“Imported rector’ polemic, welcome by President, yet criticized by House

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M. Nasir, Indonesia’s Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education. (photo: litbang.kemendagri.go.id)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, M Nasir said President Joko Widodo agrees with the idea of recruiting foreign rector. Nasir said he had revealed verbally to President about the ‘imported rector’ plan. The green light has been given, just the preparation should be made so that it can be implemented in 2020. Currently it depends on the preparation of the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry for its implementation.

“He agrees, depending on how I prepare it. If the preparation is not good, maybe we are pending it,” said Nasir after the 227th new doctor’s oath taking ceremony at Undip, Semarang, Thursday (1/8/). Many things must be prepared, starting from the regulations that must be corrected. In addition, it also maps which universities will implement it first.

Nasir stresses that the application in 2020-2024 is only for a number of pilot universities. The universities which will implement it have not yet been confirmed whether public or private universities. “We are mapping which universities are feasible. We have 4,700 universities, let us take examples 2 or 5 for 2020-2024, not all rectors,” he said.

Regarding the “imported rectors”, the idea is criticized by the Deputy Speaker of the House Fahri Hamzah. Fahri questioned if the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education has no concept of building a world-class campus. According to Fahri, Indonesians are able to become the rectors of the world-class campuses. He asks not to invite foreigners to solve problems in Indonesia.

However, Nasir responded to the criticism. According to him the efforts made is to improve universities in Indonesia, and he is ready to receive input. “Yes, let it be (criticized). It’s fine. What matter to me is the input given to me is to improve higher education,” said Nasir. (dsy)