Indonesia’s Regional Representatives Council (DPD), the Indonesian Lecturer Association and the Indonesian Rectors’ Forum held the 2018 Archipelago’s Scholarship Festival from November 24 to 25 at the parliament complex in Jakarta. It attracted a lot of people who wished to pursue higher education but have limited financial support.

“Thank God, many attendees were enthusiastic with the event. This is extraordinary because our country needs to be capable to compete with other countries,” said DPD deputy speaker Nono Sampono in his opening speech at the event.

Sampono said the festival’s initial target was to have 15,000 attendees. Yet the reality was that the event was attended by more than 40,000 people.

“This showed our children’s enthusiasm about education,” said Sampono.

Sampono said the festival was aimed at creating better generations for the country. Low-income students need scholarship to support their aspiration to attain higher education with good quality, said him.

“A good quality education will bring positive developments to us,” said Sampono.

Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir appreciated the event, saying that it could trigger the society to pursue higher education.

Nasir said the ministry annually allocates in its budget scholarships for university students and lecturers who aim to pursue higher education. From 2015 to 2018, the ministry has given scholarships under different programs to 471,800 students.

The government has limited budget, though. That is why it is important for other institutions and organizations to give scholarships, too.

The ministry hopes to hold the similar event in other parts of Indonesia.

Also present at the event were John Hendri, secretary of directorate general for science, technology and higher education resources at the ministry, and other invited guests.