U.S. higher education is considered to be the best in the world. It houses 40% of best universities, making it a mecca of education, business and technology.
To bring U.S. education to Indonesia, Sampoerna University has teamed up with the University of Arizona (ranked number 52 among the best universities in the world based on Center for World’s University Rankings in 2019). This partnership generated Two-Degree Program that allows students to earn University of Arizona degrees entirely in Jakarta.
To provide support for students taking the program, the University of Arizona has assigned Greg Bardzell, who is currently serving as the UA Jakarta location manager.
Holding a master’s degree in students’ affairs and counseling in higher education in the U.S., he has quite an extensive experience before he began to work at the University of Arizona (UA) Jakarta. He was a community director and coordinator of service and civic engagement at Rider University in the U.S. in 2017. Then he got hired by Northeastern University in Shanghai, China, as the international coordinator, to oversee service opportunities and academic support for students.
Next, Greg served as the representative of the University of Arizona in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Currently he is at UA Jakarta office, Sampoerna University, in Jakarta, supervising about 200 students who are now joining the Two-Degree Program. Here we talked with Greg about the collaboration between Sampoerna University (SU) and the University of Arizona (UA) and how it can benefit students who are eager to get an affordable U.S. bachelor’s degree without leaving Indonesia.
Tell us what the partnership is like and how it works.
Greg: “As one of the University of Arizona’s partner universities in the world, Sampoerna University brings Indonesians a U.S. education. The university allows Indonesian students to experience the quality higher education at the University of Arizona in Jakarta, Indonesia.
To date, there are 10 locations where students can earn two degrees from the UA and partner university (in this case, Sampoerna University). It is an innovative model enabling students in Indonesia to complete a bachelor’s degree accredited by U.S. education authorities at a campus that is convenient to them. At this partner university, students of the two-degree program can learn from the UA professors, gain unprecedented access to UA academic resources, and have the option to study abroad at the UA Tucson campus.
In Jakarta, we (UA Jakarta) are now offering a two-degree program in three fields of study: Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Business. Here we also have the largest number of students and offerings.”
Why did UA choose SU as its partner in Indonesia?
Greg: “The University of Arizona teams up with Sampoerna University mostly because of its facilities, faculty, staff, and mostly the students. We have some of the best students come into our program and we will also be welcoming soon our first graduating classes from SU.
The curriculum between UA and SU has been specifically structured in a way that aligns and allows for perfect credit transfer between two universities. Since the curriculum lines up so perfectly, we can offer them two degrees from SU and UA in four years.
As students studying at SU, they get the same degree as if they were taking our program in the US campus. So, this is an official degree as an official student of the University of Arizona as well as Sampoerna University for four years with two degrees.”
What kind of support are you offering?
Greg: “At the office of UA Jakarta, students can get academic advice for their success. As the UA Jakarta location manager, I’m assigned to provide personal academic advice, help answer questions regarding the UA, connect students to opportunities in the U.S. I also ensure that students at SU taking the two-degree program have met the requirements.
Having a representative office is beneficial because we can provide the on-campus support. We can assure the students are being heard and receiving necessary support and information to ensure academic, personal and professional success.”
What benefits can students get from the Two-Degree Program?
Greg: “Some benefits of our program is it allows affordability. Our two-degree program is relatively inexpensive when compared to studying in the US. So, students save a lot of money by getting two degrees.
Our program allows for convenience. Unless they wish to, students can just study in Jakarta because SU and UA have brought the programs here.
Yet at the same time the program offers mobility to the US. Students can have short-term and long-term opportunities to come and study in the US. This opportunity is offered at the undergraduate level in addition to the graduate level.
Also, students can stay locally connected to local trends and development in their home country, so they won’t miss out any opportunities.”
How are our students doing in this program?
Greg: “In my experience here for about a month, students have been really accommodating and welcoming. I have had many opportunities to meet students if they have an appointment in the office of UA Jakarta. They are intellectually curious and eager to learn, succeed and thrive in a competitive academic and professional world.”
SU has the unique and very niche student’s population. Now we can leverage a partnership, resources, and opportunities to ensure the best outcomes personally, academically, and professionally. “
For our existing students, you can ask Greg any matters related to the two-degree program via email. If you’re now a high school student and interested in joining this program, don’t hesitate to shoot him an email at email@example.com. (*/)