Bilingual curriculum compulsory in Indonesian universities from 2016

The government will make it compulsory for university students to interact in English in order to prepare them to compete in the ASEAN Economic Community, which comes into effect at the start of 2016.

Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir said on Sunday that the ministry was preparing a bilingual curriculum that would use both Bahasa Indonesia and English in universities nationwide starting in 2016.

"The future curriculum has been designed to use a dual language system in order to prepare our future generation and enable them to compete in the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community," Nasir said on Sunday as quoted by

Nasir said the system would be implemented in stages at every university in Indonesia beginning next year. As a starting point, the government would especially push state universities to apply the bilingual curriculum.

The system, he continued, aimed to encourage English fluency among all students and teaching staff. Students and lecturers would be encouraged to communicate in English and all academic references would use English terms to support a mastery of the language at a quicker pace, he added.

Nasir also urged every university to equip their campuses with English educational tools.

According to him people of neighbouring countries had embraced multilingualism. "People in Thailand and the Philippines are learning to speak Bahasa Indonesia," he said.