Indonesia’s close relations with Germany are also evident in the culture and education sectors.
Germany enjoys an excellent reputation as a place to study and engage in research. The number of Indonesian students studying in Germany has risen to more than 4100, which represents a remarkable increase of 67.4 percent over the last five years. Germany has for years been one of the top choices for Indonesian students who study abroad. The more than 30,000 alumni, which includes Indonesia’s former President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, are important bridge-builders in the bilateral relationship. University partnerships, double- degree programmes and scholarships of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) help deepen cooperation, as well as create long-lasting relations on both sides.
The Goethe-Institut in Jakarta, which also has branches in Bandung and Surabaya, promotes wide-ranging cultural exchange between the two nations through its language and cultural programmes. Under the motto “Germany-Indonesia: Together Towards the Future”, the German Season 2015 celebrated the good relations between the countries. More than 100,000 visitors in Indonesia attended the German-Indonesian events, with themes varying between culture, politics, economy and science.
German is becoming increasingly popular in Indonesia. There are currently some 200,000 Indonesians learning German, with more than 14,000 of them doing so at one of the 28 partner schools all across Indonesia. These partnerships developed out of the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH) that was launched in February 2008 by Germany’s then Foreign Minister and now Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The PASCH initiative is designed to promote the education and training of teachers and students with a view to enhancing educational opportunities and providing a tangible experience of Germany at schools abroad.
The German School Jakarta celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016. It offers the German International Abitur examination (DIAP) as a school-leaving qualification, which provides graduates with numerous opportunities, including the possibility to study in Germany.