News from the Minaesa University

Graduation ceremony at Minaesa University
Graduation ceremony at Minaesa University. Here is about half of the 155 students that graduated from ITM University on Friday, October 27th, 2017. The ceremony was attended by various VIP’s from the local government and a representative of the Ministry of Education and Culture. In line with the approach of the university to try to remain the cheapest university to support opportunities for students from remote and disadvantaged communities we use a simple tent roof to hold the graduation ceremony. What counts for us is not the physical building at the campus but the fundament that we provide these students for a better future with practical knowhow that supports their original communities.

Cooperation between the Minaesa University and Masarang

Masarang Foundation has a standing official cooperation with the Minaesa Technical University of Tomohon (ITM). Staff and students of the university work with the Masarang sugar factory to improve various technological issues for sugar production, new products and designs that also include construction of buildings and architecture. Students also do their practical period as part of their study at ITM. Right now, a team of ITM is working on the design of the Mu’ung Spring compound where we will have our permanent Masarang head office.

The ITM university was in serious problems some 7 years ago when the then ailing head of the university, professor Dr. Jan Turang, asked Willie Smits to take over the private university that he founded now over 30 years ago. Since Willie became head of the university the official ranking with the Ministry of Education has gone up every year and ITM is now in the top ten of universities for North Sulawesi. Various national accreditations were achieved, many lecturers achieved their MSc and PhD titles, many of them with focus on the Masarang sugar palms. The number of students is now 15-fold what it was 7 years ago. The infrastructure has been improved dramatically, sponsors were found to support the students from poor families and from remote areas through fellowships from Masarang and other parties.

On October 27th, we were pleased to have another 155 students graduate from the Minaesa University. Most students are from Tomohon and surroundings making up 25% of the students. Many other students are from Papua, Kalimantan, Sumatra and even Java and Flores.

Here are a few pictures of activities at and with ITM over the last three weeks.

A group of students from Delft, the Netherlands did a presentation for the ITM students and staff about Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). Two years ago we had another group of 6 students from Delft that did a project on the utilization of sugar palm fruits, locally known as Kolang Kaleng. We are in the process of making the cooperation with Delft Technical University structural. In East Kalimantan Willie is also working with various groups of Delft students involved in activities that also sprung from the work of Masarang.

Students from Delft University (the Netherlands)
Students from Delft University (the Netherlands)
ITM yearbook
The simple yearbook for the fresh graduates and copy of the scientific presentation that each year is held during the graduation ceremony by one of the lecturers that just finished their PhD studies.
Panorama from the Minaesa University
The panorama as seen from the top floor of the Minaesa University with the Masarang Mountain range in full view as well as the springs that are fed by water from the Masarang Mountain. The flow of water has become stable and the water quality itself has improved after the reforestation activities by Masarang Foundation. Also flooding and significant erosion has disappeared after the new forest on the formerly denuded mountain slopes improved water infiltration and regulated the slow release of water year round.