Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Erasmus Training Centre (ETC) for language and academics preparation helps Indonesian students to prepare for their higher studies in the Netherlands.

ETC is an initiative by four universities in the Netherlands, namely Leiden, Stenden, VU Amsterdam, and Groningen; and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as Nuffic Neso Indonesia.

"Although a lot of bachelor and master programs in the Netherlands can be done in English, it is still important to learn the Dutch language," Dutch Minister of Education, Culture, and Science Mari'tte "Jet" Bussemaker noted in a press conference at the ETC inauguration on Monday.

The center will support Indonesian students and academics to get access to higher education by offering courses in English, Dutch, and academic skills.

For Dutch nationals and other international arrivals in Jakarta, it will offer courses in Bahasa Indonesia, which is often considered as a main challenge to study in Indonesia.

"As far as I know, there are not many courses (delivered) in English provided by Indonesian universities. And of course, the students who start to study here should learn a little bit of Bahasa Indonesia to a certain level, which can enable them to follow good university programs," Bussemaker stated.

As an upgrade of Erasmus Taalcentrum, which previously offered course only for Dutch language, the ETC will also serve as a platform for the Dutch universities to offer training programs, in Jakarta and beyond, for the benefit of Indonesian professionals and the organizations they work for.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia Rob Swartbol noted that the center has been cooperating with the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to carry out a Dutch language course for its cabin crew.

"The unique aspect about this center (establishment) is that we can prepare the students and professionals as best as we can before they go to Holland," Swartbol stated.

Currently, there are more than 1.5 thousand Indonesian students studying in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the number of Dutch students who study in the archipelago country is only a few hundreds.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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