How will foreign-branch campuses affect Indonesia’s student mobility?
Will foreign-branch campuses heighten Indonesia’s appeal as a study abroad destination? Source: Shutterstock

Is Indonesia set to become Southeast Asia’s next top study abroad destination? 

The news of Monash University opening a foreign branch campus in Jakarta next year has made a splash, with pundits noting that more foreign universities are expected to follow suit following this announcement. 

The news is particularly striking as the Australian university is the first foreign university to be allowed to open a branch campus in Indonesia.

Pundits believe Monash’s presence will pave the way for other foreign universities to establish campuses on Indonesia soil.

Times Higher Education (THE) said at least one other Australian university reportedly plans to follow Monash’s lead in establishing a campus there, while a former US ambassador is said to be negotiating on behalf of a prominent American university that is also keen on establishing a campus on its shores. 

Institutions in China, Japan and the UK are also thought to be in discussions with the Indonesian government.

So what does this mean for students? 

Cheaper foreign education for local Indonesian youth?

ICEF notes that the number of Indonesian students studying abroad has been growing steadily, with destinations in Asia and the Asia Pacific appear to be recording the strongest growth, including Australia, Malaysia and China.

The presence of a foreign university or universities on local soil means local students can obtain quality degrees from reputable universities on homeground without going abroad, thus translating to great savings, especially for those from the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

With foreign universities eyeing Indonesia’s untapped HE market potential, now may be a good time for international students to explore the country’s potential as a study abroad destination.

By allowing foreign-based universities to establish branch campuses on its shores, Indonesia can heighten its attractiveness as a study abroad destination, bringing in more international students to its shores.

Indonesia is relatively affordable when compared to neighbouring nations including Singapore and Hong Kong, which are among the most expensive places to live in. 

Living expenses will vary depending on where you study and your type of accommodation, but expect to have higher living expenses in cities such as Jakarta. 

On average, reports suggest annual living costs are around £6,500/US$8,600 for students. 

Indonesia also offers international students a plethora of travelling options due to the archipelago’s varied terrains, from sandy beaches to rugged mountains and volcanoes. 

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