"I had a long communication with the Saudi government through its ambassador in Jakarta to materialize this cooperation. Saudi Arabia also has research and mineral cooperation with the United States and Europe," Nasir said here on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia has provided 200 to 250 scholarships for non-religious higher education, especially on science and engineering, for Indonesians, he stated.
The minister expressed hope that Indonesian students would benefit from the scholarships, as currently only 25 scholarships in the total quota have been used.
According to Nasir, many Indonesians are of the opinion that higher education in Saudi Arabia lagged behind other countries. Hence, they are reluctant to take the scholarship offers.
Saudis higher education was ranked 225 in 2016 and now is at rank 181 out of 500 top universities of the world.
"They work very hard, and we want to cooperate with them in higher education as well as research, especially in mineral and material sector," Nasir remarked.
A memorandum of understanding on the cooperation would be signed at Bogor Presidential Palace, during Saudis King Salman visit to the country.
Reported by Virna P Setyorini
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