The Jakarta Post
Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembang said on Wednesday that the government was considering to allow foreign universities and hospitals to operate in the country.
Large amounts of money was spent on these services abroad and the government also provides scholarships for students to study abroad, he said, adding that allowing foreign universities to open campuses in Indonesia would reduce the number of students opting who study in other countries.
“This is expected to be implemented after the election [in April],” Thomas said as quoted by kompas.com.
Under the scheme, foreign universities could own up to 67 percent of the shares for their campuses, he said, adding that universities could control up to 100 percent of the shares in campuses in special economic zones.
Thomas said there were a number of foreign universities that had expressed interest in opening campuses in Indonesia, particularly those from Australia.
In this sector, Indonesia is behind Vietnam and Malaysia, which have permitted foreign university campuses to operate for a number of years, he said.
“There is Monash University Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Thousands of our students go to Malaysia to study there. It drains our foreign exchange, he added.
Meanwhile, Thomas also revealed the government’s plan to relax investment in the services, particularly in hospitals because the service sector employs more workers than the infrastructure sector.
“Hospitals are still in short supply. Thousands of Indonesians go to Penang, Malaysia, annually to take advantage of their health services. By allowing foreign hospitals to operate here, we will get an international standard of service, save our foreign exchange and create jobs,” he added. (bbn)