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President meets 16 representatives of private, state universities

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo met 16 representatives of state and private universities across Indonesia at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday.

"This meeting is aimed at fulfilling the national commitment to realize the unity of the Republic of Indonesia, implement Pancasila as the nations ideology and the 1945 Constitution as the basis of the state, and apply the motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or unity in diversity, from Aceh to the Merauke region," Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education M. Nasir stated after accompanying President Widodo to meet representatives of private and state universities.

Nasir said that some two thousand rectors throughout Indonesia will be involved in the plan to fulfill the national commitment by the end of September.

"The presidents message is that this plan should be implemented and followed up. The president will give time to prepare for the implementation of the plan. It will be around the end of September," he noted.

Nasir expects more than two thousand rectors to be invited, as Indonesia has 4,529 private and state universities, under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education.

"About 800 universities are under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the rest are under the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education," he stated.

He said the plan to fulfill the national commitment will be incorporated in all learning and character building processes and also for combating radicalism.

"How can the campuses be protected from the influence of radicalism. We must protect all universities from the dangers of radicalism. Do not allow college students to remain idle, as they could be brainwashed by radicals. The hearts and minds of students must be filled with nationalistic values," he emphasized.

He pointed out that the government had a role in facilitating and encouraging all universities to unite.

"We are working with the National Agency for Counterterrorism and the National Intelligence Agency to monitor all universities in Indonesia. We aim to safeguard Indonesia by building a stronghold and harboring a national insight," he added.

Read more: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/112397/president-meets-16-representatives-of-private-state-universities