Contributors: Achmad Jatnika, Atia Adjani, & Sihabudin NF | Editor: Yazid, Ari Stoltze
UIII successfully hosted its inaugural commencement on Thursday, August 31, 2023. During this momentous occasion, the 72 graduates from the first batch of students, representing 13 different countries, were conferred degrees by the rector, Prof. Komaruddin Hidayat, and the deans from each faculty. The countries represented were Indonesia, Egypt, Togo, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nepal, Yemen, Cameroon, Pakistan, Gambia, and Bangladesh. These 13 countries collectively accounted for a remarkable cohort of 24 international students who completed their studies at UIII.
On this historic occasion, the graduates received a Master of Arts (MA) degree upon completing a two-year Master's program offered by the esteemed faculties of Islamic Studies, Social Sciences, Economics and Business, and Education.
The rector of UIII, in his speech, expressed his profound emotions for the graduating students. He elucidated that this significant milestone allowed him to reflect on UIII's journey thus far and its prospects.
"Our journey commenced with a dream and a vision to establish an institution epitomizing knowledge, compassion, and progress. As I cast my eyes upon the remarkable facilities, devoted faculty, enthusiastic students, and dedicated staff, an overwhelming sense of gratitude and pride engulfs me," he stated.
The rector stated that UIII is a dynamic community committed to providing quality education and advancing research. "These students, who possess abundant enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, consistently remind us of the reasons we embarked on this journey. Additionally, our dedicated staff members are the unsung heroes who tirelessly work behind the scenes to ensure this great institution's smooth and successful functioning," he declared with gratitude.
Prof. Komaruddin thanked the Supervisory Board, the Ministry's representatives, and the students' parents. "Your unwavering support has been the driving force propelling us through challenges and pushing us towards achievements that would have been impossible to attain on our own. Your unwavering belief in our mission and our potential and your unwavering dedication to advancing our collective goals have laid the groundwork for our progress. As we embark on ambitious projects and initiatives, we consistently feel your presence beside us, offering guidance, wisdom, and a helping hand. The support and resources provided by the Ministry have empowered us to effect meaningful change and positively impact the lives of individuals in ways that exceed our imagination," he expressed.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees and former Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, also presented at the commencement ceremony. "Why are we at an Islamic university with a curriculum encompassing various subjects, including economics, education, and politics? This is because Islam is not confined solely to the Quran, Hadith, and Fiqh; it also emphasizes the importance of sound economics and education. It is incorrect to assume otherwise, as religion promotes progress, and true progress is achieved through the simultaneous pursuit of knowledge in scientific and religious domains," he stated.
The first Batch of UIII Students
During their first semester in 2021, the first batch of Master's students conducted their lectures online due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, which limited in-person teaching. However, as the second semester commenced and the impact of the pandemic began to wane, all students could finally partake in face-to-face lectures.
Students from diverse countries finally come to the campus, reside in dormitories, and UIII hosts students from various backgrounds and cultures. In this way, the UIII student dormitory serves as a melting pot of Indonesian and foreign cultures.
Being the first state Islamic international university in Indonesia and a part of the National Strategic Programs (PSN), UIII diligently fulfills its objectives outlined in Presidential Decree No. 57 of 2016 to offer masters and doctoral programs in Islamic religious studies.