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Jakarta Post

Students favor less competitive courses

  • Arya Dipa and Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung/Yogyakarta   /   Wed, June 18, 2014   /  09:43 am

Thousands of prospective students from across the country on Tuesday took part in the Joint Selection and Entrance to State Universities (SBMPTN).

Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) rector Akhmaloka said that participants this year tended to select less competitive courses in the hopes of securing a spot in state universities.

'€œSchools considered less competitive are [now] experiencing more applicants,'€ said Akhmaloka.

He attributed the phenomenon to participants'€™ desire to pass the selection process, and said that less competitive study programs would become more competitive with increased demand as there would be no proportional increase in enrollment levels.

ITB academic and student affairs vice chancellor Kadarsah Suryadi said that nationwide, 29,967 persons applied to ITB for an available 1,424 seats. The university had already enrolled 2,136 students through the National Entrance Test for State Universities (SNMPTN).

The SNMPTN '€” which was carried out by ITB and Padjadjaran University (Unpad) '€” assesses students based on their performances on report cards, national examinations, school performance and school performance index. The SNMPTN does not involve any additional testing.

For the thousands of prospective university students who took the SBMPTN, Unpad garnered the most number of applications. '€œAs many as 78,535 applicants registered at Unpad,'€ said Unpad academic and student affairs vice chancellor Engkus Kuswarno.

Unpad has reserved 5,371 places for first-year students this year; 2,755 for students selected through the SNMPTN and the rest for the SBMPTN applicants.

In Yogyakarta, sight-impaired students who took part in SBMPTN testing reportedly failed to receive adequate assistance, among other difficulties.

Yogyakarta SBMPTN No. 46 committee head Rohmad Wahab said 27 of the 36,017 participants who sat for the test were disabled.

'€œThis is a significant increase. Usually, only around 10 disabled applicants take the test,'€ said Rohmad.

Of the 27 disabled applicants, 12 of them, or almost 50 percent of the total number, were hearing-impaired.

'€œThe committee provided aides for those applicants with special needs,'€ said Rohmad, who is also rector of Yogyakarta State University (UNY).

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