Study in Indonesia

Education in Indonesia

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Ministry of national education centrally controls the education sector in Indonesia. The government of Indonesian has made decisive steps in the field of education by giving free education and greater equality to every child of the country.

Generally, schools in urban areas provide quality education with well-equipped and well-trained teachers. However, the rural area lacks behind. In recent years, the government has started to allocate more funds in equal distribution to schools throughout the country.

Let’s get a little deeper into the education structure of Indonesia. Moreover, there are four stages of education level. Generally, it starts with Pre-school and scales up to higher sections. So, let’s look at each step in detail.

Education in Indonesia – Pre-school – Taman Kanak-Kanak

Many children go to playgroup from a very tender age (2yrs old) before pre-school. Pre-schooling, which is also called Taman Kanak-Kanak. Usually, it is optional and offered to children under the age of four. However, private enterprises with fees payable run these schools.

Primary School – Sekolah Dasar

Primary schools are compulsory to attend for children in the age group between six and eleven. Moreover, this level of schooling is free and regulated by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

There are three categories of schools which are looked upon by:

  • Firstly, Secular
  • Next, Government-run
  • Lastly, Religious establishments (Islamic Madrassas)

Primary section has six levels of classes which are broad that covers:

  • First, Basic skills
  • Next, Physical education
  • And, Languages, etc.
Education in Indonesia - Creativity
Education in Indonesia – Creativity

Education in Indonesia – Secondary School – Sekolah Menengah Pertama and Sekolah Menengah Atas

Secondary Schools splits into two sections:

  • Junior level
  • Senior-level

Each level lasts for three years each, where Junior high schooling is free and compulsory. However, the senior level is not entirely free as some fees levied for the top programs.

Besides, junior level students can choose to enter senior high school and pursue the next level with their own subject choices. For example:

  • Languages
  • Social sciences
  • Specialize in engineering
  • Business.
  • Vocational schools are also available, where the focus is more on teaching practical skills and training.

One has two options from here:

  • First, to attend the general school/ High schools
  • Second, to attend Vocational/ technical education

Education in Indonesia – Vocational Institutes

  • Basically, there are Vocational Training Institutes that provides education, based training
  • In the first year, students attend the general and a few technical subjects
  • Moreover, the students in Vocational High Schools are given options of nine sectors in the second grade
  • And, while in the third year they have a choice of specialties. 

Besides, excellent and bright students get opportunities through scholarships and sponsorship. And, the general secondary school curriculum is regulated by the Minister of Education and Culture (No. 061/U/1993)

The general secondary school curriculum is as follows:

  • Pancasila education and citizenship
  • Religious education
  • Indonesian language and literature
  • National and general history
  • English language
  • Physical and health education
  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Arts education

Language program includes:

  • Indonesian language and literature
  • English language
  • Other international languages
  • Cultural history

The natural science program includes:

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics

The social science program includes:

  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Public administration
  • Anthropology

The variety of programs improves children’s abilities and bring good relationships with the natural, social, and cultural environment. Also, engage students with other activities like:

  1. Scouting
  2. Arts and craft
  3. Music
  4. School health activities
  5. Sports
  6. First aid programs.
Education in Indonesia - Students-Raise the flag
Education in Indonesia – Students-Raise the flag

Education in Indonesia – Vocational Secondary Education

Vocational schools provide students with three to four years of training and education. Therefore, it focuses on:

  • Firstly, the specially designed courses take into consideration,
  • Second, the perceived present and future demands of the job market
  • Finally, employment types.

There are six curriculum groups of Vocational education:

The agricultural and forestry group 

For work opportunities in areas like:

  • Agribusiness
  • Animal husbandry
  • Agronomy
  • Fisheries
  • Agriculture production management

The industrial technology group 

It offers professions in various sectors like:

  • Building construction
  • Mining
  • Marine engineering
  • Graphics
  • Textiles
  • Informatics
  • Industrial instrumentation

The business and management group 

It deals in the career-making in:

  • Accounting
  • Office management
  • Finance and banking
  • Trade
  • Secretarial work

The community welfare group 

This group prepares for targeting employment in:

  • Social services
  • Community health
  • Community development

The tourism group 

Students make their career in:

  • Hotel,
  • Catering
  • Fashion
  • Beauty occupations

The arts and handicraft group 

Where the skills and talent are focused on:

  • Applied arts
  • Visual arts,
  • Handicraft industry

Education in Indonesia – Special Education

There are individual schools for students with physical, mental, and behavioral disabilities. Moreover, it has better facilities and trained teachers to equip them with their problems. Besides, multiple agencies organize programs and funds in individual schools like;

  • Ministry of Education and Culture (Government)
  • Other ministries
  • Private organizations
  • Nongovernmental organizations
 Primary section
Education in Indonesia – Primary section

Education in Indonesia – Higher Education

The program structure at a higher level inherited from the Dutch colonial period consists of;

  • Bachelor’s program
  • Master’s program
  • Doctoral program

There are different levels of diploma programs and specialist programs. Moreover, for diploma programs, there are four levels:

