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LESSONS:

Indonesia: Technological and Professional Skills Development Sector Project [Loan 1792-INO]

sector: Education | country: Indonesia

1. The competitive based funding mechanism using block grants is a useful mechanism to upgrade the quality of higher education by promoting transparency and accountability, and building a strong sense of ownership among higher education institutions (HEIs). The approach ensured that the study programs proposed for assistance were those that most satisfied both social demand and labor market demand. It allowed the HEIs to customize the mix of components for funding, i.e., staff development, upgrading of facilities and equipment, development of new learning materials and teaching methods, MIS, library, language laboratory, job placement center, etc. What made it more laudable as a mechanism for HEI was the added feature that bidders within a region compete only among themselves rather than at large, thereby ensuring geographic representation of assisted HEIs. This mechanism is found to be effective and has been adopted by other development partners, and national and local governments. [Main text, paras. 40,59,63,71]

2. Quality assurance can be further strengthened with a complementary component that verifies the quality of learning outcomes. The project supported the strengthening of the Board of National Accreditation for Higher Education and the establishment of quality assurance units to ensure the quality of the study programs. However, standards and quality per study program varied per region where quality was better in major cities, as indicated by the number and accreditation levels of study programs. The executing agency can develop a complementary component such as the institutionalization of a licensure examination that may standardize the quality of graduates. [Main text, para. 73]

3. Institutionalizing linkages between educational entities and industries nationally and at the higher education institution (HEI) level through forums where employers can give advice on national and institution specific policies, plans, and programs, can be a good practice. Linkages between educational entities and industries by way of collaboration in curriculum design and partnerships in job orientation programs were observed during the independent evaluation mission. However, the extent varies depending on the HEIs. On the positive side, this has resulted in a growing appreciation of the importance of interaction with industries, and more relevant study programs. Hence, for institutions, the forum could be an industry advisory board composed of representatives of selected business enterprises in their area. At the national level, an annual consultative forum may be useful, where government policymakers, employers, and educators discuss policies and program design to respond to trends in the labor market. In this context, the government could encourage the continuation and expansion of a valuable practice at some HEIs, including the curriculum on-the-job training opportunities in industries. [Main text, paras. 44, 78]

4. An integrated monitoring and evaluation system and management information system for higher education institutions can be an important tool in assessing impact of related sector initiatives. For instance, the ongoing development of an integrated monitoring and evaluation system supported by Directorate General of Higher Education’s (DGHE) management information system (linked to project assisted higher education institutions and other institutions) can facilitate the preparation of an annual tracer study that would be useful to obtain meaningful impact assessments. This can also determine areas for improvement to sustain not only this project but also other initiatives of the DGHE. [Main text, paras. 54,59,79]

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