Tue, 08 Aug 2000

400,000 students fail to get into state universities

JAKARTA (JP): Around 400,000 high school graduates, or around 85 percent of the students who took this year's state university entrance examinations (UMPTN), have failed to get places at the universities of their choice.

According to the exam results announced on Monday, 73,540 students passed and are hence able to continue studying at one of the country's 45 state universities.

Antara reported that this year state universities also accepted some 12,000 students who did not take entrance tests because of outstanding high school performances.

Competition for places on courses at state universities, particularly popular ones in Java, has always been tough due to, among other things, the relatively cheap tuition fees.

This year's figures were similar to those in previous years. In 1999, 72,600 students out of 480,000 hopefuls passed the exams.

The exams took place on July 4 in big cities across the country, excluding those in the riot-torn provinces of Maluku, North Maluku and Aceh.

Like in previous years, the exam results were announced by a committee from the national education ministry office through several media, including newspapers and a website www.cs.ui.ac.id/umptn00.

The national admission examination committee executive secretary, Soesmalidjah Soewondo, said that in Maluku and Aceh the results were announced at local universities.

In Maluku, activities at universities have been suspended until the situation returns to normal.

Minister of National Education Yahya A. Muhaimin once said his office planned to covert several private universities into state ones.

The plan has not been heard of again.

In Jakarta, copies of the results were displayed at several places, including those on both campuses University of Indonesia (UI) campuses in Salemba, Central Jakarta and in Depok, West Java; and the Senayan Sports Stadium, South Jakarta.

At Senayan, the committee provided 20,000 free copies of the results starting at dawn.

But by 8 a.m, only a few hundred students and their families had come by to pick up their results.

"Maybe they have already seen them on the Internet or in the newspapers," said the deputy chairman of the national committee, Budi Sampurno, who is also a lecturer at UI's medical school.

Those who had passed could not hide their excitement, while those who could not find their name and examination number on the list looked miserable.

"I've been accepted in the agronomy school at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB)," screamed Agus, a graduate from SMU 47 Senior High School in Tanah Kusir, South Jakarta.

Ahmad Salman, a SMU 6 graduate, was also overjoyed after he found he had won a seat at UI's law school.

"I just found out now. I have been trying to download it from the Internet since midnight but it was so hard," he said.

Rinto Yoga, one of those who failed, said sadly she hoped to make the grade next year. (jaw/09)