Ministry takes strict measures against 'problematic' private universities

Indonesian government intensifies crackdown on private higher institutions, revoking 24 licences and issuing warnings of further actions due to violations of standards and fraudulent activities.

Officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture have announced the revocation of licenses for 17 private higher education institutions since January this year and 23 in the past 12 months. Further revocations are anticipated, as stated by ministry officials.

Several universities and colleges have had their licenses revoked due to violations of specified standards, including inadequate teaching and fraudulent activities.

Lukman, the Ministry’s Director for Institutional Affairs, stated on 14 June that they are currently evaluating 52 private universities to determine their eligibility to continue operating or if they should be discontinued.

Lukman clarified that the intention is not necessarily to close down all 52 universities. Instead, some may receive guidance, advice, and warnings. Closure would only be considered if the previous measures prove ineffective.

While the ministry has not disclosed the names of all the universities and colleges affected, some students have taken to social media to express the closure of their institutions. The ministry has assured that it will assist affected students in transitioning to other accredited institutions.

Lecturers who are found not to have been involved in fraudulent schemes will receive similar assistance. However, those implicated in scams will be blacklisted.

In a statement on 8 June, Nizam, the acting Director General for Higher Education, Research, and Technology at the education ministry, emphasized that the revocation of operating licenses is a measure taken by the government to safeguard the public, particularly students, against poor educational management and fraudulent practices by unscrupulous education providers.

Nizam explained, “The sanctions imposed are commensurate with the level of violation.”

In the previous year, the ministry revoked 31 licenses of private higher education institutions for various reasons, including inadequate facilities, insufficient student numbers, allegations of fictitious classes, and the unauthorized issuance of educational certificates.

Several colleges and universities impacted by the license revocation lack the necessary facilities, particularly laboratories, libraries, and telecommunication networks, and have fewer than the required minimum of 1,000 students. Additionally, universities and colleges offering non-accredited programs are also subject to potential closure.

Officials have accused certain institutions of engaging in fraudulent activities by issuing degrees. These institutions, commonly known as degree mills, exploit the demand for degree certificates needed for employment or public office positions.

Candidates seeking positions such as legislators or regional administrative heads often require a degree for consideration. Some individuals acquire these certificates without attending university classes or completing high school. Eko Budiarjo, an IT consultant and graduate of the Bandung Institute of Technology, highlighted the issue.



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By Ryan

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