Minister of research, technology and higher education Mohamad Nasir has announced that 168,742 test takers had passed the 2019 state university joint entrance test (SMBPTN), with 48,965 of them were awardees of government-sponsored Bidikmisi scholarship.

Some 714,652 test takers sat this year’s selection tests, which were done between April 13, 2019 and May 26, 2019 and were computer-based. Those who passed have secured seats in 85 state universities

This year’s edition is “the best in my five years as minister”, said Nasir. The government continues to monitor and to evaluate the selection processes as it hopes to provide excellent higher education quality to support the development of Indonesia.

As the tests were done on a computer, they are less prone to cheating, Nasir said. “We are seeking the best potentials, not only in terms of grades, but also scholastically and academically,” Nasir said at a news conference at the ministry building in Senayan, July 9.

Brawijaya university in Malang, East Java, was the most sought-after by test takers this year (55,871 test takers), followed by March 11th University and Diponegoro University, both in Central Java, with 48,735 and 48,440 candidates.

The Malang-based university also topped the list of hopefuls in the science and technology cluster with 33,987 candidates, while the Indonesian Education University (UPI) in Bandung, West Java led in the social and humanities studies sector with 34,533 candidates.

The most sought-after study programme in the sci-tech area was the medical science course from Udayana University in Bali (2,301 candidates), whereas in the social and humanities studies sector was the law programme from Diponegoro University (3,702).

Bandung Institute of Technology has the highest average passing score in the sci-tech area with 689,75 and University of Indonesia in Depok, West Java, in the social and humanities studies cluster with 662,83.

Of 2,047 test takers with disability, 364 passed the selection tests.

Those who were not successful in the tests have been encouraged to sit tests managed by the universities themselves.

At the press briefing, Nasir also launched PDDikti Mobile app, which gives higher education information and helps users with data about universities, “everywhere and anywhere”.