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Education in Indonesia

A huge national flag of Indonesia is draped over a river like a sunshade.
Indonesia's national flag across the Bengawan Solo, a river on Java, on the occasion of the Indonesian Independence Day on 17.08.2013.

Indonesia is the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 - the country counts more than 17,000 islands, more than any other country in the world. Indonesia is also the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world. Still, Islam is not a state religion in Indonesia, and other religions like Christianism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism are practised by Indonesians and represented at the Ministry for Religious Affairs. A country with such a geographical dimension and such heterogeneity regarding denominations, languages and cultures obviously faces challenges when it comes to education. The resources listed in our dossier give an overview of the educational system of Indonesia and of relevant educational issues, according to the following topics:

General Information on Education

The Indonesian Embassy in London, UK, provides a good overview on the Indonesian education system, its history and related educational policy - includng a graph on educational levels. In the left hand menu bar you will furthermore find two sites on Indonesian universities and research institutes. [Abstract: Editors of Education [...]

The website which is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), provides a broad overview of research and education in Indonesia, including information on statistics, educational reports, policy or cooperation with Germany and other countries. Additionally, you will find basic country [...]

The country dossier for Indonesia, compiled by the International Bureau of Education of the Unesco (IBE), provides information on statistics (from the World Data on Education - WDE), national education [...]

Indonesia; Germany
The website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides ample information on academic exchange and cooperation with Indonesia. Information only available in German. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Education is one of the development topics the World Bank has defined for Indonesia. this website provides ample information and resources on the World Bank's activities in this field, about reports and studies on different educational aspects in Indonesia (as fulltexts) as well as news on education in Indonesia. [Abstract: Editors [...]

This site provides short German summaries of the Indonesian school, university and marking system as well as on certificates and degrees.
"anabin" is an information database of the German Conference of Ministers of Education - Central Office for Foreign Education (Kultusministerkonferenz - Zentralstelle für ausländisches [...]

Educational Policy

Authorities & Organisations

The website of the Indonesian Ministry for Education does not have an English version. In Indonesian language, it provides ample information on education in Indonesia, for example on the curriculum, on scholarships, digital learning, teacher education, a platform for [...]

The website of the Indonesian Ministry for Religious Affairs does not have an English version. The ministry is in charge of Islamic Education in Indonesia. You can find the respective department under "Unit Kerja > Ditjen Pendidikan Islam". Departments in charge of other religions also have some data about education (for example [...]

Like other Indonesian ministries, the Ministry for Education has its own Department for Research and Development. It was created in 1969/70 as a small office. Meanwhile, it has became a real department with a secretariat, as well as research centres for educational policy, curriculum research, educational assessment, statistics and [...]

The National Research and Innovation Agency is a cabinet-level government agency formed by the Indonesian government in 2019. It does not report to the Ministry of Education, but directly to the President. BRIN is a member of the International Science Council (ISC). The site provides information about the tasks of the agency as well [...]

South-East Asia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Myanmar [...]
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) was established in November 1965 as a chartered international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture in the [...]

** Documents from Educational Policy & Curriculum Reforms

The database Planipolis provides official fulltext documents on educational policy and planning from UNESCO member states. For Indonesia you can find documents starting in the year 2000. Planipolis is provided by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

On more than 30 pages, the blog of the Basic Education Capacity Trust Fund (BEC-TF)provides a press review of the 2013 curriculum reform in Indonesia, as well as previous news on Indonesian curriculum issues (news are sorted chronologically backwards, see "older posts"). You [...]

The blog article (16-01-2014) provides an overview of the contents and foci of the 2013 Indonesian curriculum reform. Moreover, it provides the example of a concrete case of a school that was chosen to participate in the initial roll-out of the new curriculum. A few links to further information on the new curriculum are given, too. [...]

The presentation linked here provdides an overview of Indonesian curriculum development from 2003 to 2006. A focus is on decentralisation, which also affects the educational sector.
The presenter Agus Dharma is Director of the Personnel Education and Training Center, Ministry of National Education, Republic of Indonesia. The [...]

This speech of 2001 is an outline of the educational reform process in Indonesia. It is subdivided into the following sections: 1. Historical background on Indonesian education reform; 2. Contexts of Education Reform; 3. Laws and Policies of the National Education System; 4. Formation of the Committee on Education Reform; 5. Review [...]

