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.