Indonesian Universities Told to Reject Cigarette-Funded Scholarships
The Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) has called on universities to reject scholarships offered by cigarette companies, saying it is part of their responsibility to curb Indonesia’s smoking rate.
“As education institutions, universities should understand this and reject scholarships from cigarette firms,” YLKI official Tulus Abadi told a discussion at the University of Indonesia (UI) campus in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He said the cigarette industry was among “harmful industries” that were not supposed to be allowed to do corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“As should other harmful industries, for example the weapons industry, [cigarette companies] don’t have a right to perform CSR,” Tulus said.
Cigarette companies in Indonesia commonly offer scholarships for students, especially the poor ones studying at state universities, aside from providing sponsorships for events organized by the universities or the students, including sports and entertainment events.
UI manager for students division, Komaruddin, however, said UI was among the only two universities in Indonesia that banned scholarships and sponsorships from cigarette companies.
He added that UI had even gone as far as to prohibit scholarships for students who smoked.
“We’ve asked the Education and Culture Minister to issue a ministerial regulation on this. So far only one university has supported us, namely Palembang’s Sriwijaya University,” Komaruddin said.