IN terms of an opportunity for quality education, everyone — either low, middle, or high class people — certainly want it for themselves or their children. These days, the need for knowledge has become one of basic needs for mankind after clothes, food, and a house. We are demanded by current job market to expand our knowledge as vast as we can. As knowledge itself is infinite and not restricted by any geographical boundary anymore.
Every country competes to teach and share its knowledge to everyone in the world. Evidently, it can be seen from the Nobel award for science and technology advancements which have been presented to laureates from various countries. Still, US and European countries dominate the number of Nobel laureates. But, in the last 20 years, Asian scientists have been joining Nobel’s Hall of Fame, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean scientists.
Such a competition of knowledge will definitely benefit students, particularly from developing countries in Asia, including Indonesia, Philippine, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and what have you. Because, developed countries will set developing countries as their main subjects for sharing knowledge and information. They even seem to compete in providing scholarship for students from developing countries to obtain higher education in their universities. Of which will benefit the students who then have the opportunity to work for world-class companies after graduation for two to five years as required by the scholarship providers. As expatriate employees, they will receive hefty remunerations and rich working experiences.
These developed countries usually have their own specialization in terms of higher education. US promotes its superiority in business, information technology, and politics, while Germany possesses well-proven automotive and manufacture prowess, and Holland owns legal, agricultural, and architectural masteries. Among Asian countries, China masters herbal medicine, art, and literary, while Japan with its unmatched discipline produces innovations in every element of our lives. All in all, these countries reflect what the students can choose from nowadays, in order to obtain unmistakable education for their talents and personal interests.
To be eligible for a scholarships, students have to work hard, as only selected few who can earn such an honor. Some scholarship providers even oblige the candidates to master the language of destination country. Some merge the language skills to the program the students intend to attend. Though some countries allow the students to choose between their language or English as international language in their courses.
Among others, the problem for the students from developing countries is they cannot attain information about various courses offered by the universities in developed countries. To put it more precisely, the availability of such information in their origin countries, as the information is abundant in the destination countries. This is the challenge that has to be solved by the government of developing countries, by assuring their citizens — wherever they are — can receive the information. Indonesia has a vast untapped human resources, as shown by a Papuan student who could win gold in World Physics Olympiad. If the government decides to focus on such educational problems, at the very least, related state officials should ensure easy access for Indonesian students to immense information to widen their perspectives. Hence, not only education and knowledge that they can attain, but also bright career and future that they can achieve afterward. (William Xue)
Jakarta Globe, January 29, 2010