International Education

Higher Education in IndonesiaIndonesia's higher education system consists of public and private universities, institutes, academies, polytechnics and colleges. Although the public institutions have existed for many years, the many private institutions are relatively new. The higher education sector suffers from a number of problems including lack of access to the poor, lack of spaces in public institutions and a high level of government bureacracy. The Ministry of National Education has recently begun a reform process which will give some public universities more autonomy with the aim of improving the situation. Admission to a public university is very competitive with only 20 percent or so of those who take the national public university entrance exam being accepted in some years. Most students who pass the exam pay for extra exam preparation training and those who are accepted have often paid extra "fees" to ensure acceptance. Private schools and some public schools administer their own entrance exams. Tuition at public universities is low but varies by institution while at private universities, tuition can be quite substantial. Planned changes in the status of public universities is likely to cause increases in tuition in the coming years. Types of Schools and DegreesThere are over 2000 institutions of higher education with the majority being private institutions. The approximately 30 public universities offer a broad range of subjects while many private institutions specialize in only one area or a limited number of subjects. The quality of public higher education is considered to be higher than at private schools. More than half of higher education students attend private institutions due to the lack of spaces at public schools. The mostly highly ranked institutions in Indonesia are the Bandung Institute of Technology, Gadjah Mada University and the University of Indonesia. Other than the top tier of public universities, most schools are not considered to be at the level of western universities. Academic degrees that can be earned at universities in Indonesia include the Sarjana 1 which can be earned in four or more years, the Sarjana II which can be earned in another two or more years and doctoral degrees which vary in length. Some countries consider these degrees equivalent to the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees earned elsewhere but this varies by country and school where the degree was earned. Diplomas can be earned in professional and vocational fields at four levels and take one to four years to complete. International StudentsCurrently, only a few thousand foreign students attend a higher education institution in Indonesia each year, mostly from East Asia and the Pacific. International students are admitted to full-degree programs based on entrance exam scores and also may need to pass a language exam. Some international programs are taught in English. Tuition varies between schools but most schools charge significantly less than schools in the US. Other options for studying in Indonesia include a limited number of exchange programs and various Indonesian language and culture programs available through local and international education organizations. About IndonesiaIndonesia is comprised of 17, 508 islands located in Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is the world's fourth most populous country with about 230 million people. Residents speak Indonesian along with several hundred local languages while English is only spoken by a relatively small percentage of the population. Since 1998, political freedom has increased and significant political and government reforms have taken place although corruption in politics is still widespread. Indonesia has a market-driven economy which has stabilized and improved in recent years. The services sector represents over 40 percent of the GDP while industry and agriculture sectors play major roles as well. Its major export markets are Japan, the US, China and Singapore. Access to higher education for the lower classes is very limited for financial reasons and a significant portion of the population lives below the poverty line. ResourcesMinistry of National Education
Ministry of Culture and Tourism Republic of Indonesia