Marrik Bellen new director of KITLV-Jakarta and representative in Indonesia
Indonesia is of great importance to Leiden University for research and education. Therefore the new KITLV director in Jakarta is also the permanent representative of the university in Indonesia.
The responsibilities of the new director are broadened. They include support from Jakarta for the initiation of research programs in collaboration with Indonesian partners, and attracting Indonesian students to Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs at Leiden University.
Asia and Indonesia are of great importance to Leiden University. The research and education across this region, which is executed by Leiden researchers and teachers in almost all faculties, are of the highest level. Asian Modernities and Traditions is also one of the eleven university research profiles in which researchers from different disciplines collaborate in specific themes concerning Asia. Indonesia is furthermore one of the focus areas for collaboration between researchers from Leiden and Indonesia, and for attracting highly qualified Indonesian Masters’ and PhD students.
It fits within the academic focus that the Leiden University Library has taken over the management of the collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), now one year ago. By bringing together the collections of the UBL, KITLV and the heritage collection of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the largest collection worldwide in the area of Indonesia has emerged in Leiden. In addition, the UBL brings together the significant and internationally renowned Asia collections of Leiden together in The Asian Library, a new library to be built on the roof of the university library. This creates one of the major Asia Libraries in the Western world.
The KITLV office in Jakarta has become part of the UBL. Dozens of people working for KITLV-Jakarta purchase major publications about Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, catalogue them and send them to the Leiden University Library. Furthermore they digitize a lot of material which then becomes available to Leiden servers for research and education.
The current director of KITLV Jakarta, Dr. Roger Tol, will retire after working for more than 12 years in Jakarta. Marrik Bellen who takes office on October 1, is “highly qualified for the position and we look forward to his arrival.", says UBL librarian Kurt De Belder. Bellen has studied Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania at Leiden University with a focus on Indonesian, Javanese, and the history and cultures of Indonesia. He was director of Nuffic -Neso (the expertise and service center for the internationalization of Dutch education) in Indonesia and China. Bellen is currently working as alumni officer at the Faculty of Law.
On August 28 a symposium will be held at the Erasmus House in Jakarta in which Tol will be bid farewell. At this symposium Bellen will be presented to invited guests and associates of the Indonesian government, ministries, universities, libraries, cultural institutions and companies. Plans for Indonesia are explained by, among others prof. Dr. Wim van den Doel, dean of Humanities and president of the University Management Committee Indonesia and Kurt De Belder. The Dutch ambassador, Drs. Rob Swartbol will unveil a statue of the Indonesian researcher and director Hussein Djajadiningrat (1886 -1960). He was the first Indonesian who received his doctorate in Leiden in 1913.