Universities Want to be Pro-active to SMKs

Kompas, page 12

Vocational school or polytechnics enthusiasts coming from vocational high school (SMK) remain low. A new strategy  such as being pro-active is needed to boost their presence in the vocational higher education institutions. Deputy Director of Education, Research and Student Affairs of the Vocational Education Program, University of Indonesia (PPVUI), Padang Wicaksono said that PPVUI annually admits 900 new students. Only 3 percent of them come from SMKs.

According to him, the low figure was due to the vocational school graduates only being able to enter through the invitation system, which is evaluated based  on academic achievement, practices, and extracurricular activities. They cannot follow the State Higher Education Entrance Joint Selection or the UI Entrance Selection because the tested subjects differ from what they had learned in SMK. Therefore, according to Padang, in 2017, PPVUI will approach top SMKs (of good quality) and offer students to pursue vocational education in tertiary vocational  institutions.

Vice Dean of the Vocational Faculty of Airlangga University, Retna Apsari said that starting in 2016, admissions for new  vocational students  is done in conjunction with the regular S1 students. Thus vocational education does not become the last choice/alternative for those who are not accepted in the undergraduate program.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Resources, Cooperation and Diploma Program Development of Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), Riswandi Iwan explained that since 2005, IPB has admitted students via the invitation selection system. These invitations were given to 1,800 schools including 400 SMKs. For SMKs there is  a relevant  study  program classification by studying the SMK track record. There is a quota of applicants for the school. Prospective students from SMKs who have the competence and certification gets a certain score. According to Iwan the joint selection for vocational colleges could be done based on academic and skills selection. Selection of skills could be grouped by areas of expertise that are conducted at designated universities.

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