The Jakarta Post
The government has allocated Rp 22.5 trillion (US$1.68 billion) for full scholarships managed by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) for students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees this year.
The figure is higher than the Rp 20 trillion allocated last year. When the program was introduced by the Finance Ministry five years ago the government only allocated Rp 1 trillion.
The government continually increases the budget for scholarships because more Indonesian students are eager to continue their education at higher levels, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani in a speech during the opening of an LPDP education fair on Tuesday.
“This was also my dream back then [when I created the LPDP program] as I saw many neighboring countries were able to send their people and bureaucrats to schools worldwide to make their countries great,” she said.
During her tenure as finance minister under the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration in 2010, Sri Mulyani initiated the allocation of education funds based on a mandate from the 1945 Constitution, which requires the state to allocate a minimum of 20 percent of its budget to education.
The LPDP scholarship has so far been awarded to a total of 16,000 recipients, including 1,500 alumni and 10,000 ongoing students, with European and United States universities being the most popular choices. For this year, the fund is preparing scholarships for 5,000 prospective recipients.
The LPDP held an education fair in a Finance Ministry hall on Monday and is slated to hold similar events in Surabaya, East Java, and Yogyakarta on Feb. 2 and 4, respectively. (bbn)
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