The United Kingdom's Prime Ministers Initiative was established to support quality improvements at universities. A fund of 1.2 million (just under Rp 19 billion) has been made available to higher education institutions around the world, including those in Indonesia, to develop international partnerships over the next two years. Higher education is a dream pursued by many students in Indonesia. However, despite the demand there are no Indonesian educational institutions listed in the top 200 Times Higher Education Supplement (THE) 'best universities in the world.' The Global Competitiveness Report (2009/2010) – which includes ratings of countries' global competitiveness based on the quality higher education available – ranks Indonesia 54th among 133 countries. This is below Singapore (ranked third), Malaysia (24th), China (29th), Thailand (36th) and India (49th).
The National Statistic Agency reported that as of February 2009, 13 % of Indonesia's unemployed held bachelor's degrees – this is around 1.2 million people! One of the ways to improve the quality of education is through partnerships between universities in Indonesia and other countries. International collaboration is usually delivered through double degree programs, franchising or staff exchanges. International students from universities already affiliated with a UK institution benefit double: they secure a double diploma and receive one of the best educational experiences available. Since its launch in 2006, the Prime Ministers Initiative has already funded 235 collaborative programs in research, lecturer development, student exchanges and scholarships with universities around the world. Success stories include Bina Nusantara University (working with Northumbria University in Design Studies and Bournemouth University in Tourism & Hospitality), and Indonusa Esa Unggul University (with Heriot Watt University in Management). Other countries in Southeast Asia benefiting from the Prime Ministers Initiative include South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.