Institutional Profile: Universitas Terbuka

Institution Name  Institutional Profile: Universitas Terbuka
Contact details Jalan Cabe Raya
Pondok Cabe
Tangerang Selatan 15418
Banten – Indonesia
Brief Overview Universitas Terbuka (UT) was established on the 4th of September, 1984 as the 45th state university and the only higher education institution in Indonesia that entirely teaches using the distance education method. UT has been designed to be both flexible and affordable, focusing on serving those people who due to various constraints, including living in isolated and rural areas, having employment, lack of funding, and lack the opportunity to attend the face-to-face mode of higher education. UT initial missions were to upgrade the qualifications of in-service teachers and to provide improved access to quality higher education to working adults as well as fresh high school graduates.

In 2010, UT had 455,657 students enrolled in over 1,000 courses. UT students reside in different parts of the country and some overseas locations studying in four faculties and four graduate programs. The four faculties are Faculty of Teacher Training and Educational Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Economics. The four graduate programs are Public Administration, Management, Fisheries Management, and Mathematics Education.

To provide services to a huge number of students spreading in the archipelago of Indonesia, UT has 37 Regional Offices (ROs) operating all over Indonesia. The ROs perform the functions of student registration, conducting tutorials and examination, and promotion. UT operations are supported with external partnerships with various organisations, such as the Post Office, schools, universities, state banks and local governments.
Distance Education History

UT was established on the 4th of September 1984, as a single mode state open university that uses distance education system. Since then, UT has continuously improved its distance education system. Despite its significant use of printed learning materials as major learning resource by students, UT has initiated and continuously improved its e-learning systems to enhance students' learning.

The UT Online was introduced in 2001 to support students’ learning through online tutorials. Then, ICT has been further used to support learning and management. For example, a management information system for learning materials, called SIMBA or Sistem Informasi Manajemen Bahan Ajar, has been developed to monitor the life age, progress of development and updating of the learning materials.

UT has increased the number of enrichment learning materials such as online and web-based learning materials. Dry lab for some science courses are provided to facilitate students learning so that students can have computer simulations to replicate or represent actual practicum. Learning materials have been designed in handy and user-friendly size to make it easier for the students to use. UT continuously improves its online learning programs and services. These online programs cover both academic as well as administrative services of UT, such as online academic programs, tutorial, examination, registration, payment, and bookstore. An online bookstore system has been implemented to facilitate the purchase of learning materials by students. UT has started to implement computer based testing (CBT) and online examination as part of the effort to improve services and allow for time flexibility for the students to take alternative semester examination method other than the paper and pencil test.

Teaching and Learning Profile

Degree level focus  strong Bachelor focus
 Bachelor Degrees:
 Masters: 0.1%
Expenditure on teaching major
Orientation of degrees  general Formative
Range of subjects  comprehensive
 7 disciplines

Student Profile

Distance learning students  predominant
Mature students  predominant
Part-time students  predominant
Size of student body  very large

Research Involvement

Doctorate production  none
Expenditure on research  some
Peer reviewed publications  some

Involvement in Knowledge Exchange

Cultural activities  some
Income  not reported
Patent applications  not reported
Start-up firms  not reported

Regional Engagement

1st year bachelor from region  major
Graduates working in region  major
Importance of local/regional income sources  major

International Orientation

Foreign degree seeking students  not reported
Importance of int'l income  none
Incoming students  not reported
International academic staff  not reported
Outgoing on exchange  not reported

DE-related Institutional Information

Number of Students 455,657
Number of Students by DE mode 455,657
Number of Academic Staff 789
Summary of External Quality Assurance Processes

UT has developed a comprehensive quality assurance system, covering almost all aspects of distance education operations and services administered by Head Office as well as its 37 Regional Offices. The QA areas of UT distance education system includes the following nine aspects: policy and planning, human resource provision and development, management and administration, learners, program design and development, course design and development, learner support, learner evaluation, and media for learning.