Diploma programs

  • I – The first level of study is for 20 to 50-semester credit units, and it takes over 2 to 4 semesters to complete after secondary education.
  • II – This level of study is for 80 to 90-semester credit units, and it takes over 4 to 6 semesters to complete
  • III – This level of education is for 110 to 120-semester credit units, and it takes over 6 to 10 semesters to complete
  • IV – This level of study is for 144 to 160-semester credit units, and it takes over 8 to 14 semesters to complete

Specialist programs

  • I – This level of study is for 36 to 50-semester credit units, and it takes over 4 to 10 semesters to complete
  • II – This level of education is for 40 to 50-semester credit units. Generally, it takes over 4 to 10 semesters after completing the Specialist I program or its equivalent studies.
Education in Indonesia - College student
Education in Indonesia – College student

Education in Indonesia – Masters program

The master’s program will have 36 to 50-semester credit units with the thesis, theories, and practicals. And, it takes four semesters to complete. Moreover, the study for a doctorate program requires 40-semester credit units. Usually, a dissertation is completed in four semesters.

Would you be interested in the school calendar and hours?

Schools in Indonesia have semesters that starts from August to June each year. Particularly, most schools run in the morning from 6.30 am until afternoon. However, the timetable varies from school to school.

Education in Indonesia – International students

In particular, students who come from different countries to Indonesian institutions/colleges go through appropriate entrance qualifications. And, they have to prove their financial abilities.

As a rule, students have to qualify for the government organized entrance examination. Therefore, most of the universities have their terms of conducting admission tests/exams organized by colleges/universities individually.

Why do students choose Indonesia?

  • Firstly, Indonesia is the largest nation in Southeast Asia. Also, it has been a foreign destination for tourists.
  • In recent times, the education system has moved way up than it was a few years back. 
  • Importantly, they look at producing “smart and competitive” people who can make a very bright future. 
  • Moreover, students here can look for jobs and other opportunities. 
  • Besides, many top universities help and support learning to a different level. 
  • Overall, there has been good growth in the field of education 
  • Therefore, the Ministry of Education of Indonesia has worked hard to push the education system to a much higher level. 
  • Altogether, they have started a variety of subjects with good faculties in most colleges.
  • Lastly, It has pulled many students across the world.

Education in Indonesia – Admission Requirements 

Requirements for a bachelor degree:

  1. Firstly, university entrance qualification for the chosen study program
  2. Second, general university entrance qualification
  3. Third, basic knowledge of the local language
  4. Fourth, aptitude test in case of artistic programs
  5. Fifth, aptitude exam for physical or motor skills for teachers training (physical education and a degree in sports and science).
  6. Lastly, other different procedures are based on University to University.

Admission to Bachelor course is granted upon the basis of the following:

  • School-leaving certificate OR foreign equivalent certificate
  • Completion of university entrance qualification examination
  • Students who have completed lower school in addition to training. Usually, as skilled workers can take up a vocationally based test or equivalent.
  • Sometimes, admission depends on a selective admission process like, for example, University applied science.

Bachelor program should contain the following details:

  • Firstly, the teaching concept 
  • Survey of demand and acceptance
  • Next, fields of research
  • Admission regulations 
  • Cost estimate and financial program 
  • Evaluations of programs 
  • Also, curriculum and examination regulations 
  • Information on facilities and equipment 
  • And, orientation profiles 
  • Lastly, the development of the curriculum and so on

Part-time Jobs

  • Firstly, work while the study option is available in Indonesia under certain conditions. 
  • Next, students will work through agencies or Student services
  • On the side, If you wish to make some extra cash, then you will need a special permit. 
  • However, the license will be valid for the time you study. 
  • And, you will be allowed to work only in the locality.
  • Lastly, some percent of the tax will be reduced.

Job Opportunities

  • The unemployment rate is falling due to the rise of many companies in Indonesia. 
  • Moreover, the locals are highly preferred for jobs. 
  • Nevertheless, non-EU candidates with high scores are likely to get employment. 
  • Engineers are in high demand.
  • Besides, Universities provide job opportunities to their students.
  • Additionally, skill development tools are designed for students
  • Lastly, the student network works well.


  • The education system of Indonesia has six years in primary school and three in junior secondary school.
  • However, kids less than 5 years attend three years of kindergarten
  • Generally, there are nine years of free education
  • Students wear school uniforms.
  • So, students give exams to go to the higher classes
  • And, there are various programs in higher studies
  • Also, get ready to learn a new language
  • The job market is stable
  • Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies
  • Moreover, it is home to some of the most top universities in Asia
  • Therefore, it makes a perfect place for international students to study
  • Particularly, programs are taught in English
  • Tuition at public universities is very low
  • The calendar year at most universities has two semesters
  • Besides, Universities in Indonesia offer two types of degrees- Bachelor and Masters
  • In addition, few colleges offer Ph.D. degrees
  • And, many students come here for research.
  • Also, you will get to know about the place
  • Moreover, teachers are well trained
  • By the way, Classrooms are up to date
  • And, make friends for life
  • Lastly, the country is loved by all

Well, the education system in Indonesia is improving year by year. Moreover, various scholarship programs will help this place to play a significant role in international education in the years to come. So, we hope the information will be useful and helpful. All the Best!!


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