25 Quick Facts on the Educational System of Indonesia

June 14th, 2019


  1. Location: Southeastern Asia, an archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
  2. Official Language: Bahasa Indonesia as its official language. (Source: CIA World Factbook)
  3. Capital of Indonesia: Jakarta with a population of over 10 million (Source: CIA World Factbook)
  4. Percentage of total population under 24 years of age: 41.57%  (Source: CIA World Factbook)
  5. Population: Over 265 million (Source: CIA World Factbook)
  6. # of islands forming the Indonesian archipelago: 17,500
  7. # of Indonesians who identify as Muslims: 87%
  8. # of Indonesian students studying abroad: 45,206 (Source: UNESCO Student Mobility Number)
  9. % of GDP allocated for education (2015): 3.6% (Source, CIA World Factbook)
  10. # of years of compulsory education: 9 years (from age 7 to 16)
  11. Start and end of primary to post-secondary education academic year: July – June
  12. The ministries that supervise and organize the entire education system: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.
  13. Education sectors overseen by Ministry of Education: state primary, junior and secondary schools
  14. Education sectors overseen by the Ministry of Religious Affairs: Islamic schools and other religious schools
  15. Education sectors overseen by the Ministry of Research and Technology: universities and polytechnics
  16. # of Indonesian students studying in the U.S. in the academic year 2017-2018: 8,650 (Source: Export.gov)
  17. % of Indonesian students who attend U.S. universities and are self-funded: 95% (Source: Export.gov)
  18. 2 types of high schools in Indonesia: SMA (Sekolah Menengah Atas) – prepares students to higher education; SML (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan) – prepares students with vocational training for employment.
  19. International secondary schools: prepare students for the IB (International Baccalaureate) or the CIE (Cambridge International Examinations)
  20. Types of degree levels at higher education: Diploma 1-3; Diploma 4 “Sarjana sains terapan” (bachelor of applied science); Sarjana 1 (bachelor’s degree); Sarjana 2 (master’s degree); Sarjana 3 (doctoral degree)
  21. Types of higher education institutions: public and private
  22. # of higher education institutions in the private sector: 3,940 (Source: Export.Gov, 2016 Statistics)
  23. # of higher education institutions in the public sector: 372 (Source: Export.Gov, 2016 Statistics)
  24. Top 3 study abroad destination countries for Indonesian students: Australia, the United States, and Malaysia
  25. % of Indonesian students responding to survey by AFS Intercultural Programs in Spring 2017 with interest in studying abroad: 81% (Source: ICEF Monitor 2017)


CIA World Factbook: Indonesia. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html

Export.Gov. 3/5/19 “Indonesia – Education & Training.” https://www.export.gov/apex/article2?id=Indonesia-Education-and-Training

ICEF Monitor. 2017. “Study Finds that Young Indonesians are Highly Motivated to Study Abroad.” http://monitor.icef.com/2017/12/study-finds-young-indonesians-highly-motivated-study-abroad/.

ICEF Monitor. February 2019. “Indonesian outbound continues to grow with emphasis in regional destinations.” http://monitor.icef.com/2019/02/indonesian-outbound-continues-to-grow-with-emphasis-on-regional-destinations/

NAFSA IEM Newsletter. Vol.16.November 2018. “Education System of Indonesia”


UIS-UNESCO. “Global Flow of Tertiary-Level Students. “ http://uis.unesco.org/en/uis-student-flow

UNESCO “International Mobility of Students in Asia and the Pacific.  https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000226219

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia. “Fact Sheet: U.S.-Indonesia Education Partnership.”


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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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