Palu, 7/9 (IAIN Palu Public Relations) - The Ministry of Religion stated that the State Islamic Institute (IAIN) Palu, Central Sulawesi, is one of the best State Islamic Religious Universities in the area.

"IAIN Palu includes Islamic religious colleges under the Ministry of Religion that is good and lucky," said Director of Islamic Religious Higher Education Directorate General of Islamic Education Ministry of Religion, Prof. Dr. Arskal Salim during a public lecture at the IAIN campus in Palu on Friday.

Prof. Arskal Salim appreciated the increasing number of new students in 2018 who entered the IAIN Palu. Where in 2018 there were 1,720 new students, an increase of around 300 students, compared to the number of new students in 2017 of 1,500.

According to Arskal, this amount is quite large for state or private Islamic colleges throughout the country under the auspices of the Ministry of Religion. Because, recruiting new students is not an easy thing to do for an Islamic religious college.

The increase in the number of students, according to him, becomes the strength and capital for the university to develop quality and competitiveness which have a positive impact on the transition of status to Palu State Islamic University (UIN).

"I also appreciate the vision of the IAIN Palu REctor, which is to become a quality and competitive campus. One of the efforts that must be done is to fulfill quality indicators, namely accreditation," said Arskal.

He said, the vision of the IAIN Palu is in line with the strategic plan of the next five years by the development of PTKI by the Ministry of Religion. At present the Ministry of Religion's PTHR strategic plan is oriented towards the development of quality as well as providing easy access to the community to receive tertiary education.

"Quality is related to relevance. Therefore, one of the indicators is accreditation. Within that framework, the IAIN Palu can later become a State Islamic University. It does not rule out the possibility that five years from now can be transformed into UIN," said Arskal.

He continued, Central Sulawesi must have a state Islamic university that will become an icon and contribute to regional development.