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Gov't urged to revisit method for determining university tuition fees

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2024

Chandra Adi Nurwidya, Celvin Moniaga Sipahutar, Jakarta – The Education Ministry is being urged to review the methods used to determine tuition fees at state universities amid recent hikes that have raised concerns about the "commercialization" of the education system, analysts said on Monday.

While state universities are expected to provide affordable and quality education, many of them have imposed fees at levels equal to, if not higher than, those of their private counterparts.

Tuition fees at state universities should be adjusted based on the specific needs of faculties and the cost of living in the location where the university is situated, said education expert Muhammad Nur Rizal from Gadjah Mada University.

There needs to be a "commonly accepted standard" for how state universities determine fees to prevent irregularities, he added.

Nur Rizal suggested that the government allow state universities greater autonomy to raise funds independently and explore alternative financial sources other than student payments.

Fellow analyst Ina Liem noted that the national education system receives a substantial amount of state funding, with 20 percent of the state budget allocated for education.

However, the large allocation of state funding makes the education system highly susceptible to corruption, she said.

"We often hear reports of misappropriated budgets at state universities. If we can address this issue first, state universities may have sufficient budgets to cover expenses," she added.

According to a report by the non-governmental group Indonesia Corruption Watch, there were 37 corruption cases involving state university officials in 2023, with a potential loss of Rp 218.8 billion ($13.6 million).

The government provides subsidies for students from low-income families, with the amount varying depending on the income level of the student's family.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/govt-urged-to-revisit-method-for-determining-university-tuition-fee