A minister welcomed foreign universities to operate in Indonesia, as long as their executives are willing to collaborate with domestic higher learning institutions in their operations.
Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said Saturday that the higher education bill, currently still being discussed by the lawmakers, granted foreign institutions opportunities to operate in the country on condition that they meet two requirements.
"First, they [foreign universities] must be accredited. Second, they must work together with local universities in their management," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
During his visit to the Surabaya State Electronic Polytechnic in East Java, Nuh said that the new regulation would further facilitate local education colleges in cooperation with foreign universities, particularly in terms of technology transfer.
Nuh stressed that Indonesia would not follow an example set by Malaysia, which he claimed had allowed foreign universities to enter without any pre-conditions.
"If we let foreign universities stand independently [in Indonesia], we will get stuck in an educational liberalization. We will provide detailed rules through government regulation for any foreign institution that wants to enter our country," he said.
Surabaya State Electronic Polytechnic director Dadet Pramadihanto said that the existence of foreign universities in the country was not a threat, but they would not be able to enter the country without cooperation from local universities.
"If legislators pass the bill into law, we will increase our cooperation with foreign institutions, but merely by conducting research or exchange of students and lectures and not to build new universities together," he said.
United Development Party (PPP) legislator Reni Marlinawati previously said that Article 50 of the bill required foreign universities operating in Indonesia to hire Indonesian lecturers and staff members.