Thousands of high-school students attended an education expo at the Istora Senayan sports hall in Central Jakarta to gather information about their future studies.
Anesia, a student of SMA 93 junior high school in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, said that she came to the expo of Jakarta universities to look for back-up universities in case she failed to gain admission abroad.
Almost 200 higher education institutions in Jakarta, ranging from universities to pilot training and flight schools, are included in the three-day fair. Several universities located outside Jakarta, including Makassar-based Hasanuddin University, are also taking part. Most of them are private-owned, while some others are state universities, such as Jakarta State University (UNJ) and the Indonesian Merchant Maritime Academy (STIP).
Anesia, an 11th grade student, said that she was looking for a private university here as an alternative because Jakarta, her hometown, offered many options.
“I’m still looking for universities that offer double degree programs, so that I can still study abroad,” she said.
Another student, Affan, was surprised to see STIP, a maritime school under the supervision of the Transportation Ministry, in Cilincing, North Jakarta, because he had never heard of it.
“I’m really interested because it offers jobs to its graduates. Therefore, I don’t have to look for a job,” he said.
For high school student Anindya, studying in Jakarta is the only option as her parents will not allow her to study in another city.
“It is more convenient and cheaper to study in my hometown because I don’t have to rent a room,” she said.
Anindya said that she was happy with the expo because her dream school, UNJ, was taking part.
Jakarta Education Agency head Taufik Yudi Mulyanto said that the expo aimed to establish a symbiotic connection between students and universities.
“Students need information about more than 300 universities available in Jakarta with different qualifications, while the universities, particularly those that are privately operated, need to recruit new students,” Taufik said after the expo’s opening ceremony.
According to Taufik, Jakarta can be called an education city as it has more than 300 private higher education institutions.
In addition to the private institutions, the capital also has 12 others, which are supervised by various ministries, with the most prominent being the University of Indonesia (UI).
“Every year, around 63,000 students graduate from high schools in Jakarta and half of them continue their studies in the city,” Taufik said.
He said that the expo also showed the close competition between state and private universities. “In the past, state universities never joined an education expos,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Zaidin A. Zaiti, president director of the fair’s organizer Profajar Eksibit Internasional, said that the seventh annual fair was expected to attract 15,000 students.
His company, in cooperation with the Jakarta Private University Coordinating Body (Kopertis) and the Jakarta Education Agency, provided buses to transport high-school and vocational high-school students from their schools to Istora Senayan.
On Wednesday, more than 2,500 students from 39 high schools came to the expo by bus, said a staff member of Profajar, Lina.
She said that her company would also transport students from different high schools until the expo was finished. (nai)