Coordinator of Private University Coordination (Kopertis) Region X West Sumatra, Riau, Jambi and Riau Islands, Prof Herri said that Private University (PTS) takes strategic role to Equate the higher education in Indonesia. He also stated there are more than 4,000 universities in Indonesia, most of which being private universities. However, there are only about 200 public universities (PTN) in Indonesia. Therefore, PTN availability is unable to facilitate the function of higher education in more than 17,000 islands.
PTS can, therefore, take in small cities, districts even sub-districts to fulfill the hopes of students in these areas. This is because most members of society in areas far distant from the big cities still pursue the dream of going to university. PTS are thus able to accommodate more university students from the regions, particularly 3T (the Underdeveloped, Frontier, and Outermost) areas.
As an illustration, he said that there are only 7 million registered students in universities from an estimated Indonesian population of 250 million people. This can also act be a motivation for regional governments to compete in order to enhance the quality of PTS in their areas.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, Mohamad Nasir, underlined the fact that equating higher education opportunities has become high on central priorities. This is to build superior human resources. He also said that one of the biggest current tasks is to strengthen the higher education in 3T areas and provide opportunity for the lower economic levels of society to study at college.