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Nadiem Makarim on Thesis Cut: ‘Don’t Be Happy Yet, It’s Campus Decision’

 Indonesian Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Makarim issued a regulation that does not require a thesis as a graduation requirement for undergraduate (S1) and applied bachelor (D4) students. This is stipulated in the Ministerial Regulation No. 53 of 2023 concerning Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

In a joint meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission X overseeing education, sports, and tourism on Wednesday, August 30, which was broadcast online, Nadiem stressed that the decision to have a thesis as a requirement for students to graduate is left to the universities.

“There are many headlines in the media that the ministry no longer requires theses, that the minister eliminates theses. Don’t be happy yet. We are handing this policy over to the universities. So we are giving universities the opportunity to think about how to shape the status of students’ graduation,” Nadiem said.

Nadiem confirmed that each university has the right to decide whether or not its students are required to write a thesis, not the Ministry of Education. The ministry, he added, only gives universities the freedom to choose which one is more necessary depending on the graduation standards of each campus.

As a substitute for a thesis, students can produce projects, prototypes, or the like. However, the minister emphasized that it is not a problem if a university believes that a thesis is still necessary as a graduation requirement. 

Nadiem Makarim also explained that this practice has been carried out in universities in various countries. “Developed countries with the greatest research in the world leave these decisions to the universities, not to the government,” he concluded.