Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo summoned Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Anwar Makarim to the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Monday, amid the controversial increases in university tuition fees.

"We will discuss several issues regarding education. I came here to report to Mr. President," Makarim stated while explaining to journalists regarding the purpose of his visit to the palace.

The minister confirmed when asked whether the issues would include the one concerning increased university tuition fees.

"Yes, a number of issues will be discussed," he remarked.

Significant increases of five to 10 percent in state university tuition fees have been making headlines lately, prompting students in several regions to initiate mass demonstrations.

Related news: Minister to stop irrational increase in university tuition fees

In response, Commission X of the House of Representatives (DPR) formed a special working committee tasked with identifying the reason behind the increases.

At a joint working meeting with Commission X in Jakarta last week, Makarim attributed the soaring tuition fees to a ministerial regulation he had issued earlier this year, which stipulates that the increases should only affect new students for the next academic year

The minister noted that a polemic emerged in the public due to the belief that the new rates of tuition will affect all students at state universities, including active students.

He also affirmed that the regulation would not be applied to new students with low economic capacity, noting that the government has determined that such students will only need to pay either Rp500 thousand (US$31) or Rp1 million (US$62) of tuition fees for a semester.

Makarim then vowed that his ministry would take measures to stop irrational increases in tuition fees.

"The ministry will recommend stopping these irrational increases in tuition fees. We will see to it," he remarked in the meeting on May 21.

Related news: State universities should exercise prudence in determining tuition fee

Translator: Yashinnta D, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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