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Minister Nadiem plans to halt unreasonable tuition fee hikes at state universities

Jakarta Globe - May 21, 2024

Yustinus Patris Paat, Jakarta – Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Anwar Makarim plans to cancel "irrational hikes" in tuition fees (UKT) at several state universities (PTN). Nadiem stressed that tuition fee hikes must be reasonable, considering each student's economic circumstances.

"We are committed to halting any unjustified spikes in tuition fees," Nadiem said during a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) at the parliament building in Senayan, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

In the past month, protests against the increase in tuition fees have erupted at various universities such as Jenderal Soedirman University (Unsoed) in Purwokerto, Sumatera Utara University (USU) in Medan, and Universitas Riau (Unri) in Riau.

Acknowledging student grievances regarding tuition fee hikes, which range from 50 percent to 300 percent, at various PTNs, Nadiem disclosed that the Ministry is scrutinizing and reassessing tuition fee hike policies at these institutions.

"I call upon all university rectors and departments to ensure that any increases are logical, fair, and not hastily implemented," he emphasized.

The most recent UKT regulations are outlined in Ministerial Regulation No. 2 of 2024 concerning the Standard Operational Costs of Higher Education (SBOPT) at State Universities.

Nadiem clarified that these regulations apply only to new students and do not affect the tuition rates of current students.

"There is a misconception that this will impact the tuition rates of current students. This is untrue; it only applies to new students," Nadiem clarified.According to Nadiem, UKT fees are not the same for all students but are tailored to each student's family's financial situation.

"UKT fees are tiered. This means that students from more affluent families pay higher fees, while those from less affluent families pay less," he explained.

The House's Commission X on Tuesday summoned Minister Nadiem Makarim to address the controversy surrounding significant UKT increases at several state universities.

Commission X Chairman Syaiful Huda said they would seek clarification from Nadiem on three points. Firstly, they want to ascertain whether the UKT increases at all campuses were undertaken with Nadiem's approval.

Secondly, they requested detailed explanations from Nadiem regarding the management of operational assistance provided to campuses. Thirdly, they sought clarification on statements from Ministry of Education and Culture officials regarding higher education being tertiary education.

"We urge for the temporary suspension or complete cancellation of these UKT increases," Huda concluded.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/minister-nadiem-plans-to-halt-unreasonable-tuition-fee-hikes-at-state-universitie