APSN Banner

Limited gov't subsidy forces state universities to raise tuition fees

Jakarta Globe - May 14, 2024

Celvin Moniaga Sipahutar, Jakarta – The limited amount of government financial subsidies to state universities is the main reason for the recent hike in tuition fees, according to the chancellor of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in an interview on Tuesday.

However, the increase affects only students from financially capable families under the cross-subsidy system applied by state universities, said Asep Saepudin Jahar.

Asep explained that the government cannot fully fund state universities because the budget has other urgent priorities, such as economic development, infrastructure, and defense.

"We need a burden-sharing mechanism between the state and the public. The wealthier members of the community need to make financial contributions to our education system," Asep said.

Public participation in university funding is crucial because the limited government higher education budget is allocated to certain universities only, he added.

State academies or universities managed by specific ministries or state institutions aren't entitled to this budget. This includes Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, which is under the authority of the Religious Affairs Ministry.

"We need donations and charities from the wealthy and other donors," he said.

Asep admitted that his university recently raised tuition fees to cope with rising utility tariffs and to construct new facilities.

However, students are given the opportunity to negotiate the fee based on their financial ability, which requires assessment and audits by the university before a decision is made.

Even with the tuition hike, the Jakarta-based university still lacks adequate research funding, he added.

"The state must increase the education budget, particularly in the higher education sector, because we barely have competitive universities at the Asian level, let alone the global level," Asep said.

"How do we finance our research? We certainly need collaboration with other institutions because tuition fees alone won't be enough to cover overall costs. We must establish partnerships with the industrial sector or with foreign institutions. Our financial problem isn't merely about tuition fees."

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/limited-govt-subsidy-forces-state-universities-to-raise-tuition-fee