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Indonesia

Overview

Indonesia is an archipelago located in Southeastern Asia, between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It consists of 17,508 islands (only 6,000 of which are inhabited) and a population of 253 million (fourth highest in the world behind the US, India and China). The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century, and it was occupied from 1942-1945 by Japan. Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands in 1949. More than 600 languages are spoken in this country which spans three time zones. Most common are Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, and local dialects, the most widely spoken being Javanese. The largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia has an 87% Muslim majority with 7% Protestant, 3% Roman Catholic, 2% Hindu and 1% animist.

Education

Education in Indonesia is overseen by both the Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan as well as the Kementerian Riset, Teknologi, dan Pendidikan Tinggi Republik Indonesia.

Primary Education

Sekola Dasar represents the attainment of 6 years of primary education, usually completed between ages 6-12.

Secondary Education

Lower Secondary Education is three years in length, lasting ages 12-15. The Surat Tanda Tamat Belajar Sekolah Lanjutan Tingkat Pertama (SLTP/SMP) is awarded after 3 years of lower secondary education.

Upper Secondary Education is three years in length (ages 15-18). The Surat Tanda Tamat Belajar Sekolah Sekolah Menegah Unum  is awarded by the Sekolah Menegah Unum (general academic secondary school) after 12 years of education.

The Surat Tanda Tamat Belajaris awarded by Sekohal Menengah Kejuran (vocational secondary school) after 12 years of education, the final three years of which are career-oriented. Commercial and religious tracks are also available at the upper secondary level.

Post-Secondary Education

Higher Education is provided by several types of institutions: Universities, polytechnics, institutes and academies.

There are numerous post-secondary credentials available that are awarded short of the 4-year Sarjana. These include Diploma I, II, III and IV, which are awarded after 1-4 years of undergraduate education, usually in technical subjects, such as computer or engineering technology, or paraprofessional level studies in fields such as business, secretarial studies, tourism, and foreign languages.

Until 1992, following a Diploma II, teachers could earn Akta II for primary or lower secondary teachers, Akta III for lower or upper secondary teachers, or Akta IV for upper secondary teachers. These programs, which were half theory and half practice, were replaced by the Sarjana Pendidikan in 1993. Similarly, the former degree of Insinyur (Engineer) was replaced by the Sarjana Teknik (ST) beginning in 1991.

Public institutions are recognized by the Badan Akreditasi Nasional Perguruan Tinggi (BAN-PT) with oversight for these HEIs provided by Kementerian Riset, Teknologi, dan Pendidikan Tinggi Republik Indonesia; graduates have no trouble securing employment and access to further education. The ministry also has a three-tiered recognition system for private institutions:

  1. Degrees from disamakan ("equalized") institutions are considered equivalent to degrees conferred by public institutions
  2. Institutions which are categorized as diakul ("recognized") institutions are authorized to grant degrees, but that the degrees are not equivalent to those awarded by public institutions. However, graduates of "recognized" institutions may take a state examination to "equalize" their degrees to the level of those offered by state institutions. If the state examination is passed, the Coordinator of (Private) Higher Education (Koordinator Perguruan Tingii, or KOPERTI) will award a diploma which verifies that the student's degree is equivalent to a degree awarded by a state (public) institution.
  3. Finally, tedaftar ("listed") institutions' degrees are not considered equivalent to degrees from public institutions, but students can take the state examination just as graduates of "recognized" institutions can. But, given that more subjects are tested for "listed" than "recognized" graduates, few "recognized" graduates choose to sit for the state examinations.

Most degrees will look familiar to those acquainted with the US system of education, as follows:

  • Stage 1 (undergraduate): The Sarjana (S1) degree is awarded after completing four years of study.
  • Stage 2 (graduate/masters level): The Magister (S2) is awarded after two more years of study.
  • Stage 3 (graduate/doctoral level): The Doktor (S3) requires additional coursework after the Magister and the writing of a dissertation.

 

Credits Needed to Graduate
AwardCreditsSemester
Sarjana 1 (Sarjana Satu)144 — 1608
Sarjana 2 (Magister)180 — 19412
Sarjana 3 (Doktor)23016

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