Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) or Indonesia University of Education was established on October 20, 1954 in Bandung, and was officially inaugurated by the Indonesian Minister of Education, Mr. Muhammad Yamin. The university was formerly named Perguruan Tinggi Pendidikan Guru (PTPG) or Teachers College aimed at educating and developing the intellectual capacity of young Indonesian nation to make benefits of its new independence. Two main considerations for its early establishment included a growing concern for education during early period of Indonesia’s independence and an increasing demand for more qualified teachers for a more prosperous Indonesian society.
In its early establishment, the main building of early Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia was initially only a relic villa named Isola which had been existed prior to the World War II. In the struggle era against Dutch colonialism, this building was used as the headquarter of freedom fighters. During early period of Indonesia’s independence in 1940s, it was then renovated and changed into a magnificently artistic Bumi Siliwangi Building. For the first time, in this renovated building, the Indonesian youth received teacher education in the level of university as the realization of the Decree of the Minister of Teaching Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia.
During this period, the PTPG was chaired by a Dean who was responsible for some departments and a center, which consist of:
In 1958, the Indonesian Minister of Education, Instruction and Culture decreed that this Teachers College became an independent higher educational institution, and along with the establishment of Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD), it was integrated into this newly established university, called the Faculty of Education (FIP).
To refine the recruitment system of teachers and educational staff, in 1961, various existing modes of teachers’ education (Level BI and BII) were integrated into the Faculty of Education (Types A and B). At the same time, another teachers’ educational institution, called Institute of Teachers College (Institut Pendidikan Guru/IPG) was also established, leading to a dualism in teachers’ education. To avoid this polarity, these two educational institutions were merged into a Teachers College (IKIP). Then, the three educational institutions located in Bandung were merged into Bandung Teachers College or IKIP Bandung.
In its early phase, IKIP Bandung had five faculties; Faculty of Education, Faculty of Social Science Education, Faculty of Literature and Arts Education, Faculty of Science Education, and Faculty of Technical Education. Considering the increasing demand for teachers as well as the need for teachers’ quality improvement and equity, IKIP Bandung opened up extension classes in various cities all over West Java province.
As the first Teachers College, IKIP Bandung had a more profound role nationally. The Indonesian government decided that this educational institution opened some branches outside Java Island such as those located in Banda Aceh, Palembang, Palangkaraya, and Banjarmasin. In early 1970s, based on a policy issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture, these extension classes were closed down and the branches were declared independent faculties of education in each respective city or region.
Starting 1970, to improve the quality of teacher educators, IKIP Bandung opened a post-graduate program for master and doctoral degrees, called Faculty of Post-graduate Studies (Pascasarjana). Since then, this program has undergone some different name changes but finally, starting in 2000, is called School of Graduate Studies again.
In response to the government’s restructuring higher education through multi-programs and stratas, IKIP Bandung opened Educational Diplomas in 1990. To improve teachers’ qualifications, primary school teachers were upgraded to Diploma II. This Educational Diploma was not only run in the main campus of Bumi Siliwangi Bandung but also at some satellite campuses (former high schools for teachers). Responding to a more dynamic government educational regulations, starting 1996, IKIP Bandung also opened Educational Diploma II for kindergarten or pre-school children.
Along with government wider mandate for Teachers College, in 1999, IKIP Bandung was changed into a university, called Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (Indonesia University of Education), ruled by a Presidential Decree No. 124, dated October 7, 1999. This mandate enables the university to not only run educational degrees but also those of pure sciences, mathematics, engineering, literature, arts, economy, business, and social sciences. Coping with the issue of autonomy in higher education management, in 2004, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia was granted the status of State-Owned Legal Entity (Badan Hukum Milik Negara). Finally, starting 2012, together with other high-rank universities in Indonesia, this status was upgraded into a public university with wide-autonomy called PTNBH (Perguruan Tinggi Negeri Berbadan Hukum).
Today, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia develops in all aspects. In addition to strong academic endeavors, the university also manages to refine its concept and masterplan. With the financial assistance provided by the Islamic Development Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and other financial support agencies, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia has currently been equipped with modern and elegant infrastructures and buildings covered by shady and leafy green trees. Having all these excellent academic, infra-structure and masterplan, the university is confidently determined to be a leading and outstanding higher educational institution widely acknowledged at national, regional and international levels.
Below are distinguished leaders of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, from time to time.