Thu, 08 May 2003

ITB turns elitist

Bandung Institute of Technology's (ITB's) announcement about a new student selection test has surprised many parents. It was planned that ITB would net around 2,500 new students this year, and around 100 to 300 students would be put into the category of "special" students, whose entry would be determined through their interest, talent and potential.

What surprises us parents is the cost of entering the test; we would have to pay Rp 300,000, for our child to sit the test on June 10 and June 11. Compared this, for example, with the Gajah Mada University selection test, held on April 22, the cost being only Rp 75,000. It was able to net around 60,000 new, would-be students.

Parents will have to think twice before allowing their children to study at the institute as they will have to pay Rp 300,000 for the selection test alone. In addition, if the would- be students were accepted, the tuition and other fees would cost as much as Rp 44 million for "special" students and Rp 3.6 million for normal students.

This amount of money is, of course, beyond the reach of the majority of parents in this country, who are eager to see their children study at this prestigious institute.

It seems that the "campus autonomy" policy has started to exact its toll, and it is becoming more and more expensive in this country to study at a recognized place of higher education. We don't know yet about the cost of the selection test for Jakarta-based University of Indonesia and will, no doubt, see whether it charges parents that much or even more.

M. RUSDI, Jakarta