Respecting the Hindu population residing in Indonesia, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently gave a nod set up the country’s first Hindu state university.
According to the presidential regulation, the Hindu Dharma State Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Bali will be turned into a new university, called I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa State Hindu University (UHN), The Jakarta Post reported.
The report added that the regulation was enacted last week and following which all present IHDN students have been converted to UHN students, and all the institute’s assets and employees are being transferred to the university.
The presidential regulation specifies that the UHN would “administer Hindu higher education programmes” as well as other higher education programmes, which support Hindu higher education programmes.
IHDN rector I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana recently said in a statement on the institute’s official website that the change in status was declared through a ‘Perpres’ (presidential regulation) and just the “handover” from the central government is awaited.
He wrote that he was “happy and thankful”.
The institute was set up in 1993 as a state academy for Hindu religion teachers, before being converted into Hindu Religion State College six years later. It was then turned into Hindu Dharma State Institute or IHDN in 2004.
Sudiana added that the order went on to show that President Jokowi gave “special attention” to Hindu educational institutions in Bali in a bid to improve the quality of their “human capital”.