Meeting the Indonesian Diaspora in DC, the Minister of Finance Alludes to the Loss of Papuan Student Scholarship Funds

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The stalled flow of scholarship funds for Papuan students in the United States (US) from the special autonomy funds (Otsus) was one of the concerns expressed by the Minister of Finance (Menkeu) Sri Mulyani in her meeting with a number of community leaders and the Indonesian diaspora in Washington DC, on Tuesday. (12/10) night.

“Earlier I heard that there was a problem because the scholarships were not always smooth. This is what we take care of, starting from transparent recruitment, clear criteria, sending to schools that are clear and the requirements are clear, the payment is always on time as much as possible,” said Sri Mulyani, referring to reports about several Papuan students who were threatened with being unable to continue their education. they are in America because they have not received scholarship funds from the Papua regional government.

He added that the Papuan regional government (Pemda) received quite large Otsus data, one of which was to send Papuan children to school and go abroad. The Minister of Finance then expressed his hope that this delay in sending scholarship funds would not happen again.

It was previously known that several Papuan students studying at George Mason University in Washington DC were threatened with not being able to continue their education due to delays in sending scholarship funds during the last two semesters which prevented them from registering for the next semester.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani (center) meets with a number of community leaders and the Indonesian diaspora in Washington DC on October 12, 2021. (Photo: Mouab/Virginia Gunawan)

Source FLY said that this delay was not the first time, and specifically this delay made the affected students potentially be sent home before completing their studies.

Several Papuan students then met with Sri Mulyani after the meeting on Tuesday night Washington DC time, but they were not ready to comment further.

Minister of Finance Explains LPDP

During the meeting, Sri Mulyani also explained about the endowment fund at the Education Fund Management Institute (LPDP), which now amounts to around 81.7 trillion rupiah. The amount of this endowment is part of Indonesia’s commitment to developing the quality of human resources.

If initially the LPDP funds were used to provide scholarships to outstanding students who wanted to pursue further education abroad, now these funds are given for various purposes.

“When the president asked to allocate a cultural endowment fund, we gave it. Also research endowments, and college endowments. Everything on top of The LPDP endowment fund itself was first created to focus on postgraduate scholarships at the best universities in the world, (and) there are criteria,” said Sri Mulyani.

LPDP Also Targets TNI/Polri and Islamic Boarding Schools

Currently, LPDP’s targets are very diverse because they are also targeting lecturers who want to continue their undergraduate education in the country, further education for the best students from the eastern part of Indonesia, as well as TNI/Polri personnel and for Islamic boarding schools.

“We have started by sending 100 of the best graduates of Islamic boarding schools to study abroad, but they can also choose domestically, with sufficient fields. diverse. So pesantren is also our target,” added Sri.

Muslim students read the Koran by wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance at the Daarul Qur'an Al Kautsar Islamic Boarding School, Bogor, West Java (photo: doc).

Muslim students read the Koran by wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance at the Daarul Qur’an Al Kautsar Islamic Boarding School, Bogor, West Java (photo: doc).

Some of LPDP’s funding is now also focused on research funding.

“In the past, only if the research was done with international (parties), and we got sponsors. But now we support all out for research (such as) vaccine discovery (by) Eijkman, UGM, and others. Now that BRIN has been created, all the research under them… Very excited We give a lot of opportunities to all people,” he said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani along with a number of other financial officials were in the US capital, Washington DC, to attend the annual meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which began last Monday (11/10).

“Ending the Pandemic: The Road to Inclusive Recovery” was the big theme at the meeting which was attended by finance ministers, central bank governors, private executives, representatives of civil society organizations and academics from various countries.

The meeting was also held to discuss issues of global concern, including economic prospects, poverty alleviation, economic development and the effectiveness of aid schemes. For the first time since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, it will be held face-to-face. (em / rs)

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