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Government Clarifies News of Stanford University’s Plans in Indonesia’s Nusantara Capital City

Government Clarifies News of Stanford University's Plans in Indonesia's Nusantara Capital City
Government Clarifies News of Stanford University's Plans in Indonesia's Nusantara Capital City. Image Source: Britannica

The head of the Nusantara Capital City (IKN) Authority, Bambang Susantono, explained the news regarding Stanford University building a branch campus at IKN.

Susantono clarified that Stanford University will not build a campus at IKN. Instead, the university is currently focusing on building a research centre. He explained that the research centre served as an early step leading up to possibly establishing a campus by Stanford University, which could begin construction in approximately the next 2-3 years.

“This research centre is the initial form of a campus which perhaps [will be built] after 2-3 years. It will [later] be developed further after taking into account the existing conditions. If you want to open a campus, it must have a curriculum, students, and equipment. Those must be prepared, including laboratories and all kinds [of facilities],” Susantono told the press during Indonesia’s House of Representative Commission II Hearing Meeting in Jakarta on Monday, 18th of March 2024.

Furthermore, the research centre will accommodate researchers hailing from not only Stanford University but also Universiteit Leiden, Delft University of Technology, and universities in Finland and Australia. Additionally, Susantono explained that any possible construction of a campus would first be looked at from its feasibility perspective, including calculations of how many people will relocate to IKN and the potential of the surrounding area.

“We will see the feasibility [of building Stanford University in IKN]. We will not only look at IKN Nusantara but also Balikpapan, Samarinda, and even Sulawesi; the possibility of people wanting to have a university in IKN,” Susantono added.

Stanford University and the IKN Authority have previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a research centre in 2023. This research centre is set to be opened by the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, which is under the auspices of Stanford University.

Mara K. Vandlik, speaking on behalf of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, clarified that the campus only agreed to explore opportunities for collaboration in research and education projects relating to sustainability goals. Building a stand-alone university or a branch campus in IKN has yet to be agreed upon or discussed between the two parties.

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability does not intend to build any physical institution [in IKN],” Vandlik confirmed to the press as well.

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