Our second dropout started studying Pharmacy at the Pancasila University in Jakarta in September 2017. Unfortunately, she dropped out after one semester of studying. This time it was due to a lack of perseverance. This was upsetting news for all of us, since we wish for our students to take their studies seriously and feel supported in the process. Since tertiary education is unfortunately expensive and not easily accessible, receiving a scholarship is a life changing opportunity. We thus want to invest our limited funds in youngsters who truly have the ability and perseverance to make the most of it. This was not the case for our second dropout, which taught us that we continuously need to reflect on our selection procedure. The boards of the shelters that we select our students from are now more involved, as are our graduates, who assist in the selection procedure. Our cooperation partners now spend more time guiding the students, following up on their progress and motivating and supporting them where necessary. Graduates are also assigned a mentor role. We encourage our students to ask for help when in need of support. See also our first dropout for more information and Heliconia Scholarship to read about our selection procedure and the guidance and support that we offer our students now.
We hope we can prevent future dropouts. However, we can never ensure that a candidate truly has the right motivation and skills to study at university. Student life in Indonesia is 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 teachers 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 having to invest many years in an education. So not all youngsters with a high school diploma are suitable candidates for a Heliconia Scholarship.
Read more about Indonesian student life in the personal reports of the students. You can find them by clicking on their profiles. For more background information on scholarships and student life in Indonesia, read the master thesis ‘Scholarships for Higher Education and Wellbeing in Jakarta’, by our chairperson Carli Kooper.