The system, called Jalur Undangan, or Invitation Channel, is being introduced by the government to allocate seats at state university entrance exams to high-achieving students who were in the top 10 in their classes during their three years of high school.
Under the system, these students will have to pay an admission fee of Rp 175,000 ($20) to be allowed to take the exam for the university of their choice and will be able to choose up to two majors if they pass.
Not all students qualify even to take the entrance exams and the competition for a seat is expected to intensify this year. In 2010, 447,000 high school graduates took exams for just 82,000 places at 54 state universities. This year an estimated 800,000 graduates will vie for 120,000 seats.
Muhdi, dean of the Teacher Training Institute (IKIP PGRI) in Semarang, warned that some unscrupulous school officials could doctor the academic records of undeserving students to help them get a seat at the exams.
“Schools should be cautioned against submitting manipulated data for the Jalur Undangan because altering the students’ data will only taint the name of their schools,” he said on Monday.
“If any wrongdoing is detected, the schools and the students will lose out because the universities won’t trust them anymore. There’s also the possibility that bright students from these schools will be rejected for the Jalur Undangan in the future because the universities are aware of the reputations of the schools.”
Slamet Triono, head of the entrance exam organizing committee at North Sumatra’s Medan State University, agreed that it was important for everyone that high schools played fairly.
“The consequences of not doing so are profound,” he said. “Our committee has decided that these schools will not be allowed to nominate students through the same channel for the next three years.”
He suggested that cheating schools also be put on a government blacklist as additional punishment.
Sukemi, an adviser to the national education minister, acknowledged that schools could abuse the Jalur Undangan system.
However, he said the public did not need to worry because each university’s entrance exam organizing committee already had the measures in place to detect such fraud.
“The exam organizing committees are highly experienced in the workings of the education system, so we can certainly figure out if a school is cheating by nominating an undeserving student,” he said.
All nominations, he added, would have to be accompanied by the students’ school transcripts, which he said were difficult to manipulate.
“We’ll ask the schools to provide copies of the students’ report cards from all three years in senior high school,” Sukemi said.
He also said there were several ways to punish schools found trying to cheat the system.
“We can reduce the quota for exam seats for those schools,” he said. “Or we can bar them from nominating students for the Jalur Undangan ever again. Punishment will depend on discussions between the parties involved.”
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Students can register for the Jalur Undangan until March 12 at https://undangan.snmptn.ac.id, with the names of successful applicants to be announced on May 18. The entrance exams will take place in late June or early July.
In order to boost access to state universities for students from low- and middle-income families, the government has called on these institutions to reserve at least 60 percent of their seats for those who pass the national exams.
Other admission methods are independent exams, for non-subsidized places, and scholarships.
National Education Minister Muhammad Nuh previously said grants for the entrance exam fee would be available for disadvantaged students.
In SNMPTN every eye exam will be assessed based on their rank on a scale of zero to one hundred before the value is summed with the other exams. Therefore, every eye exam should be done as possible and nothing is overlooked.