Growing Minds
    Category: Improving Education By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 3612 Date : Monday, March 02, 2015 - 19:58:01

    Roy Rubianto for Forbes Indonesia

    Bina Nusantara (Binus) started when its visionary founder the late Joseph Wibowo Hadipoespito and his children offered the Modern Computer Course in Jakarta just over four decades ago, in 1974. Now Binus has transformed into one of the largest one-stop education centers in the country with four business units: a school, university, affiliated business, and education management, with more than 33,000 student and accepting 8,000 new ones each year and still growing.

    The group is now run by the second generation Bernard Gunawan Hadipoespito, Joseph’s fourth child and now chief executive of Binus. Bernard remembers that his father wanted to continue to contribute to the country after the war against the Netherlands occupation ended. Joseph was a businessmen and war veteran that helped the Indonesian military with logistics in East Java, an efforts that awarded him several honorary medals such as the Guerilla Star. A navy general, the late Rudy Purwana, who is also a friend of Joseph during the war, is the one that gave the name Bina Nusantara that means building the archipelago.

    “We want to provide a one-stop education center, from primary school to the doctorate level,” says Bernard. In the beginning, the computer course offered its student programming skills such as Cobol, Basic and Fortran programming languages. Computers were new in the country at the time, but the family figured it would boom in the future and Indonesians should have such skills to master them.

    Bernard, his brother Carmelus Susilo, and his sister, the late Theresia Widya Suryaningsih, later to become the first rector at the university, were involved from the start as well. All three had a background in electrical engineering from Trisakti University. Aside from teaching the course, they worked on other aspects too. Bernard was in charge of setting up the infrastructure and support, his brother helped with lecturer recruitment, while his sister helped prepare the academic structure. There were three parallel classes, each with a capacity of 15 students, but they were always full. “The course was a short term education, lasting only two months, so then we opened a six month programming school and the demand was extraordinary high. These students wanted to go a higher level and we consider it would be good if they could get a degree and not just the skills,” he says.

    From there, the course expanded to the Computer Technical Academy with Informatics Management as its first major in 1981 and changed the name to AMIK Bina Nusantara in 1985. The need for professional workers in information technology drove AMIK Binus to further development, and in 1986 it was officially listed as Institute of Information Management and Computer Science Bina Nusantara, and a year later started its first diploma and undergraduate program.

    Bina Nusantara University was then established in 1996 and the academy was merged into it a couple years later. In
    1998, Binus began expanding its business from higher education to also primary school and started with a high school in its Kijang campus. By that time Binus had a Kijang campus, a Syahdan campus and a building in Anggrek, all in West Jakarta. Bernard recalls the demand was also high so they immediately open another campus in Simprug in South Jakarta.