Kalla encourages private universities to merge

Badung, Bali (ANTARA News) – Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has encouraged private universities, under the Association of Indonesian Private Universities Organizing Board, to merge in order to improve the quality of colleges.

“The number of our colleges is more than those in China, but China is more advanced than us. It means that revitalization and merger are necessary, so that universities can improve their quality with a reasonable amount,” he said, while giving a speech at the associations 4th National Conference in Seminyak, Badung district, Bali province, on Monday.

He added that revitalization and merger would reduce the operational costs of private colleges.

As an example, he stated the economic crisis in the banking world in 1998, which had been caused by the presence of too many banks.

“Large numbers are not necessarily beneficial, but a reasonable amount will improve the quality of colleges,” he noted.

Although oriented to undertake nonprofit activities, the colleges might also gain profit to finance its operations. Therefore, it has become a common duty for private universities to be efficient and qualified, he revealed.

Improving the quality of private universities is very important. This is because about 4 million of 6.3 million Indonesian students have studied in private universities, which represented 63 percent of total Indonesian college students.

“Education in colleges affect the future of students. Hence, we dare to pay a high price. Many of our children go abroad to get education in qualified colleges,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir remarked that his party has continued to encourage private universities to merge, especially colleges that are less healthy in terms of operational financing.

“It is easier to merge colleges which are managed by a foundation,” he stated.

He noted that state and private universities must be oriented on improving the quality of education and producing competent graduates.

Currently, there are 4,521 universities in Indonesia, a country with a population of 250 million people.

Indonesia had more colleges than China, as the latter, with a population of more than 1 billion people, has only about 2.5 thousand universities.

“We continue to encourage the improvement of the quality of higher education. The merger aims to make the universities stronger and produce qualified graduates,” he concluded.

Source: Antara News