Bali's much-respected Tourism Academy - Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata (STP) - has been ordered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to halt the intake of new students for the academic year 2004/2005. The order, in the form of a facsimile sent to the Academy's Director, advised that the step was being taken while awaiting the implementing measures of a law passed in 2003 which will eventually close the STP and change the status of the Campus, making it into a training institute solely for the use of training government employees.
Established in 1978, STP has graduated nearly 10,000 students in its three areas of study: tourism, tour and travel, and hotels. Employing 104 teachers, seats for each new intake of students are hotly contested as graduates generally achieve full-time employment in the national tourism industry or at hotels and cruise ships operating outside of Indonesia.
The Indonesian-language Bali Post, in its Friday, May 28, 2004, edition, reported that Mr. I Made Sudjana, Director of the STP, is appealing to the Government to be allowed to continue the process already in motion for the acceptance of students for the next school year. According to Sudjana, his appeal is based on discussions among the school's management and the Student Senate who feel STP's reputation is at stake if those who have applied to attend the school are suddenly turned away. He also told the paper that he fears potential public unrest because of the sudden decision. The Director is also appealing to Bali's Governor and the Provincial Parliament for support to keep the tourism school in operation.
The 2003 law which will change the function of the campus to a civil servant training institute will also cause the closure of similar tourism academies in Bandung (West Java) and Makassar (Sulawesi).
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