UT QA system is based on the principle of continuous improvement: “Write what we do, Do what we write, and Improve it continuously”. The UT QA is clearly-defined systems, procedures, work instructions, and records. This QA system further includes systematic monitoring and evaluation, internal and external audit or assessment. In brief, UT has implemented a total quality assurance system approach. The UT QA process involves the development of Quality Assurance Framework, self-assessment and priority setting, writing job manuals, use of QA procedures in performing daily tasks and activities, and internal as well as external audits and assessment.

UT has implemented the ISO 9001 quality management system in its core business activites, involving periodic monitoring and evaluation, as well as internal and external assessment. UT also refers to Standards of the National Accreditation Board and Guidelines of the Directorate General of Higher Education for Internal QA System for Higher Education. The certified ISO 9001:2008 of UT core business activities include Development of Learning Materials and Examination Materials, Delivery of Learning Materials, Distance Learning Services for Regional Offices, and Academic Administration Services. External audits for ISO certification were conducted on one cycle every semester. As the QA system has been more stable and the QA culture has been more developes, audit will be conducted on one cycle a year.

The external assessment also includes a quality review by Expert Panel of the International Council for Open and Distace Education every five year. The ICDE Quality Review covers most aspects of distance education as the following.

  • all aspects of recruitment including marketing and general publicity - including advice offered through staff, printed materials and all electronic means;
  • all aspects of admission - including fee payments and the contractual arrangements between the individual and the institution;
  • learner support - including requirements on the student where provision is ICT based;
  • the integration and maintenance of systems and services - including record keeping and links with other students;
  • a commitment to educational values, good customer relationship and business practices; and
  • instructional process and student assessment.

The Directorate General of Higher Education (DGHE) of the Ministry of National Education also circulates guidelines for a quality assurance system for the face-to-face higher education institutions, based on the following standards:

  • identity
  • content
  • learning process
  • competency of graduate
  • lecturer and education staff
  • infrastructure and facilities
  • management
  • costs
  • educational assessment
  • community services
  • students
  • welfare
  • academic atmosphere
  • information system
  • cooperation

The challenge for UT is to integrate and ensure effective implementation of its quality assurance system, referring to various QA guidelines, manuals and criteria from the DGHE, BAN-PT, ISO, ICDE quality reviews and the UT internal QA System.

Summary of Quality Procedures

The UT has clear policy on quality, as mandated by its Strategic Plan and Operational Plan, and stated in the UT’s Quality Assurance System. This quality policy is further translated into systems and procedures that are documented in manuals and forms. QA implementation is monitored through internal and external audits, and recommendations for improvement come out from audits. Such systems and procedures have been implemented in various core activities of distance education services, including teaching and learning as well management.

At UT, the opening of any new study program always begins with a needs assessment survey and a feasibility study. In addition to this, the priority of opening a study program must be in accordance with government policy and with targeted market demand. Once there is evidence of the need for and feasibility of a new study program, a task forum is created by the respective faculty who will then develop an academic paper outlining the rationale, the future competencies of the graduate, and the curriculum, including the list of courses and the course blue print. Curriculum and course blue print development is conducted in accordance with the principle of educational technology, i.e., through the process of competence analyses based on the final competence to be mastered by the graduate of the program.

The UT academic program includes a list of courses offered in a study program, a set of teaching materials, or a set of learning experiences to be accomplished by students. The UT curriculum is developed in alignment with developments in the society. Curriculum re-analysis has been carried out for all UT study programs. This activity involves external experts from other universities. In line with this process, the curriculum in each study program has become better organized with the addition of general guidelines for learning and evaluation for each course, as well as course description associated with a competency-based curriculum. As a follow up of the curriculum re-analysis, each study program has been rewritten, reconsidered and reconstituted in line with a competency-based curriculum approach.

