The initial phases of development of Syiah Kuala University were very unique since it was initiated by the academicians, religious, scholars and traders of Aceh living in Medan, Jakarta, Penang, Teluk Intan, Port Klang, and Singapore. The concept for the development developed by the prominent leaders was proposed to Aceh Provincial Government, Chief Military Commander and Police Headquarter in Banda Aceh and to Ir. Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia. A special monument for the development was built and the plague for the establishment of the university was signed by the President that can be seen till today at the monument.
The first two guest houses, a complete campus of the Faculty of Economics, four blocks academic buildings for the first few different faculties and more than 50 houses for the management of the university, lecturers, and staff were fully donated by Acehnese traders. Leading national academicians from Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, and Yogyakarta were invited to teach the first five years of students of the university, funded by the traders and coordinated by the Provincial Government of Aceh. The first president of Indonesia, therefore, called it the Heart of Acehnese peoples.
The university started its programs from focusing on fulfilling the needs of the human capacity for the province to research and community services. It is now one of the three best universities outside of Java with the ranking of A (Andalas University in Padang, Hasanuddin University in Makassar and Syiah Kuala University in Aceh). It is one of the best overall webometrics rankings in Indonesia and the fourth best in terms of excellence, after Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, and Gajah Mada University in Yogjakarta, as published by the “webometrics.info” as of January 2016.
The management of the university and all of its institution is working hard to prepare itself and its graduates to enter and participate in the new era of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as declared in Kuala Lumpur in September 2015. All ASEAN countries will be united as a new community called “ASEAN Economics Community” starting from the year 2016. Collaboration and cooperation among all universities within ASEAN will be a must and all programs would be standardized to meet the needs of the new community of ASEAN and compatible with other communities in the world.
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia. The territory is located at the northern end of Sumatra. Its capital is Banda Aceh. It is close to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India and separated from them by the Andaman Sea. There are 11 indigenous ethnic groups in this region, the largest being the Acehnese people, accounting for approximately 80 % of the region’s population. Aceh is thought to have been the place where the spread of Islam in Indonesia began and was a key factor of the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia. Islam reached Aceh (Kingdoms of Fansur and Lamuri) around 900 AD. In the early seventeenth century the Sultanate of Aceh was the most wealthy, powerful and cultivated state in the Malacca Straits region. The origins of Acehnese are Malay of South Asia, Arabs, Indians, Chinese and few from Europeans, such as those living in Lamno and Serewey whose origins may be from Spain and Portugal. Aceh has a history of political independence and resistance to control by outsiders, including the former Dutch colonists and other powers.
Syiah Kuala University offers leading undergraduate, graduate as well as professional degree programs in Economics, Veterinary Science, Teacher Training and Education, Engineering, Law, Agriculture, Medicine, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Social and Political Sciences, Nursing, Dentistry, Fisheries and Marine Science, Postgraduate Program. All units have sub-programs that consistently ranked among Indonesia’s top thirty accredited national universities.
The university is home of several internationally collaborated researched centers: Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Center for Peace and Conflict, Resolution Studies and International Center on Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies.
The university also has other centers that provide direct services to its students and community, they are Community Service Center, University Laboratory School, English Language Center and Center for Teaching Practice & Industrial Attachment that have links internationally for exchange programs, bilaterally and reciprocally.
This university is a member of BKS-PTN, a collaborative association of Western Indonesian Universities Association of Sumatera and Kalimantan, a member of Uninet of IMT-GT and a member of the Consortium of Asia-Pacific Education Universities (CAPEU).
Missions of Syiah Kuala University
- To implement “Tri Dharma – three denotations” of higher learning institutions that support local, national and international development by utilizing available local, national and international resources.
- To enhance academic quality in order to produce highly competitive graduates.
- To apply integrated quality management in the field of education through the application of transparent, participatory, efficient and productive principles.
- To continuously strengthen and broaden the network of institutional cooperation in the effort for developing and preserving the findings of sciences, technology, humanities, sports & arts.