The Official Indonesian Proficiency Test and Indonesian Government Scholarship for Foreign Students

1 October 2019

Sumber: Sun Sisi (Left)
Traditional Contum of Sulawesi

Have you ever heard about Uji Kemahiran Berbahasa Indonesia (UKBI) or the Official Indonesian Proficiency Test? What kind of test is it and what is it for?

Everybody who is interested in studying abroad must have been familiar with IELTS or TOEFL or for Chinese it is called 汉语水平考试 (HSK). UKBI is quite similar with those test, yet has slight differences. UKBI assesses Indonesian language proficiency not only for foreigners but also for Indonesian. It is well known that about 700 local languages are used in Indonesia and Indonesian is second language for most of Indonesian. Taking UKBI is compulsory for teacher of Bahasa Indonesia bagi Penutur Asing (BIPA) or Indonesian language teacher, especially who teaches abroad. 

Based on website of Ministry of Education and Culture of Republic of Indonesia (Retrieved 19 September 2-19) UKBI is assessed five proficiencies; listening, responding text (Reading comprehension), reading, writing and speaking. Listening has 40 questions within 25 minutes, reading comprehension consists of 25 questions within 20 minutes, reading has 40 questions within 45 minutes, writing and speaking have only 1 question within 30 and 15 minutes respectively (Learn Indonesian Asia Pte. Ltd. UEN: 201506294G). 

If you are in Indonesia and interested in taking UKBI, you can apply at every Balai Bahasa in each province and it is conducted two times a month in the second and fourth week. Additionally, this test is available at Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia (Indonesian Embassy in your country) and Tempat Uji Kemahiran Berbahasa Indonesia (TUKBI) you can check through this website, . However, if you fail an UKBI test, you are not allowed to take the same test within six months. 

Whereas, UKBI certificate is not compulsory for International students in almost all of Indonesian Universities, this test is very important for the students who study under Indonesian Government Scholarship such as Darmasiswa, Kemitraan Negara Berkembang Scholarship (KNB) and other scholarships for alumni of Darmasiswa Program to take their master or Ph.D program. 

DARMASISWA is a scholarship program offered to all foreign students from countries which have diplomatic relationship with Indonesia to study Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia), art and culture in 54 universities in Indonesia (Suharti cited please kindly access this detailed information related to this scholarship here 

Kemitraan Negara Berkembang Scholarship (KNB) is master program scholarship offered to all students from developing counties which have diplomatic relationship with Indonesia. To get detailed information you can access this website 

KNB and some other scholarships (the link will be given below) are given for students who can speak Indonesian, most of the awardees are alumni of Darmasiswa Scholarship program. Scholarship from Indonesian Government for International students can be accessed link below:

“I got to know about Indonesia when I was young. I heard a lot about how beautiful Bali Island is, but after coming to Indonesia I knew Indonesia is not only Bali. A lot of tourism places spread throughout Indonesia, Indonesian people are so nice and helpful. I love learning Indonesian language and culture. Though Darmasiswa scholarship program, I became representative of both countries. I introduced Indonesia to Chinese and China to Indonesian” said Sun Sisi, a Darmasiswa scholarship program student from Guangxi University for Nationalities China. 

References: (Retrieved 30 September 2019) (Retrieved 30 September 2019) (Retrieved 30 September 2019)  (Retrieved 30 September 2019)


Nurun Isnaeni


Leave a Reply:

Your email address will not be published.