International Assistance and State-University Relations in Indonesia

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Table 4.4: High receivers of international assistance/high performers of self-generating income


Top 10 receiver of intern. aid

1980-1995

Top 10 performers of self-generating income 1999







Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB)

Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

Polytecnics (3)

Universitas Indonesia (UI)

Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB)

Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM)

Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD)

Universitas Indonesia (UI)

Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM)

Institut Teknologie Sepuluh November (ITS)

Universitas Brawijaya (UNIBRAW)

Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS)

Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU)

Universitas Syiah Kuala (UNSYIAH)


Institut Teknologie Sepuluh November (ITS)

Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU)

Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP)

Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP)

Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS)

Still, the general perspective of university leaders vis-à-vis the new paradigm tends to be overall positive. Undoubtedly one of the more remarkable cultural changes in the post Suharto era is the increasingly explicit openness to the world in general. Indonesian university rectors are usually not specifically inclined towards particular foreign models, even though top US universities are often cited. Instead, informants advocate borrowing from a plurality of foreign models, including also European (UK, German, Dutch…), Latin American (Argentina, Chile…), and Asian (Japan, Australia…) models. This observation is confirmed by recent research of Indonesian university leader’s attitudes and strategies in a global context, and is often associated with “the novel impact of an open information environment” (Marginson & Sawir, 2006: 355-56). At the same time, there is also a sense of urgency associated with required reforms to transform internal systems and cultures to operate more effectively in the new setting, where universities need to raise increasing part of their funding by themselves. One rector put it this way: “University management has to be changed, away from the old departmental bureaucratic model, which has now been transformed in university autonomy that allows us to manage our own systems… Now we have to create and develop the budget” (cited in Marginson & Sawir, 2006: 359).



2.3 The bumpy road to financial autonomy

In the Indonesian situation, increasing the level of institutional autonomy was put forward in the New Paradigm as a necessary way to improve management decision making at the institutional level. The proposition is a risky one in a number of ways, both for government and for the institutions. First of all, Indonesian State institutions have little or no tradition to systematically gather and analyse information for financial management purposes and are organizationally not set up to manage their own resource basis. Key informants from within the institutions confirm the observation and call for monitoring, evaluation, and adjustments as the implementation of the process of autonomy moves forward. International assistance projects under the New Paradigm typically include mechanisms for monitoring and systemic analysis of financial data for management decision making. In the new generation of Bank projects, institutions were required to contribute part of their self-generated income in the process of bottom-up budgeting and programming. Nonetheless, the latest reports are not very optimistic regarding the financial management status of the universities that have been granted legal autonomy (World Bank, 2005: 62).
For government too, the autonomy strategy continues to involve substantial educational, social and even financial risks. Autonomous universities that do not perform better in terms of academic quality arguably do not serve the purposes of the new paradigm. Public institutions that are not well managed financially are expected to put a drain on the State budget. Social risks already became apparent at the time of tuition hikes and threaten to undermine the legitimacy and, thus, the continuity of the reforms. Also the emphasis on merit based competition carries potential risks in terms of inequities, be they socially or regionally inspired. The difference between substantive and procedural autonomy is well established in the scholarly literature: financial autonomy on the one hand relates to the power to decide over the institution’s financial resources per se, as well as to the power to decide at what level and how such decisions are made. The distinction is not merely an academic one as it turned out in the public outcry in media and in parliament following the decisions of 4 autonomous institutions (UI, UGM, ITB, and UNDIP) in 2005 to adopt a special entrance policy (and fee scheme) for students from wealthy families (Jakarta Post, 12/2/05 and Jakarta Post, 1/31/07). In their attempts to generate additional revenue, these institutions decided to accept students on the basis of an alternative selection system, separate from the regular national entrance test held annually, and specifically designed for students from families of high income for enrolment in special programs. Institutions differed in the way they select students to enrol in these special programs, in the quota of seats reserved for this students entering through this “special lane”, and, importantly, in the fees they charged. For instance, at the UI, entrance fees for students who enrolled in this special program varied between Rp. 25 million (US$ 2,750) and Rp. 75 million (US$ 8,260), depending on the subject area184. Tuition fees for the ‘special lane’ at UI were set on Rp. 7,5 million (US$ 820) per semester, whereas the regular students who passed the national exams were being charged Rp. 475,000 (US$ 52) per semester.

The case of the ‘special lane’ goes well beyond the distinction between substantive and procedural financial autonomy. Negative reactions ventilated in the media as well as in parliament raised serious concerns about quality, social equity, and the commercialization of higher education. The case therefore also provides ample illustration of the consideration that financial autonomy is not merely an issue of sound management, but also, and necessarily, involves choices for Indonesian institutions and government to come to a sound balance between autonomy and accountability.

