Strengthening the capacities of Indonesia’s higher education officials

SEAMEO INNOTECH concluded on 24 January 2014 the third of a series of study visit programs for Indonesian university officials who are beneficiaries of a USAID-funded project on Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM).  The study visits were part of the second phase of HELM, which aims to showcase exemplar HEI programs of Indonesia’s neighbouring countries like the Philippines.

The first study visit, conducted from 05 to 11 January 2014, focused on collaboration for entrepreneurship and research. The participants of this batch visited the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) to learn about the “Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program.” TUP has been commended by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education for its implementation of the ETEAAP, which accredits individuals’ actual achievements towards the conferment of an academic degree.

Aside from TUP, the first batch of Indonesian participants also visited the following: (1) the University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños, Laguna to learn about its collaborative research and entrepreneurship projects; (2) the University of Makati to learn about its partnership with local industry players for the creation of a “job-fit” academic program; and (3) the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), which is a center of excellence in agriculture education.

The second study visit, conducted from 13 to 17 January 2014, focused on providing access to underserved students. The participants in this batch visited and interacted with officials of the following schools: (1) University of the Philippines main campus in Diliman, Quezon City, where they learned about its socialized tuition fee scheme; and both (2) CLSU, and (3) University of the East for their student support services. A learning session was also held to discuss an innovative education program for indigenous people.

The third study visit program focused on quality assurance and accreditation. The participants of this batch discoursed with officials of the following schools: (1) Technological Institute of the Philippines, where they learned about its journey towards becoming a center of excellence in information technology education; (2) De La Salle University main campus in Manila, where they learned about its systematic pursuit of institutional recognition and accreditation; (3) Philippine Normal University main campus in Manila, where they learned how it reinvented teacher education for relevance and quality; and (4) Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), where they learned about its system for continuing quality improvement.

SEAMEO INNOTECH designed the study visits in a way that gave the program participants opportunities to learn about specific higher education programs and interventions in the Philippines. All these demonstrate sound management practices, particularly in the areas of general administration and leadership, financial management, quality assurance, and collaboration with external stakeholders.

The inputs from the benchmarking visits are seen as vital in enabling targeted HEIs in Indonesia to carry out reforms in its higher education sector that are in line with the newly passed Higher Education Law and its five-year strategic plan.

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