South-East Asia; Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Vietnam [...]
Published in 2012, the ASEAN Curriculum Sourcebook (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is based on a survey conducted 2008-2010 on the curricula of the ASEAN member states. It is meant to bring closer the educational goals of [...]

Educational Reports, Statistics, Assessments

The national statistics agency of Indonesia also provides statistics on education. Among others, you will find the education monitor which has been published since 1994. You can also find the number of schools, pupils and teachers for different school types and class levels, enrollment rates, illiteracy rates, and more. [Abstract: [...]

The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) provides the most recent basic data on education in Indonesia. You will find information on the following issues:
* General information
* Education System
* Participation in education
* Progression and completion in education
* Education expenditures
* [...]

The OECD publishes their educational news from and on a specific country in this section. You will also find publication announcements like e.g. "Education at a Glance", and other studies and reports. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

This interactive website is provided by the OECD. It can be used to compare Indonesia's results from different international educational assessments (PISA, ...) as well as Indonesia's educational statistics with that of the average OECD results or with the results of other countries. You can create graphs, tables and others, which [...]

"Conventional assessment of educational institutions has been exercised based on many aspects (...). There are several institutions, nationally and internationally, assessing educational institutions and ranking them. The public is fond of these kinds of ranking system. Parents and prospective students are flocking and fighting to get in to top universities. This study is [...]

Organisations & Associations

Website of the National Teachers' Association of Indonesia. The website provides ample information on the association's aims and activities. Unfortunately, the information is in Indonesian only (English information is outdated). You can find English [...]

South-East Asia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Myanmar [...]
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) was established in November 1965 as a chartered international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture in the [...]

Asia; Europe; Austria; Denmark; Germany; Greece; Italy; Indonesia; Netherlands; Spain; Czech Republic; Philippines [...]
The organisation is a network of European and Asian universities, which was founded in 1994 in order to co-ordinate science, research and university teaching in the areas of science and technology, health, humanities [...]

South-East Asia; East Asia; Pacific Rim; Australia; China; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Laos [...]
APERA was founded in 2001 as a regional association for educational research in the Asia-Pacific region. Among its members, you will find national institutes and societies for educational research from East and South East Asia [...]

ASPENSI is an Indonesian Association of scholars of history education. The pages "about us" and "journals" are in English and inform you on the creation and the aims of ASPENSI as well as on the four journals published by ASPENSI (most of the articles are open access). The journals don't focus exclusively on history education but [...]

Universities, Science & (Educational) Research

The building of the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta (2006).
Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta (2006).

There are more than 200 universities in Indonesia. But hardly any of them appears in the university rankings. Indonesia didn`t make it into the top 500 neither in the THE Asia University Rankings 2013-2015 (UK), nor in the THE World University Rankings 2011-15 (UK), the Academic Ranking of World Universities (China) or the Ranking Web of Universities (Spain). In QS World´s Best Universities 2015/16 (USA), the best Indonesian university is to be found at rank 358.
Due to the great number of Indonesian universities, we will just give some examples of universities with educational faculties or institutions, as research in education and pedagogy is the focus of our website Education Worldwide. The central institution for teacher education and training is ...

Founded in 1954, the Indonesia University of Education is one of Indonesia's oldest universities as well as one of the central institutions to provide teacher education and education for students who want to become educational professionals or policy makers in various government bodies. UPI has 7 faculties covering all relevant [...]

These are some examples for faculties, institutes or programmes for education (sorted alphabetically). Unfortunately, most of them don`t have an English website.

University Educational Faculty, Institute, Centre etc. Further Information
Brawijaya university Education Research and Development (LP3)

PROGRAM PENDIDIKAN VOKASI (Vocational education)
* Founding member of Asia-Pacific Association for International Education APAIE

* Jurnal Vokasindo (Journal for Vocational Education and Training)

* Indonesian Journal of Disability Studies
Tanjungpura University Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Teacher Training and Education) English information
Universitas Negeri Semarang Lembaga Pengembangan Pendidikan dan Profesi (Education and Professional Development Institute)
Universitas Negeri Surabaya (UNESA) Fakultas Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Education)
Universitas Negeri Jakarta Fakultas Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Education)
Universitas Pelita Harapan * Faculty of Education and Teachers college

* Master of Education
Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha Fakultas Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Education)
Universitas PGRI Adi Buana Surabaya Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Teacher Training and Education)
Universitas Terbuka, Indonesian Open University Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (Faculty of Education and Teacher Training) English information

In the International Handbook of Educational Research in the Asia-Pacific Region (2003), in chapters 4.2. and 4.9. you will find a short text on research in education in Indonesia. In the book Educational Research Environments in Southeast Asia (1988) you will furthermore find a chapter on The Educational Research Environment in Indonesia.

