Education System

The education system in Indonesia has undergone significant reform over recent decades. Early educational models, still in place until the middle of the 20th century, were based on the Dutch model with segregation between Europeans and indigenous children during the early years and few students remaining in education beyond the first six years. In 1973, a presidential decree enshrined a model encompassing compulsory attendance for the first six years of primary school for all children. Ten years later, this was increased to nine years with an additional three years of junior secondary education. Both initiatives have had positive and measurable effects upon literacy rates. The overall model is now based upon a 2-2-6-3-3-structure.

a)    School education

Pre-Primary Level

3-6 year olds attend two years of playgroup followed by two years of kindergarten. There are approximately forty-nine thousand kindergartens, of which 99.35% are privately operated.

Primary Level

The six years of primary education focuses upon students’ ability to read, write and gain basic numeracy skills. All students are taught to read and write in Bahasa.

Secondary Level

Junior High School is considered an extension of primary years. Lessons are of 45 minutes duration. Subjects include: Pancasila education and citizenship, religious education, Indonesian language and literature, national and general history, English language, mathematics, natural sciences, physical and health education, social sciences and arts education.

Senior High Schools fall into two groups: SMA (Sekolah Menengah Atas) and SMK (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan). Students at SMA are preparing for university entrance while students at SMK undertake vocational studies. Classes are supplemented by extracurricular activities that are offered outside normal teaching hours. These include: scouting, school health activities, sports and first aid.

Non-Government Schools

There are a significant number of Islamic secondary schools operating in Indonesia in the categories of:Madrasah Tsanawiyah(MT),Madrasah Aliyah(MA) and Madrasah Aliyah Kejuruan (MAK). There are also a small number of international schools also operating.

b)    Vocational education and training (VET)

Three types of higher education are available in Indonesia: Universities, Institutes of Higher Education, and Colleges and Academies.

c)     Higher education

Pre-Tertiary and Tertiary Education

University education is provided by both government and privately run organizations with both sectors being overseen by the Ministry of Education. Students may undertake courses of study leading to the completion of Associate, Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral Degrees.

Public Universities

Syiah Kuala University

Malikussaleh University

Jambi University

State University of Medan

Medan State Polytechnic

Riau University

Andalas University

Padang State Polytechnic

Indonesia Institute of Arts, Surakarta

Semarang State University

Eleventh of March University

Semarang State Polytechnic

Muhammadiyah University of Magelang

Muhammadiyah University of Purworejo

Muhammadiyah University of Purwokerto

Muhammadiyah University of Semarang

Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta

Malang State University

Tenth of November Institute of Technology

Muhammadiyah University of Malang

Muhammadiyah University of Surabaya

Muhammadiyah University of Sidoarjo

Muhammadiyah University of Gresik

Muhammadiyah University of Jember

Petra Christian University

Brawijaya University

Surabaya State University

Jember University

Electronic Engineering Polytechnic

Institute of Surabaya

Surabaya State Polytechnic for Shipping

Jember State Polytechnic

Trunojoyo University

Udayana University

Indonesia Institute of Arts, Denpasar

Bali State Polytechnic

Ganesha University of Education

Nusa Cendana University

Kupang State Polytechnic for Agriculture

Kupang State Polytechnic

University of Mataram

Tadulako University

Gorontalo State University

Manado State University

Sam Ratulangi University

Manado State Polytechnic

Haluoleo University

Hasanudin University

Makassar State University

Ujung Pandang State Polytechnic

Pangkep and the Islands State Polytechnic for Agriculture

Payakumbuh State Polytechnic for Agriculture

Padang State University

Timah Polytechnic for Manufacturing

Bangka Belitung University

University of Bengkulu

Lampung University

Muhammadiyah University of Bengkulu

Lampung State Polytechnic

Sriwijaya University

Sriwijaya State Polytechnic

President University

Bina Nusantara University

University of Indonesia

Jakarta State University

Muhammadiyah University of Jakarta

Muhammadiyah University of Prof. Dr. HAMKA

Pancasila University

Jakarta Polytechnic

Open University

State Polytechnic for Creative Media

Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa University

Raharja University

Indonesia University of Education

Padjajaran University

Bandung Institute of Technology

Muhammadiyah University of Cirebon

Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)

Indonesia College of Arts, Bandung

Bandung State Polytechnic

Bandung Polytechnic for Manufacturing

Gadjah Mada University

Islamic University of Indonesia

Indonesia Institute of Arts, Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta State University

Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University

Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta

Ahmad Dahlan University

Aisyiyah Nursing College of Yogyakarta

Diponegoro University

Jenderal Soedirman University

Mulawarman University

Samarinda State Polytechnic

Samarinda State Polytechnic for Agriculture

Lambung Mangkurat University

Banjarmasin State Polytechnic

Tanjungpura University

Pontianak State Polytechnic

Pattimura University

Ambon State Polytechnic

Khairun University

Cenderawasih University

Papua State University

Private Universities

Atma Jaya University, Jakarta

Atma Jaya University, Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta


Universitas Kristen Krida Wacana (UKrida), Jakarta

Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW), Semarang

International University, Jakarta

Universitas Muhammadiyah Magelang (UMM), Central Java

Maranatha Christian University, Bandung

Mercu Buana University, Jakarta

Mercu Buana University, Yogyakarta

Petra Christian University, Surabaya

Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia Surakarta, Surakarta

STT Telkom, Bandung

Tarumanagara University, Jakarta

Trisakti University, Jakarta

Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung

Universitas Kristen Indonesia, Jakarta

Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Salatiga

Universitas Muhammadiyah Makassar, Makassar

University of Surabaya, Surabaya

YARSI University, Jakarta

HKBP Nommensen University, Medan

Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan

Swiss German University, Tangerang, West Java

Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Gading Serpong, West Java

Unikom, Bandung

Universitas Bunda Mulia, Jakarta

Institut Sains & Teknologi AKPRIND, Yogyakarta

Overview of Distance Education

The history of distance education begins in Indonesia with the establishment of correspondence-based teacher training courses in Bandung, West Java during in the 1950s. This was followed by the introduction of educational radio programs for ex-service personnel whose education had been disrupted by the War of Independence. These early experiments laid the foundation for decades of slow development in Indonesian distance education. The pace of change accelerated in the 1980s, when a crash teacher-training program stimulated demand for distance learning courses. One immediate result was the foundation of the national open university—Universitas Terbuka (UT)—in 1984. During the last two decades, increasing demands for qualified teachers have continued to stimulate the delivery of distance education programs.

The use of distance learning in Indonesian secondary education dates back to the 1970s. Distance learning programs using a range of delivery modes are used both to support teaching in mainstream schools and at institutions for out-of-school children at the junior and senior secondary level. Open junior secondary schools programs have followed a group-study model in which distance education is supported by audio-cassettes, radio broadcasts, TV programs and video tapes. This tradition of innovation has continued during recent years with projects such as the Open Senior Secondary Schools initiative (see below).

The Ministry of National Education sponsors a number of SEAMEO (South-East Asian Ministers of Education Organisation) Centres that provide professional development programs for teachers in specialised fields. In addition to their own distance education courses, SEAMEO centres offer Distance Education Packages for the use of other distance education providers. SEAMEO centres in Indonesia include the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Language (SEAMEO QITEP), SEAMEO Regional Centre for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Mathematics (SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics), the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Science (SEAMEO QITEP in Science).

The SEAMEO Regional Open Learning Centre (SEAMEO SEAMOLEC) provides open and distance learning programs to teachers using an integrated e-learning environment. SEAMEO SEAMOLEC also offers a range of educational radio programs.

The Universitas Terbuka provides distance education-based training programs to government agencies, state-owned enterprises and public companies. These clients can request tailored programs designed to meet their needs. UT is currently engaged in the provision of training programs for an extended range of public and private agencies. These include the Indonesia Army (TNI), Garuda, Islamic boarding schools and the Ministry of Agriculture.

There is also extensive use of distance education in non-formal education and training. Aid agencies and NGOs employ radio in the provision of non-formal community and adult education. In recent years, UNESCO has worked with P2PNFI Jayagiri–part of Directorate General of Non-Formal Education and Youth Education–to promote the creation of local content for educational radio. This work has extended to support for Community Multimedia Centres (CMC) as sites for the development of locally-created educational programs.

The major provider of distance learning in the higher education sector is the Universitas Terbuka. UT offers nearly 1,000 courses through 29 study programs. There are four faculties: Economics (FE), Social and Political Sciences (FISIP), Mathematics and Natural Science (FMIPA), Teacher Training and Educational Sciences (FKIP) and three graduate programs. The FE, FISHIP and FMIPA provide education to high school graduates. The FKIP primarily offers in-service training for practising primary and secondary school teachers. UT had 646,467 students in 2010, 83% of which were teachers taking courses through FKIP.

Most UT students are expected to study independently and teaching is primarily through correspondence. Printed learning materials are supplemented by radio and TV broadcasts, CD-ROMs and Web-based materials using the Moodle platform. As a national institution, UT collaborates with both public universities and a number of private universities across Indonesia. Universities in the provinces share their facilities with UT to provide fee-based tuition to UT students. In addition, the Distance Learning Program Unit of the Open University (UPBJJ-UT) cooperates with other Indonesian universities to develop new courses in specialised fields.

The UT is not the only distance education provider in the higher education sector. There are currently Distance Learning Centres (DLCs) at four other Indonesian universities: Udayana University, Universitas Indonesia, University of Riau and Univeristas Hasanuddin Makassar. These DLCs are part of the Global Development Network funded by the World Bank.

Administration and Finance

No information available.

