JAKARTA, March 27 (BSS/Xinhua) -- The quality of Indonesian universities climbed among the Asia's best schools, but educators have played down the figures as meaningless without increased government funding and support for research and scholarship programs, local media reported here today.
The latest edition of the Spain-based "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities" put Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University (UGM) at 30th place in Asia, up from 61st. The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the University of Indonesia are 33rd and 53rd, respectively, up from 56th and 84th.
This is also the first time the country's "big three" have all broken into the top 500 worldwide, the Jakarta globe reported here.
The rankings are determined based on each university's Web presence, taking into account the size, visibility, quality of files and number of papers an institution produces on academic search engines such as Google Scholar.
Nevertheless, officials from the universities are cautious about extrapolating any conclusions about their quality of education based on the rankings.
"Our concern is not rankings, but the many exceptional high
school students who are unable to find funding for their
education. Instead of wasting resources to improve rankings, we
are more concerned about how the ITB can provide scholarships for
these students who excel academically but suffer financially,"
said Professor Hasanuddin Z. Abidin, vice president of
communications, cooperation and alumni affairs at the ITB.
He said the greatest challenge faced by Indonesian
universities was getting funding.
"Research funding provided by the government is only 0.08
percent of GDP," he said. "By contrast, other countries are
spending close to 2 to 3 percent of their GDP on research," he