The Jakarta Post
Government announced on Wednesday that it would expand its Indonesia Smart Card (KIP) program to provide financial assistance to more university students in need.
In a statement released on Wednesday, presidential staffer Angkie Yudistia announced that the new KIP Kuliah program, which was initially only intended for incoming freshmen, would be expanded to students in the third, fifth and seventh semesters of university.
Under the program, university students will receive Rp 2.4 million (US$166.5) in grants for university tuition, while students enrolled in vocational colleges will receive Rp 800,000 per semester.
“The government will also provide support for private universities through the KIP scheme by giving financial assistance to 410,000 students in the third, fifth and seventh semesters of college,” Angkie Yudistia wrote.
She said 60 percent of the program’s funds would be allocated to private university students and 40 percent to state university students.
“The government will make sure every state university reduces its tuition fees or sets a new tuition fee plan so that educational fees will be no longer be a burden for students,” Angkie said.
The KIP Kuliah program is primarily meant for low-income students who have performed well academically.
Last month, Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim issued a ministerial regulation introducing measures to help higher education students during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by reducing university tuition fees.
Under the policy, university students who are on leave or who are not taking any course credits no longer need to pay tuition fees. Those who are in their final semester of study and are taking fewer than six course credits will only pay only half of normal tuition.
While experts applauded the move, some expressed concern that only small portion of the national education budget was allocated to private universities.