Market Information

Official Name Republik Indonesia (Republic of Indonesia)
Form of State A unitary state in the form of a Republic.
Head of State The President of the Republic of Indonesia (Presiden Republik Indonesia) is the Head of State as well as the Head of the Government. The current President is Joko Widodo
Location Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Capital City Jakarta
Official Language Bahasa Indonesia
Population 258,316,051 (July 2016 est.)
Population Growth 0.89% per year
Main Ethnic Groups Javanese, Sundanese, Indonesian (Malay), Madura
Major Languages Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, Javanese, and other local dialects
Main Religions Islam (more than 80%), Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism
Area 1 919 443 square kilometres (742,308 square miles)
Indonesia Coastline 54,720 km
Currency Rupiah (1 rupiah (Rp) is divided into 100 sen)
Main Agricultural Products Rice, coconuts, soy beans, bananas, coffee, tea, palm, rubber, sugar cane
Main Industries Fishing, petroleum, timber, paper products, cotton cloth, tourism, mining of petroleum, natural gas, auxite, coal and tin
GDP (official exchange rate) US$287.4 billion
Higher Education Students 3,663,435
Proportion of Relevant Age Group in Higher Education 15%
Higher Education Institutions 3,441
Number of Students Abroad 31,687 (UNESCO 2004)
Major Study Destinations USA, Australia, Malaysia, Germany, The Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Japan and Canada
Popular Fields of Studies Economy, Business and Administration, Engineering, IT, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Medical and Health / Natural Sciences

Sources :

• / en / indonesia_brief / geography
• 2007 estimates from CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated
• Embassy of India in Indonesia

Indonesia is and will become even more an attractive education market. The political stability and steady economic growth will lead to an increasingly larger middle class. More students will be able to afford to study abroad and the interest for the Indian study is increasing. This, combined with fact that a foreign degree is still seen as an entry ticket to better career perspectives and the local imbalance in supply and demand of quality educational programmes, makes Indonesia an interesting and potential education market. The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world, comprising 17,508 islands stretching along 5,120 kilometers from east to west, and 1,760 kilometers from north to south. The islands scatter over more than one tenth of the equator between Southeast Asia and Australia, covering a land area of around 2 million square kilometers and territorial waters nearly four times that size. The total territorial area is 9.8 million km2, of which 81% consists of sea, while the rest (19%) is terrestrial land. The total coastline length of all islands is 54,716 km.

Main Islands :
Java, Bali, Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. There are two large groupings of smaller islands: Maluku and Nusa Tenggara.

Main cities
1. Jakarta, the capital city located on the northwest coast Java, is the political and business center of Indonesia.
2. Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city located in East Java, is a leading industrial center and port.
3. Medan in North Sumatra, is the third largest city near Singapore/ Selat Malaka.
4. Other important cities are Bandung, Denpasar, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Padang, Palembang, Makassar, Manado, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, and Jayapura.

The total population in 2016 is estimated at 258.3 million with an equal proportion of men and women. According to age structure, the population composition is:

• 0-14 years: 25.42%
• 15-24 years: 17.03%
• 25-54 years: 42.35%
• 55-64 years: 8.4%
• 65 years and over: 6.79%

The current estimated population growth rate is 0.89 percent.

Sources :,

Political system
Indonesia is a Republic with a presidential system. As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the national government. The president of Indonesia is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints the council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature. The president serves a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.

The highest representative body at national level is the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalizing broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president. The MPR comprises two houses; the People’s Consultative Assembly (DPR), with 550 members, and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), with 168 members.

Sources :

Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has seen a slowdown in growth since 2012, mostly due to the end of the commodities export boom. During the global financial crisis, Indonesia outperformed its regional neighbors and joined China and India as the only G20 members posting growth. Indonesia’s annual budget deficit is capped at 3% of GDP, and the Government of Indonesia lowered its debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 100% shortly after the Asian financial crisis in 1999 to less than 25% today. Fitch and Moody's upgraded Indonesia's credit rating to investment grade in December 2011.