Higher Education Reforms

Following the fall of the New Order in 1997, Indonesian Governments have struggled to redefine the relationship between universities and the post-Suharto state. Government policies from 1999 onwards have favoured the corporatisation of public universities. Universities have been offered greatly increased autonomy, but at the cost of accepting outcomes-based funding. Universities that take on the status of a Badan Hukum Pendidikan (BHMN) win new revenue-generating opportunities. With this benefit comes new reporting obligations in terms of accountability, quality assurance and transparent evaluation. These changes are part of the Indonesian Government’s strategy to encouraging innovation, efficiency and excellence in the higher education sector.

Future Direction of Tertiary Education

The higher education sector in Indonesia faces an uncertain future. Since 1997, public funding for universities has decreased significantly. Equally unsettling are the challenges institutions face in terms of continuing corruption and the prospect of increased competition from overseas providers. Financial pressures have increased the difficulties institutions face in stamping out corruption, a factor that threatens to undermine institutional reputations in the local educational marketplace. Universities are also disquieted by the Indonesian Government’s commitment to widener opportunities for foreign higher education providers within Indonesia. Like some other governments in different parts of the world, the Indonesian Government faces fierce opposition to its university reform agenda from both lecturers and student groups. The strength of this opposition makes it difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of the current round of proposed reforms.

Information and Communications Technology Initiatives

a)    Information society strategy

None identified.

b)    Major e-learning initiatives

The School of Internet (SOI) Asia works in concert with a number of Indonesian universities in the provision of online distance education. The SOI Asia is an international project utilising satellite-based Internet to distribute live lectures sourced from a number of Japanese higher education institutions. Indonesian universities participating in the SOI Asia project include Brawijaya University Sam Ratulangi University, Hasanuddin University, Institute of Technology Bandung and University of Syiah Kuala. In addition to live lectures, SOI Asia broadcasts the proceedings of workshops, conferences, talks and symposia, as well as providing online access to past lectures and course materials in the fields of ICT, science and environmental studies.

UNESCO has established an e-Learning Site, hosted by the Directorate General of Higher Education. The e-Learning Site hosts a range of free learning materials aimed at school-level courses. Learning materials are available in a range of formats including streamed video lecturers and downloadable course notes.

c)     Benchmarking e-learning

None identified.

d)    Support for OER

A number of Indonesian universities have established OCW repositories as part of OpenCourseWare Consortium. These include Universitas Indonesia (UI), Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) and the Udayana University (UNUD). In 2011, the University of Sumatera Utara OpenCourseWare was named the best new site in the OpenCourseWare Consortium. The site shares materials from 177 courses in 12 disciplines, including materials from 20 textbooks. All of the content is available both in English and Indonesian

SEAMEO SEAMOLEC is part of the SEA EduNET project. SEA EduNet includes an online repository of open education resources designed for re-use by teachers in South-East Asia.

e)    Government entities

Directorate General of Higher Education

Directorate General of Non-Formal Education and Youth Education

Ministry of National Education

Ministry of Religious Affairs

National Higher Education Accreditation Board (BAN-PT)

f)      Associations and networks

Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL)

Pan Asia Distance Resources Access Network (PANdora)

g)    Distance Education journals

Jurnal Pendidikan Terbuka Dan Jarak Jauh (Journal of Open and Distance Education)

Interesting Distance Education Initiatives

In 2006, the Anti Corruption and Governance Unit from Soegijapranata Catholic University launched an online program which aimed to increase high school students’ awareness of anti-corruption activities. The e-learning program involved case studies, digital comics, interactive games and tuition on information searching and retrieval as well as opportunities for students to post their own content on school Web sites. Overall, the project was a success. Feedback from 150 students indicated that the majority of students responded positively to e-learning experience. Almost 80% found the program beneficial for the development of their critical thinking skills. However, there were some negatives. Some teachers found the challenge of delivering an online program extremely daunting, while a small minority disliked e-learning. Another major problem was connection speeds. Students and teachers were frequently frustrated by the time it took to download digital photographs and images. The program was carried out in partnership with the Indonesian Commission on Corruption Eradication.

In 2002, the Ministry of National Education launched the Open Senior Secondary Schools project. One aim of the project was to test the feasibility of e-learning as the primary mode of delivery at the secondary school level. Open Senior Secondary Schools were established different parts of  Indonesia: Bogor in West Java Province, Pemalang in Java Province, Benkalis in Riau, Surabaya and Malang in East Java, Samarinda in East Kalimantan, and Pangkep in South Sulawesi. As part of the project, e-learning materials were used to supplement printed materials in modular instruction. In the end, the Open Senior Secondary School initiative failed to move past the pilot stage, although it continued for a number of years. Part of the problem was that the infrastructure to support the wider use of e-learning in Indonesian schools did not yet exist. In 2002, less than 0.3% of the Indonesian population had Internet access. This low rate of Internet penetration was due primarily to two factors: the prohibitively high cost of Internet connections and the rudimentary telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas. In retrospect, the Open Senior Secondary Schools initiative was too ambitious.

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