JAKARTA – The ministry of research, technology and higher education would invite foreign academics to lead some state universities targeted to enter the list of 100 best universities in the world.

The state will pay the foreign rectors’ salary and will not cut down university budget for it, said minister of research, technology and higher education Mohamad Nasir.

The government has targeted one university to be led by a foreign rector in 2020 and five in 2024.

At first, Nasir said, the government would challenge the foreign rectors to make the universities enter the world’s best 200. “After this target is met, the next target is entering the top 150 of the world and finally the top 100.”

Nasir said that employing foreign rectors was a usual practice in overseas countries, particularly in Europe. Even neighboring Singapore has done so, he added. For example, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is now one of the world’s best 50 universities 38 years after its inception in 1981.

The government is amending some regulations needed to ensure the working legality of these foreign rectors in Indonesia.

“I have reported to Mr President that we had to amend some regulations,” said Nasir.

A ministry team is preparing the criteria that the universities need to meet to enter the world’s best 100 list.