As Indonesia becomes an increasingly important pillar in the global economy given its promising economic outlook, setting it on course to be the world’s 7th largest economy by 2030 and its position as by far the largest economy in ASEAN, it is naturally attracting the interest of international students.
Indonesia’s education system has made incremental improvements over the past decade through extending the age of compulsory education. What the sector requires now is a significant shift in approach away from rote learning and theory based methods towards independent thinking and analysis by students.
Coupling research and higher education is good news for the development of research in Indonesia but has not done wonders for the reform of its higher education institutions.
The shortage of talent is often cited by foreign investors as an obstacle for doing business in Indonesia. Without significant improvement in the education system, companies will find it increasingly hard to source professional and managerial staff, and the country as a whole will fail to realize its economic potential.
Indonesia in recent years has been criticised for its inability to retain the country’s brightest minds and now runs the risk of suffering from a widening gap to its key ASEAN competitors in innovation, technological advancement and scientific discovery.
While Indonesian research and development output lags behind its regional neighbours, the country’s renewed approach to the issue through the development of the new Research and Development and Higher Education Ministry should facilitate improvements as well as open up opportunities for partnerships.
Indonesia’s vision of becoming a knowledge-based economy and shifting away from a reliance on natural resources will depend on its commitment to increasing its R&D spending drastically and ensuring that funds are spent effectively.
Indonesia’s universities place a strong focus on ensuring graduate employment by maintaining close links with businesses for work experience and internships, however this relationship is not always reflected in cooperation for research.
Indonesia is currently undergoing a transition phase as it develops to become a knowledge based economy. Skills are seen as significant obstacles in this respect, and the country’s government is investing more in the development of the nation’s education and training system.
Number of Tertiary Education Institutions: 4,384 (2015)
Type: 91.5% Private, 8.5% Public
Students in Higher Education: 6,959,622 (2015)
Net Enrolment Rate in Tertiary Education: 20.18% (2014)
Relevant Law: Higher Education Law No. 12 of 2012 provides universities with the autonomy to set their own tuition fees and authorising the set up of foreign universities in partnership with Indonesian institutions.
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