The Heliconia Scholarship

finances four years of studying at an Indonesian university for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Heliconia Scholarship

The Heliconia Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to youngsters from shelters in Jakarta, so that they can study at an Indonesian university. The Heliconia Scholarship consists of the annual tuition fee and, if necessary, extra allowances during the entire study period. Throughout their studies, our students receive close support and guidance from Our Team and the Heliconia Community. A study usually lasts four years.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee for one year of studying differs considerably per major and university. Public universities have lower tuition fees and are better accredited than private universities, but are more difficult to access due to high admission requirements and a limited number of available places. Currently, all our students study at private universities.

At private institutions, tuition fees are charged based on high school grades and the score of the admission test. A registration fee is charged at the start of the first year. The tuition fee is also recalculated every semester, based on the number of courses that the student takes. Of course we strive to let our students study at universities where the price and quality are in proportion. However, Indonesian students are often unable to choose their university, because they have to register for multiple universities at once and then go for the one where they get accepted. It is therefore difficult to estimate the tuition fees. However, we have given an indication of the average tuition fees below, and the precise expenses per student are stated in the annual financial reports.

A transfer for study costs is requested by the students with a 'transfer request' form. The foundation has a bank account in Indonesia, from where cooperation partner Naomi forwards tuition fees directly to the universities. We receive all the receipts of the universities. The bank account in Indonesia can be checked by both our cooperation partners and the board in the Netherlands.


When needed, students receive allowances. They can request this after consultation with our cooperation partners. The allowance is intended for additional study costs, such as study books, transportation costs and accommodation, and is allocated when a student has insufficient means to meet these costs. Allowances are transferred from our Indonesian bank account to the personal bank accounts of the students. Students hand in receipts of their extra expenditures. Our financial reports state how much we have spent per student on allowances.

Guidance and Support

The Heliconia Scholarship also includes intensive support and guidance for our students, throughout their entire study period. The support includes that our cooperation partners maintain weekly contact with the students, inquire about their wellbeing and keep track of how their studies are progressing. This personal guidance is of great importance to our students, because it encourages them to get the best out of themselves. It also builds a bond of trust, so that they feel safe to share their feelings with us, also when they face difficulties.

Our cooperation partners ensure that exams, presentations, obtaining high scores, birthdays and other special moments are mentioned and celebrated in our collective chat group, so that everyone can encourage and support each other. At the start of their study, students receive a warm welcome brochure from Our Team and a Heliconia Welcome Bag, with for example Heliconia pens, a notebook, key ring, a T-shirt and drinking bottle, so that they immediately feel connected to our Heliconia Community. Each semester, our chairperson sends personal emails to our students with encouraging feedback on the progress reports that they have handed in. Our cooperation partners attend graduation ceremonies and give cards and small gifts when someone has achieved milestones.

This personal support and guidance are essential for our students, because student life in Indonesia can be challenging and also much harder than in e.g. the Netherlands. Days on campus can be long, due to unexpected postponed classes. This makes planning homework, rest and other activities difficult. Study pressure can also be high, with little guidance from lecturers or student coaches. In addition, students are often encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, which puts more pressure on. Then there is transport to and from the campus in the busy capital of Jakarta. The students have to make use of crowded, hot trains and busses that are often stuck in traffic jams, taking many hours to reach their destination. In short, studying demands a lot from students and many youngsters actually prefer to work after high school, to generate income for themselves and their families, instead of investing many years in an education. It is therefore very important that our cooperation partners, the graduates and the board in the Netherlands are intensively and personally involved with our students, in order to prevent dropouts and to ensure that everyone can study successfully, also when there are setbacks.

Indication Study Costs

We strive to help as many young adults as possible. That is why we ask candidates to register for universities with a good price-quality ratio. Yet it sometimes happens that a candidate is only admitted to a university where the price-quality ratio is less optimal. We can agree to relatively high study costs, if the alternative is that a candidate cannot study at all. The decision on whether we can finance a study or not is always taken in consultation with our cooperation partners, our experts in the field.

Indications total study costs in the academic year 2019 – 2020

Economics at the private Universitas Tarumanagara:

  • One academic year: €1.875,- (Rp. 14.500.000 per semester, Rp. 29.000.000 per year).
  • Registration costs (only in the first year): €1.614,- (Rp. 25.000.000).
  • Annual allowances: €400,-.
  • Selection, guidance & administration: €400,-.
  • Full study of four years (tuition fees, registration costs, annual allowances and guidance & administration): €12.314,-.

Economics at the public Universitas Negeri Jakarta:

  • One academic year: €830,- (Rp. 6.400.00 per semester, Rp. 12.800.000 per year).
  • Annual allowances: €400,-.
  • Selection, guidance & administration: €400,-.
  • Full study of four years (tuition fees, annual allowances and guidance & administration): €6.520,-.

Selection of Candidates

All our working methods have been developed in collaboration with Mili Chana and Naomi Indah Sari, our cooperation partners in Indonesia. After a selection procedure, the youngsters that are eligible for a Heliconia Scholarship are registered at the universities and studies of their choice. The tuition fee is paid by the foundation and when necessary the students receive allowances. Throughout  their studies, students submit progress reports and hand in their grades, so we can monitor their study process and assist when necessary.
Target group: our cooperation partners select candidates for the Heliconia Scholarship in shelters in Indonesia. Children live in shelters when their parents and other family members have passed away or are unable to take care of the children themselves, often due to financial poverty. The shelters provide a home and education up to high school. After graduation the youngsters must return to their families, get married or live on their own and work in low paid jobs. When they qualify for a university scholarship, the shelters often offer to continue to take care of them until they graduate from university, to facilitate their further education. Our current students have been selected from Panti Asuhan Dorkas, Panti Asuhan Hati Suci, Panti Asuhan Pa van der Steur and Panti Asuhan Vincentius Putra, all located in the Jakarta area. Most of our students still live in the shelters.
Step 1 – motivation letter and interview: candidates are selected in accordance with the youngsters, the boards of the shelters, parents or other family members of the candidates, the cooperation partners and the board in the Netherlands. Candidates who want to qualify for the Heliconia Scholarship send a motivation letter and their high school grades to our cooperation partners Naomi and Mili. In their motivation letter, the candidates indicate why they aspire to study and which major and university they prefer. After several interviews with Naomi, Mili and our graduates, and consultation with the shelter’s board, the board in the Netherlands and the relatives, it is determined whether a candidates will receive the Heliconia Scholarship.
Step 2 – cost determination and signing agreement: once the candidates have been accepted for the Heliconia Scholarship and are admitted to a university, we determine whether a student will receive allowances. If a contribution for e.g. study books or accommodation is necessary, students may submit a request for this throughout their studies. Students also sign an agreement. This includes the rights (with regard to financial support from our foundation) and obligations of the student. By signing the agreement, the student states that he or she will aim to complete the study within the usual period of four years, use the allowances (if applicable) exclusively for study matters and submit progress reports on time.
Continuation: during their entire study period, the students keep the cooperation partners and the board in the Netherlands informed on their wellbeing and study progress. They do this by chat, phone calls and writing progress reports. You can also read about our students’ personal experiences, by clicking on their profiles! The students hand in their grade list at the end of each semester. Based on the grades and progress reports, the cooperation partners and the board assess the students’ study progress and decide whether financial support will be continued. Of course, the students can also contact the cooperation partners and the board for advice and support. If a student encounters problems during the study due to circumstances, they can request for extra support or an exception to the normally applicable rules.