Indonesia still struggles with poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment, and unequal resource distribution among its regions. President Joko Widodo - elected in July 2014 – seeks to develop Indonesia’s maritime resources and pursue other infrastructure development, including significantly increasing its electrical power generation capacity. Fuel subsidies were significantly reduced in early 2015, a move which has helped the government redirect its spending to development priorities. Indonesia, with the nine other ASEAN members, will continue to move towards participation in the ASEAN Economic Community, though full implementation of economic integration has not yet materialized.

Higher education system

Types of Recognized Higher Education Institutions
In 2006 an impressive number of 3,663,435 students were studying at 3,441 Indonesian higher education institutions. The following types can be distinguished:

• a) Universities (Universitas), both private and public, which are recognized by the Ministry of National Education.
• b) Institutes (Instituts) and teacher training institutes (Institut Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan or IKIPs) which rank as universities with full degree-granting status.
• c) Islamic institutes, which have the same rank as universities but come under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
• d) Schools (Sekolah Tinggi), both public and private, which offer academic and professional university-level education in one particular discipline.
• e) Academies (Akademi) which offer Diploma/Certificate technician-level courses at public and private levels. Higher technical/vocational education is offered by Akademi, which are single-faculty academies which confer Diploma level qualifications (up to three years’ study) and in Polytechnics which also confer Diplomas. Diploma Programs are considered to be professional rather than academic.
• f) Polytechnics (Politeknik), which are technical/vocational schools attached to universities and provide sub-degree junior technician training.

Private universities come under the responsibility of the Directorate of Private Universities within the Directorate General of Higher Education. The Ministry of National Education, through the Directorate General of Higher Education, exercises authority over both state and private institutions.

University Programmes and Degrees

• Stage 1: The Sarjana (S1) degree is awarded after completing four years of study. Professional disciplines (medicine, dentistry, science, pharmacy, engineering, etc.) require an additional two to six semesters.
• Stage 2: The Magister (S2) is awarded after two more years of course work and research following the Sarjana, including the writing of a thesis. Admission requires an undergraduate GPA of between 2.5 and 2.75, letters of recommendation and sometimes English language proficiency.
• Stage 3: The Doktor (S3) requires additional course work after the Magister and the writing of a dissertation.

Education Market

Student profile
Exact statistics on the main fields of study chosen by Indonesian students studying abroad are not available. However, in 2006 Australia Education International noted that interest had widened from the traditionally popular fields of study including Business, IT and Accounting/Finance into Medicine, Health Sciences, Linguistics and Engineering.

Most popular study destinations: numbers and trends
In 2004, the Institute of International Education (IIE) estimated that 0.9% of Indonesian tertiary students went abroad, equivalent to some 30,000 students based on a total pool of 3,441,429 tertiary students in Indonesia at that time. UNESCO’s estimation of the total number in 2004 is comparable, i.e. 31,687. This market potential is strongly increasing considering the growing middle-class.

Top destinations for Indonesian students in 2004 were as follows :

• Australia: 10,184 students
• United States: 8,880 students
• Malaysia: 4,731 students (2002 data)
• Germany: 2,570 students (2006 data)
• Japan: 1,474 students
• The Netherlands: 1,250 students (2006 data)
• UK: 560 students (2006 data)

Demand for overseas education in Indonesia is concentrated in the major cities of Java (Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Sumatra), and in the smaller cities of Semarang and Yogyakarta. Australia and the USA are most dominant in the education market in terms of attracting of the largest numbers of Indonesian students, but have been experiencing declining numbers in recent years. The main reason is that other countries are becoming more active in the Indonesian market. Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and now India have increasingly become important players. Indonesian students are increasingly looking for alternative study destinations instead of the traditional ones.

Sources :
Badan Pusat Statistik, Ikhtisar Data Pendidikan Nasional 2006/07,, Neso Indonesia, Institute of International Education (IIE), British Council, DAAD, AEI Indonesia Newsletter 2006.