Courses have a life-cycle of seven years, and every five years review of existing courses begin. Study programs are evaluated every five years in terms of relevance to the world of work, curriculum, design and delivery, assessment, and so forth. However, course managers in each of the study programs continuosly monitor and evaluate the program annually, so that actions can be taken to improve the programs.

Percentage of resources that are OER 1-20%
(Comment - UT encourages the use of OERs provided by other parties. However, UT also provides OERs to higher education students and the society in Indonesia. UT educational resources, such as internet television programs and digital library resources, are open to the public)
Intellectual Property Rights Position Owned by the institution but with some licensing back to staff
(Comment: The UT content is owned by the institution but with some licensing back to course authors after seven years. UT may invite the same authors to revise the learning materials.)
Expected changes for DE from the current strategy

Development and changes in economic strategy has effect on the development in distance education, including the role of higher education to improve human development indicator. The institution has to consider in offerring continuing education programs that directly respond to the needs of world of work.

The changing educational paradigm in Indonesia has focused on addressing important issues related to access, equaility of opportunity, and quality of education as well some aspects connected with globalisation and internationalisation. The institution developes strategic plans that should also be addressing those issues.

The effects of globalisation and internationalisation are also anticipated through enhancing ODL practices that meet international benchmark, as ODL has no geographical nor geopolitical boundaries. Such environment provides challenges for continuous improvement.


Any future considerations for DE

The UT is now considering changes that affect the future development of the institution. Over the next decade, there are changing student profiles from teacher students to non-teacher students. There is also a need for UT to explore the potentials of reaching younger age students. The UT has to start developing new marketing strategies to reach out more diverse groups of students.

With the rapid development of new technologies and its prospects as tools for distance learning, the UT also enhances the use of new technologies for distance learning. Future students of UT is expected to be highly technology literate. The UT obviously provides a variety of services to reach diverse groups of students through provision of a variety of student learning support services.

ODL is challenged to ensure that enrolling students into the system can finish the study program in which they are registered. A special effort is being conducted to retain students in ODL system and finish the program timely.

Summary of the impact of technology on distance education

The number of online Magister Manajemen or MM (Master of Management) students in 2010 was 6 (0.001 %).

A total of 552 courses (52.12%) out of 1,059 courses were supported by online tutorials for students to attend on voluntary basis. The number of students participated in online tutorials was 13,609 (2.99%) out of a total 455,657 students.

The UT had 219 courses (20.68%) supported with web-based materials and 23 courses (2.17%) with drylabs, to enhance students learning. Students have open access to web based materials; however this has insignificant affect to assessment of students’ learning at the end of the semester. The UT does not monitor the number of students accessing the web-based materials.


  Technologies currently in use Tools likely to be used more in 5 years time
Microblogging (e.g. Twitter)  
Online Forums / Threaded discussions
Personal Portals (e.g. iGoogle)  
RSS feeds
Shared Calendars / Meeting Scheduling (e.g. Doodle)  
Social Networking Utilities (e.g. Facebook, MySpace)
Instant messaging (e.g. ICQ, MSN)  
Online forums (eg Eluminate)
Shared Whiteboards  
Video Conferencing
Virtual workspaces  
Voice-over IP (e.g. Skype)
Citations/References (e.g. Endnote, Zotero)  
News Sharing (e.g. DIGG)  
Notification Services (e.g. Google Reader)
Online databases or directories
Search Engines (e.g. Google)  
Social Bookmarking (e.g.
Web Annotations (e.g. Diigo)  
Document Repositories / Management Systems  
Document Sharing (e.g. Google Docs, Google Apps)  
Grid/Cloud Computing  
Learning Management System
Sharing Geographic Content (e.g. GoogleMaps)  
Sharing Image Content (e.g. Flickr)
Sharing Presentation Content (e.g. Slideshare)
Sharing Textual Documents (e.g. GoogleDocs)
Video Sharing (e.g. YouTube, TeacherTube)
Password Management (e.g. OpenID)
World Conference 2015
idium webpublisering