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Leveling the Playing Field in Higher Education in Indonesia: Opening the Doors to Those Being Excluded

Tue, March 7, 8:00 to 9:30am, Sheraton Atlanta, 1, Georgia 3 (South Tower)

Session Submission Type: Group Panel

Description of Session

The purpose of this session is to examine how recent policy developments in Indonesian higher education have affected access, particularly among populations that have traditionally been largely excluded from higher education. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, and although it is a middle income country, it ranked 110 in the 2014 Human Development Index.[1] Indonesia’s relationships with neighboring countries are also shifting, as the planned (and realized) inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 introduced the potential for increased competition across the region’s labor markets and its higher education systems. To ensure the future prosperity of the Indonesian people amid these changes, the Government of Indonesia has set ambitious medium- and long-term goals in support of national and human development, and the education sector is a key contributor to those efforts.

Enrollment in higher education has more than doubled from 2002 to 2014.[2] This surge in enrollment, commonly referred to as massification, has introduced new pressures on institutions to provide high-quality education to a larger and (in many cases) a more diverse student population, while at the same time upgrading the skills of its teaching staff and improving facilities and research programs to compete as world class universities. Recent policy changes have increased attention to equity while maintaining or improving quality in the higher education sector.

In support of these efforts, USAID funded the Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) project (2011-2016), which in partnership with the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEKDIKTI) provided technical assistance, training, and additional support to strengthen leadership capacity and increase effectiveness in the following areas: general administration and leadership, financial management, quality assurance, and external collaboration.

Drawing on a series of studies conducted under the HELM project, panelists will examine the impacts of Indonesian higher education policies and HELM-supported activities, in particular the use of data and evidence to maintain and improve quality while undergoing massification, efforts to promote gender equality, and efforts to increase access for traditionally excluded populations.


[1] UNDP, (2014), Human Development Index Rankings by Country. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/ranking.pdf
[2] UNESCO Institute of Statistics, (2016), Dataset: Tertiary enrollment ratios. http://data.uis.unesco.org/.

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