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Incoming gov't told to prioritize student subsidies as tuition soars

Jakarta Globe - May 14, 2024

Alfida Rizky Febrianna, Jakarta – The incoming government needs to think of ways to make sure to provide subsidies for university students who cannot afford their tuition, according to former East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa.

The soaring tuition fees across Indonesian state universities have sparked student protests. As Indonesia is about to witness a change in leadership, making sure that education remains affordable and accessible becomes one of the problems that the new government should tackle.

"The new government should consider providing subsidies for students, especially since tuition fees have become unaffordable. This should be a priority to the incoming government," Khofifah, who chairs the central executive board of Airlangga University's alumni association, told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"We really need to encourage high school graduates to attend universities. Only 33-38 percent [of high school graduates] go to universities, depending on which region they come from. But when it comes to Java, many of the [high school graduates] do not pursue higher education," Khofifah said.

According to her, education is pivotal for Indonesia to unlock a golden era by its centennial 2045. To this end, Khofifah calls for an "action plan" that all stakeholders can implement together. Khofifah said that the sub-national government should also help come up with the solutions, rather than solely relying on the central government.

"For instance, in East Java, the local branch of the National Alms Agency (Baznas), has a program called the 'one family, one university graduate'. This program seeks to help students who struggle financially," Khofifah said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/incoming-govt-told-to-prioritize-student-subsidies-as-tuition-soar