments in Indonesia. It has collaborated with Freeport Indonesia since 1998 on providing opportunities for applicants from Papua for Fulbright and other Department of State grants. With more than $4 million given to date, PTFI is the largest private corporate sponsor of the Fulbright program and other programs run by AMINEF in Indonesia. To date, 99 students from Papua and eastern Indonesia have received scholarships to study in the U.S. through the AMINEF-Freeport Indonesia partnership: 26 studied for MA degrees with a Fulbright Visiting Student grant, and 73 students have taken part in the CCI program.
For more information about AMINEF’s programs, see www.aminef.or.id.
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