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Accountability of quality and fair access in Indonesian higher education: policymaker and practitioner perspectives

Brewis, Linda Elisa Jennifer; (2019) Accountability of quality and fair access in Indonesian higher education: policymaker and practitioner perspectives. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Indonesia’s post-1998 higher education reforms have used accountability as a policy tool to regulate educational quality and fair access for low-income and disadvantaged students. This is done via curricular standardisation, accreditation, means-tested tuition fees and scholarship schemes. This thesis is an exploratory, qualitative inquiry into what accountability means for contemporary policymakers and higher education practitioners. Policymaker assumptions about these accountability mechanisms were investigated through unstructured interviews with 10 government representatives (ministry of research, technology and higher education, accreditation bodies). The findings reveal that human capital and neoliberal rationales are accepted to an extent, although social justice rationales are also called upon to intervene in the higher education market in the name of public accountability. Policymakers are also shifting toward a professional accountability model where professional associations play a stronger role in assuring quality. Practitioner beliefs and practices were investigated via three institutional case studies in West Java which represented a variety of subject orientations (IT, health science, science and humanities) and student demographics (low-income status, rural versus urban origin). Data was collected via 45 semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of staff drawn from four job role categories (senior management, middle management, lecturers, admissions/recruitment staff), 13 classroom observations, and analysis of institutional documents and statistics. Evidently, staff are driven by external pressures (state, labour market), internal pressures (institutional mission, peer accountability and self-accountability) as well as discipline-derived pressures (e.g. an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, liberal arts values). The practitioner perspective highlighted how quality and fair access often overlap, with staff defining quality in response to the needs of their student backgrounds (low-income, rural, low-ability). Internal accountability pressures were equally important to external ones for driving beliefs and practices in teaching quality. Internal accountability was especially important for implementing supportive pedagogical and financial strategies to aid student retention and well-being.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Accountability of quality and fair access in Indonesian higher education: policymaker and practitioner perspectives
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: higher education, education policy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071815
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