In the early 1980s, the government of the Republic of Indonesia through the Ministry of Education and Culture designed the establishment of an Agricultural Polytechnic in Indonesia. This program is funded from an Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan. The grand plan of establishing an Agricultural Polytechnic in Indonesia is aimed at accelerating the development of the agricultural industry in a broad sense in this country. Polytechnic Education is known as professional education (now we use the term vocational education) to produce graduates (skilled workers) who work in the industry field. Especially for the agricultural sector, at that time it was felt that there was a gap between higher education in agriculture and the real world in agriculture so that a form of education that produced graduates was needed to bridge such gap.

Through the Decree of the Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia No. : 14/Dikti/Kep/1984, the government established 6 (six) Agricultural Polytechnics located in 6 (six) Universities assigned to establish and foster further development, respectively, Andalas University (West Sumatra), Lampung University (Lampung) , University of Jember (East Java), Mulawarman University (East Kalimantan), Hasanuddin University (South Sulawesi) and Nusa Cendana University (East Nusa Tenggara). The Agricultural Polytechnic which was established in NTT is domiciled in Kupang under the name of the Agricultural Polytechnic of the University of Nusa Cendana. The government also established the Agricultural Polytechnic Education Development Center (PEDCA: Polytechnic Education and Development Center for Agricultural) based at Padjadjaran University, Bandung. The government used the services of the ENEREG consortium from New Zealand to design the establishment of the Agricultural Polytechnic and PEDCA. To manage this program, a Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) was formed based in Jakarta, led by Prof. Kusmat Tanudimadja. In the regions, a Local Project Implementation Unit (LPIU) was formed based in each of the founding universities and at UNDANA led by Ir. A.P.Y. Djogo. Then he became the first person to lead the Undana Agricultural Polytechnic.

In 1985, recruitment of prospective lecturers (lecturers) was started, followed by 2 (two) years of education at PEDCA which was held at Padjadjaran University for the food crops and livestock sub-sector, at the Bogor Agricultural Institute for the forestry and fisheries sub-sector. Some prospective lecturers are educated in Australia for 1 (one) year. The first batch of prospective lecturers completed their education in 1987 and the education for prospective lecturers at the Agricultural Polytechnic took place in 4 (four) batches. Furthermore, PEDCA has functioned as an organizer of enrichment courses for lecturers and academic technicians for several years. In 1987 the construction of physical facilities was also started, which were the directorate office building, lecture halls, laboratory buildings, library buildings and cattle pens.

The selection of the 6 regions in establishing the Agricultural Polytechnic was to provide education according to the superiority and types of different agro-climates. Sumatra Island for Plantation Crops development, Java Island for Food Crops and Horticulture, Kalimantan Island for Forestry, Sulawesi Island for Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Timor Island (NTT) for Livestock and Dry Land Agriculture (agriculture in semi-arid climate zones). UNDANA Agricultural Polytechnic was formed with 3 (three) majors and 3 (three) study programs, namely the Department of Animal Husbandry with the Study Program of Livestock Production, the Department of Dryland Agricultural Management with the Study Program of Dryland Agriculture and the Department of Food and Horticultural Crops with the Study Program of Food and Horticultural Crops. New student admissions were first conducted in December 1988 and the teaching and learning process began in February 1989.

The curriculum developed by ENEREGS and local counterparts from UNPAD Bandung is a block learning system with a problem-solving approach which at the beginning of its formation was seen as a form of learning that was in accordance with Polytechnic education. In subsequent developments, this system is not in accordance with the Indonesian higher education administration system which implements the semester credit system (SKS), and therefore, lecturers experienced difficulties in proposing for promotions. This situation forced the learning process to be changed to the semester credit system as adopted by Indonesian higher education today.
UNDANA Agricultural Polytechnic after being established, continued to be fostered to be independent by its parent instituion, Nusa Cendana University where according to RI Law No. 2 of 1989 concerning the National Education System, Polytechnic is a form of higher education in Indonesia. Various preparations were made by the first director of Undana Politani and in the last years of his term with the approval of the Undana Chancellor at that time.

Prof. Dr. Agustinus Benu, MS proposed the independence of Politani as a university to the Minister of Education and Culture. In 1997 when Undana Politani was led by Ir. Retno Nuningsih, MS as the 2nd director, the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Dr. Ing Wardiman Djojonegoro issued Decree No. : 252/O/1997 concerning the Establishment of the State Agricultural Polytechnic of Kupang on October 6th, 1997. Nusa Cendana University is recorded in the history of Indonesian higher education as a university birthed a new university. It was then that the State Agricultural Polytechnic of Kupang officially became a university in charge of providing vocational higher education in agricultural field.

Since its establishment, the State Agricultural Polytechnic of Kupang has been led by six Directors, namely:

1. Ir. A.P.Y Djogo (Period of 1987-1993 and 1993-1997)

2. Ir. Retno Nuningsih, MS (Period of 1997-2002)

3. Ir. Jacobus S. Oematan, M.Si (Period of 2002-2006 and 2006-2010)

4. Ir. Joseph Prawira Ticoalu, M.Si (Period of 2010-2014)

5. Ir. Blasius Gharu, M.Si (Period of 2014-2018)

6. Ir. Thomas Lapenangga, MS (Period of 2018-2022)


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