He made the statement when addressing members of the Association of Indonesian Private Universities (APTISI) at the presidential palace here on Tuesday.
"The mission of universities is preparing human resources to make what we are doing in the country a success. I appeal to you to see the journey of the nation in its more strategic dimensions and with a far-reaching vision because a nation must have vision. It is dangerous if if a country or a nation has no idealism, no directions, ideals or goals," he said.
President Yudhoyono said in connection with human resources development and the creation of a rational and knowledgeable community according to the message of the constitution there were three important things that had to be implemented in the long term, namely enabling the nation to reach a highly civilized status, the people to achieve a high welfare level by building a strong and just economy and turning the country into a mature democracy.
"To achieve a highly civilized status we must ensure that people get good education. Let us make our people more rational and knowledgeable. It is impossible to make progress without it. In addition, we must also build our nation to become strong and of good character, a nation that thinks positively and works hard," he said.
He said "we must also a build peaceful character. Each citizen must become a good citizen who knows his obligations and responsibilities. This can be achieved through education. We must build each person to make him/her have a sense of responsibility to build and not to destroy."
Regarding democracy that was now being developed in the country President Yudhoyono said that democracy was not the ultimate goal but just a process.
"Democracy is more than general elections and number of political parties and freedom. Democracy and politics should not be separated from ethics and rules of the game. Power must be used in tandem with power held by others including the press," he said.
He said democracy was good when the aspirations and will of the people have not yet been processed by brokers. Democracy anywhere and in any country was always practiced in orderly manner and without disturbing political stability.
"If that is what we are aiming at, we still have to go through a long process. But do no be discouraged. We are already moving towards that goal," he said.
He said "our mission of building the nation is very important and must be successful although it is not easy. Carrying out long-term big mission requires patience and tenacity. The success of this great mission also depends on the people."
President Yudhoyono on the occasion was accompanied by Vice President Boediono, Education Minister Muhammad Nuh, Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa and a number of other cabinet ministers.
The fourth APTISI congress is attended by more than 500 participants. APTISI members include 2,890 private institutes of higher learning that have a total of 2.8 million students.
APTISI chairman Prof. DR. Ir. Suharyadi said APTISI in the next four years would prepare and continue to improve itself so that they could improve their competitiveness to meet human resource challenges in the years to come.