Research in education is also conducted in the following research centres:

Like other Indonesian ministries, the Ministry for Education has its own Department for Research and Development. It was created in 1969/70 as a small office. Meanwhile, it has became a real department with a secretariat, as well as research centres for educational policy, curriculum research, educational assessment, statistics and [...]

South-East Asia; Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Cambodia; Laos; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand [...]
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) runs 26 spezilised institutes for research, training and transfer. You will find the following institues with an educational focus:

* [...]

SMERU Research Institute does research in socio-economic issues, among other on poverty and inequality, social protection, education, health, children and youth, community-driven development, labor, microfinance, and more. The site about SMERU's research focus on education informs you about recent research activities and publications [...]

[We link to a summary of the closed project including the most important documents produced during the project. For more details about the project, please visit a copy of the project website from the Internet Archive.] [...]

The following institutes deal with science and research in a more general way:

LIPI was founded in 1967 and is a non ministrial research institution directly responsible to the President of the Republic of Indonesia. Among others, the institute serves as national focal point of scientific international organization (e.g. ASEAN or UNESCO), as well as for Indonesian researchers. LIPI also serves as Center for [...]

The Adacemy is meant to be an interface between science and research, society, and politics. It also advices the government in many issues. Its approximately 50 members are organised in 5 commissions that represent all the scientific fields from Natural Sciences to Humanities. The website provides information on activities [...]

Research Literature

"Education in Indonesia [2014] critically looks at the country's education sector, which has not received much attention by international observers amid the advancement of the country's economy as Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, also becomes the third largest democracy after India and the United States. (...) In Indonesia, as elsewhere in Asia, education [...]

Having made impressive progress in widening access to basic education, Indonesia must now consolidate these gains and develop an education system that will support better the needs of a rapidly emerging economy in its transition towards high-income status. This report provides guidance on how Indonesia can rise to this challenge. It highlights three main policy directions [...]

"Education in South-East Asia is a comprehensive critical reference guide to education in South East Asia. With chapters written by an international team of leading regional education experts, the book explores the education systems of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. The diverse [...]

***Links to three fulltext articles of the book: see [more]***
These conference proceedings document presentstions made at the "Indonesian Student International Conference: Thinking of Home While Away" in Melbourne, Australia, 16-18 July 2010. You can find the following chapters as fultexts on the Internet:

Chapter 1 [...]

Equity, Opportunity and Education in Postcolonial Southeast Asia addresses the ways in which colonial histories, nationalist impulses and forces of globalization shape equity and access to education in Southeast Asia. Although increasingly identified as a regional grouping (ASEAN), Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines are known for their vastly [...]

"The process of globalization is now entering almost all aspects of human life. The process of globalization is due to the acceleration of innovation and its application in science and technology. All phenomena of globalization have had the implications in the field of education, including the education system in Indonesia. In the context of the teaching-learning process, for [...]

"Education is a main factor for shaping of the strong nation, self-sufficient, independent, and dignified. By making education a major component, the strength of a nation, namely the Human Resources (HR), will be on top of other components. Meanwhile, the teacher is an educator and producer who scored the strength of human resources through the school institutions, both formal [...]

"This briefing paper (...) [of 2011] provides a detailed, data-driven look at the research and teaching capacity of Indonesian universities. The authors (...) report on key findings from a USAID-funded project in which faculty members from Florida State University worked in collaboration with university partners in Indonesia to develop and implement a series of activities with [...]

[Suwignyo, Agus, 2012, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University] "The aim of the present study is to examine the transformation of teacher training in Indonesia from 1893 to 1969. Public teacher training altered over time to keep in step with the changing requirements in public primary school curricula which had been incurred by economic and political factors. (...)" Keywords: [...]

