A hospitality college in Bali, Indonesia, has begun accepting coconuts as tuition payment as students face economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
When students at the Venus One Tourism Academy pay their fees with coconuts, the college will use them to harvest virgin coconut oil, UPI reported.
Alternatively, students can pay using leaves from moringa and gotu kola plants, which can be converted into herbal soap and sold to raise money for the academy, Food & Wine added.
The program has been running since March, after the college received a permit to allow it to operate on this basis, according to The Bali Sun.
Venus One Tourism Academy’s director, Wayan Pasek Adi Putra, told local news outlet Balipuspa News: “Initially, the tuition payment scheme was paid in installments three times, with the first installment at 50%, the second 20%, and the third 30%. Because of this Covid pandemic, we have adapted a flexible policy. We produce virgin coconut oil, so students can pay their tuition by bringing coconuts.”
He added: “We have to educate them to optimize the natural resources in their surroundings. When the pandemic is over, they will enter the world of hospitality with different skills.”
Bali is a major international tourist destination but in August, the Balinese government closed the island to non-Indonesian visitors until 2021, BBC News reported.