West Auditorium Room at Bandung Technological Institute or ITB, Wednesday (24/05/2017), was packed with dozens of Alumni Swedia’s members as well as newly admitted students at Swedish universities who were very eager to meet Swedish royal couples, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia. The room was chosen as the venue of the event because of its historical value. Soekarno, the first President of Indonesia used to study in that room during his studies at Technische Hoogeschool te Bandoeng in the 1920’s.
Although the vast majority of the participants of the meeting spent five hours on their journey from Jakarta to Bandung by buses due to a highly congested traffic, the atmosphere within the room was full of excitements since the occasion to meet the Royal Couple of Sweden is rather rare.
The meeting took place during the last day of the royal couple’s state visit in Indonesia May 22-24. In the event, Alumni Swedia, represented by its newly elected chairman Fadjar Wibowo, explained in brief about the history behind the foundation of Alumni Swedia, the organization member’s growth, as well as the organization’s efforts in bridging communication and network among its members as well as between Alumni Swedia members and the Swedish Embassy in Jakarta. In addition to the presentation, Alumni Swedia and Swedish Embassy in Jakarta launched “Sweden-Indonesia Connect”, a LinkedIn-based platform aiming at establishing a connection between Swedish companies, alumni, Indonesian students in Sweden, and also Swedish universities.
Alumni Swedia initially planned to give Alumni Swedia’s honorary member cards to their majesties. However, due to protocol issue, the plan was postponed. Instead, the cards will be given through Swedish Embassy in Jakarta.
Annika Rembe, Director-General of the Swedish Institute in her speech addressed the importance of collaboration in strengthening a mutually beneficial relationship between Indonesia and Sweden. She hoped Alumni Swedia could play a significant role in doing so. Afterward, she, on behalf of the Swedish Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with her counterpart Mokhamad Mahdun, LPDP’s Director for Business Development, Investment, and Partnership. LPDP or the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education has provided thousands of scholarship for Indonesian students to pursue higher education abroad. The MoU, Annika said, not only opens the opportunity for cooperation in the area of higher education but also strengthening ties between Indonesia and Sweden.
The meeting was closed with a group photo session of Alumni Swedia and Their Majesties King and Queen of Sweden. In the end of the event, before leaving the room, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gave a warm smile, said goodbye and delivered a message to the students who will start their studies in Sweden next autumn; “Study hard”. Indeed, study hard they will, and having a lot of fun while doing that, too!