Black and white picture of a person going through a bright doorway at the end of a dark tunnel. On the picture there is a Chinese saying in Indonesian.
“Teachers open the door, but you must go through by yourself“, Chinese proverb in Indonesian.

"This study is aimed to evaluate the teaching and learning quality at the UNRI (University of Riau), which currently ranked at the top 21 best Indonesian universities and ranked at the 2,185 of the world universities ranking. The UNRI was chosen because it is the top university at the Riau Province and it offers various fields of study. The research population is all [...]

"This report provides fresh data and insights into the diverse labour market situations of young people in Indonesia and reviews existing policies and programmes in order to offer recommendations on measures for consideration by the Government and social partners." [Abstract: Site editor's information].

"Die iMOVE-Marktstudie Indonesien ist eine praktische Orientierungs- und Entscheidungshilfe bei der Markterkundung. Die Studie beschreibt und analysiert das Bildungssystem des Landes in seinen wirtschaftlichen und politischen Rahmenbedingungen. Der Schwerpunkt der Darstellung liegt auf der beruflichen Bildung, dem Aus- und Weiterbildungsmarkt und den Exportmöglichkeiten, [...]

Author: Ian Coxhead, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Draft as of 18 January 2015, do not cite.

"Economic growth is strongly associated with increased education, yet export booms in low-income countries often spark an opposite trend. Rapid growth of jobs in [...]

"This report examines decentralization in three developing countries; Colombia, Indonesia, and South Africa, which are seeking to address their longstanding educational problems. The case studies suggest that effective decentralization depends on creating a clear and measurable vision and a robust strategic plan to achieve it. The studies further revealed the importance of [...]

"Salafis, who defend a very conservative, literal interpretation of Islam and treat Shia Muslims with hostility, are not just a phenomenon in the Middle East. They are increasingly pressuring Shias and other religious minorities in Indonesia, too. Saudi Arabia is the world's main provider of Islamic education. In addition to promoting Salafism and maligning other religious [...]

"Images and perceptions have long been topics of inquiry in social science and humanities, including International Relations (IR). As an established Political Science sub-discipline, IR has played an important role in the construction of images and perceptions through the (re)production of knowledge, which influences decision-making of governmental and private agencies. [...]

"PESANTREN sind islamisch-religiöse Bildungseinrichtungen auf Java und in fast allen Regionen Indonesiens, die über eine jahrhundertealte Tradition verfügen - die sogar bis in die hinduistische Zeit zurückreichen soll. Alhadar schreibt in seinem Buch nicht in erster Linie über Pesantren, nimmt diese Institutionen jedoch als Gradmesser für die Bildungssituation in [...]

The Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, since 2004 regularly organises annual student-centered “Tandem-Research” summer schools. In the Freiburg Anthropological [...]

Special Focus: Inclusion

A child with Down-syndrome holds a drawing in its hands that shows school children hiding under tables because of things falling down everywhere (earthquake?).
Disaster Risk Reduction training for children with disabilities in Indonesia.

This article of Jan-Mar 2015 provides an overview of the situation of people with disabilities in Indonesia. The publishing platform "Inside Indonesia" is run by Australian researchers with an interest in Indonesia. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Fact Sheet of the International Labor Organization ILO (as of July 2013) on inclusion in Indonesia. You can find a somewhat newer version of the fact sheet (as of December 2013), but which has slightly less content. [Abstract: [...]

Publication of 2012 of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the G-20 major economies (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors). Here you will find the chapter on Indonesia. Available only in German. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

"Over the last decade, inclusion has become a world trend in special education. In response to that trend, the Indonesian government has adopted a progressive policy to implement inclusive education. The aim of this research is to describe the implementation process by focusing on the institutional management, student admission/identification/assessment, curriculum, instruction, evaluation, and external supports. The sample consisted of …"

This national report on the status and development of inclusive education in Indonesia was handed in in 2008 by the Indonesian Ministry for Education on the occasion of the 48th Unesco Conference on Education. The theme of the conference was "Inclusive Education: the Way of the Future". [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

Further Information

Indonesia Mengajar is a programme founded in 2010 by Indonesian Minister for Education Anies Baswedan (since 27.10.2014). Young students in education or young teachers get recruited to teach in some rural and remote areas of Indonesia for some time. The [...]

Last Update: 11.07.2023  -

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