Mon, 01 Aug 1994

State college entrance test results announced

JAKARTA (JP): The organizing committee for the state-run university entrance examination said less than 9.5 percent of the 66,153 high school students in Jakarta applying for entry into 49 state-run universities were accepted.

The results of the entrance examination for state-run universities were released simultaneously at various places throughout the country and announced in newspapers on Saturday.

"Only 6,232 students from Jakarta were admitted," said the organizing committee, adding that there were a total of 61,580 successful applicants throughout the country.

Overall, a mere 14.8 percent of the nationwide total of 419,737 applicants were accepted through the annual, highly competitive state-university entrance exams (UMPTN).

In Jakarta hundreds of senior high school graduates participated in the traditional rite of flocking to the Senayan sports complex early on Saturday morning to read the announcements which were printed in 11 Jakarta-based newspapers.

Most reacted coolly and in a reserved manner as they futility scoured the pages for their names.

"Disappointed? Not really, we all know there's a factor of luck in all of this," Hadi Pramadi, a state-high school (SMAN 35) graduate, told The Jakarta Post after failing to find his name.

The UMPTN, which took place simultaneously throughout the country last month, screened eligible high school graduates wishing to enter one of the 49 state-run universities. Only high school graduates from the classes of 1992, 1993 and 1994 were allowed to take this year's exam.

"As expected," was Dodi's answer as he walked away leaving his paper on the ground when the Post asked him how he did. "I didn't hold much hope before the UMPTN and I really wasn't expecting a miracle this morning," said the SMAN 15 graduate.

In comparison to Dodi, Eka Maulana, who was accepted at the University of Bengkulu in Bengkulu, said he was overjoyed and couldn't wait to tell his parents.

"I'm trying to be calm because many of my friends here aren't as lucky as I am, but actually inside I'm jumping with joy," he said with a big smile.

In the past three years the number of students taking part in the UMPTN has continually dropped from 479,709 applicants in 1991, 426,517 in 1992 to 422,696 last year.

The UMPTN is divided into three regions -- region A covering Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Jakarta, and West Java has 19 universities, region B with Central Java, Yogyakarta, South and Central and East Kalimantan has nine universities, and region C with East Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Irian Jaya has 17 universities.

Region A had the largest number of applicants with 212,409, followed by region C with 114,203 and region B with 93,127.

Private universities

When queried on their future plans many of the young people said that they had already applied to one of the many private universities in Jakarta.

"Next year I might not try again ... I don't think there's much difference in the quality of a private and state- university," remarked H. Yudianto who failed to get into the School of Criminology of the University of Indonesia.

Many of Jakarta's privately-run universities currently offer excellent educational facilities, albeit sometimes at a cost of 10 times the tuition of a state-run university.

Institutions such as Trisakti University require their students to pay an entrance fee of up to Rp 7 million (US$3237), while other institutions such as Pancasila University ask Rp 5.7 million.

Wiwit Widiantono, a member of the 1994 UMPTN organizing committee, said this year the entrance committee received a number of reference letters asking for a particular student to be admitted.

"In my experience these references not only come from rich or ranking officials only but also from ordinary people," he said.

Despite these references, the entrance committees cannot be swayed because the system guarantees a fair and equal entry for all to state universities, he said. (03/mds)