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House to grill education ministry over reports of high tuition fees

Jakarta Post - May 17, 2024

Jakarta – House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education and research will summon representatives of the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Ministry and set up a working committee to investigate reports of high single tuition fees (UKT) in some universities across the country.

Commission X deputy chair Dede Yusuf of the Democratic Party announced the plan on Thursday following a meeting with representatives of the National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM-SI), who complained about the increase of UKT in several universities for this year's admission.

"The problem revolves around the lack of information on the sudden rise in UKT," Dede said as quoted by tempo.co. "We believe the increase is unreasonable, so we need to sit down, therefore, we're summoning the ministry."

He added that the commission would evaluate the cost of studying in university and look for the reason behind the recent increase.

During Thursday's meeting, Jendral Soedirman University (UNSOED) BEM president Maulana Ihsan said the UKT for new students at the university in Purwokerto, Central Java, rose by three times, with the highest tuition fee reaching up to Rp 14 million (US$876) per semester this year.

Meanwhile, at least 50 prospective students could not afford to pay the UKT in Riau University, said that university's student body head Muhammad Ravi.

"The income of one student's parents is Rp 2 million per month. They got a category 8 in the UKT, which required them to pay Rp 8.7 million per semester," Ravi said.

First implemented in 2013, the UKT policy was aimed at adjusting university tuition fees based on a student's economic capacity. However, in practice, many students are unable to pay the tuition fees, triggering protests.

The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in West Java got in hot water in February for offering student loans provided by online lending platform Danacity, with an interest rate amounting to up to 25 percent per annum. Students failing to pay their UKT for this semester were suspended from the university until they were able to pay off their tuition fees. (jan)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/05/17/house-to-grill-education-ministry-over-reports-of-high-tuition-fees.htm