Solo, C Java (ANTARA News) - Foreign universities operating in Indonesia would not weaken local privately owned universities (PTS) as both have different segments, Minister of Research, Technology and High Educational Institutions Mohamad Nasir said.
Nasir said foreign universities would not hurt PTS, on the contrary there could be collaboration between both sides.
Collaboration could improve the quality of PTS and in five years PTS could rise in rank to world class, he said.
He said he did not agree with the notion that foreign universities would kill.
"I dont think so. Mercy cars would not steal the market of Avanza cars," Nasir told reporters before a meeting with PTS leaders here on Saturday.
He said it is almost impossible to stop foreign universities from entering the country as in the era of information technology, there are free flow of goods and services including education.
Nasir said a number of universities from the United State, Britain and Australia have expressed interest in opening their branches in Indonesia.
"The opening of foreign universities could economically be beneficial as there would be less Indonesian studying abroad. The cost of studying abroad is high," he said.
He said there are thousands of Indonesians studying abroad, adding in Australia alone there are 24,000. If they study in Indonesia at least they would save foreign exchange needed in staying abroad.
Educational cost abroad could be as much as US$9,500 per semester. In Britain it is higher around 8,000 pound sterling. It is against only Rp10 million even Rp5 million in the country.
Earlier, Nasir said only foreign universities having good reputation are allowed to operate in the country.
He said the presence of foreign universities in the country would bring about greater spirit of competition among Indonesian educational institutions.
The decision, however, had met with protest. Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Private High Educational Institutions (APTISI) Budi Djatmiko said operation of foreign universities in Indonesia would be a threat to the survival of local universities.
"We agree to reject it as it would kill the existing high educational institutions," Budi said earlier.
Source: ANTARA News