3. International assistance and the enacting conditions in the academic unit

As indicated in the previous chapter, international assistance projects were primarily targeted at the basis academic unit, more so than directly at institutional level. The quantitative impact of international assistance in terms of resources and structures at this level, the so-called “factory floor” (Clark, 1998: 232) of higher education, can not be denied easily. Assistance outcomes in terms of human resource capacity and staff development stand out prominently, even in subject areas where donor investments typically remained relatively small. The number of academic staff with advanced degrees (Master or Ph.D.) has risen dramatically since the 1970s, in great part a direct outcome of international assistance programs. To illustrate for the social sciences, in 1974 there were nation wide only two Indonesian faculty holding Ph.D.s in anthropology, five in political science, two in communications and seven in sociology. Today, at the Faculty of Social and Political Science at the University of Indonesia only, 25% of its teaching staff holds Ph.D.s, and another 50% have Master degrees (figures cited in Hadiz V. et al., 2005: 24). In engineering and other applied sciences, areas where much of international assistance efforts tended to be concentrated, the increase of Ph.D. and Master trained staff is even more prominent. For instance, data from the Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB) indicate that over 50% of its teaching staff holds a Ph.D. degree, 75% of which received in other countries and supported with scholarships funded from international assistance projects.

To be sure, the proportion of staff holding postgraduate degrees in itself is not necessarily an indicator of success in terms of educational quality nor is it a required condition for greater institutional autonomy. However, improved staff qualifications definitely helped institutions –often again with external donor support– to internally establish new institutional structures (e.g. research centers, business contract centers…) and become more competitive to generate extra resources on the market of contracts and services on the basis of its specific expertise. To carry the example of ITB further, this institution’s principal income generating units nowadays are the institute for research, the institute for community services (for contracts with governments), and its professional business development off spring (LAPI). Combined, these units generate twice as much income than the regular government funds for recurrent expenditures.

Enhanced staff expertise and income-generating capacities also have their drawback as they further complicated organizational challenges at the institutional level, both in terms of personnel management and regarding financial management. Many institutions did not establish special units for income generating activities (under centralized institutional control), but instead left much of these activities to powerful Faculties and departments. In spite of formal obligations and government regulations, incentives to share financial information with the central services are generally absent. In addition, there is traditionally little institutional control over the income generating activities of individual faculty on staff time (Daroesman, 1991; Mayling Oey-Gardiner, 1999). Given the low salaries for teaching staff, the practice to supplement income with external consulting activities on staff time is widespread. The observation that data on institutional income generating activities are generally underreported, however, only further validates the quantitative impact of international assistance on such activities. What it does say is that the primacy of the sub-unit, so prominently present in donor funded projects, does produce challenges at the institutional level.

Autonomy, it should be noted at this point, is not only about increasing income generating capacities, especially not so if we consider it from the perspective of the enacting conditions in the academic sub-unit. As Clark reminds us, these enacting conditions relate to the emergence of ‘academic tribes’ (Becher, 1989, cited in Clark, 1998: 236), ‘thought styles’ and ‘thought collectives’ (Fleck, 1979, cited in Clark, 1998: 236), or less metaphorically, in academic disciplines, sub-disciplines, schools of thought, theoretical perspectives, etc. Autonomy, seen from that more qualitative angle, relates to academic norms and ideas that are based on social interactions, which become crystallized (for instance in publications, study programs, etc.) and eventually are integrated and internalized at various levels within the institution. International assistance certainly was a contributing factor to this process of academic socialization even though outcomes are variable and are sometimes difficult to measure (e.g. peer reviewed publications, accreditations).

International assistance provided intellectual platforms for academics to escape the bureaucratization of academia under the new order’s regime. In this regard, it is instructive to bear in mind the implications of the ideological backbone of the new order on the intellectual climate in general, and on academic life at Indonesia’s universities in particular. Following citation of Ali Moertopo, one of the regime’s most influential ideologues in the 1970s will clarify the context. He stated that “In order to achieve our country’s goals as efficiently as possible, modernization is nothing more than the process of using all available material, ethical, scientific and technical means to organize structure, and implement development based on one way of thinking.” (cited in Vedi Hadiz et al., 2005: 14). Especially the ‘one way of thinking’ is of interest as it was to be taken literally during the ensuing decades. In contrast, international assistance in higher education involved a plurality of voices (for instance, academics and universities from abroad, international experts), establishing project teams supporting increased specialization, in the process fostering a change of culture towards competition, transparency and peer reviewed quality mechanisms. It will come as no surprise that the academic sub-unit is the site par excellence where the contradiction between group cohesion and scientific accuracy is felt most strongly. Even social scientists who are generally critical about international assistance acknowledge that “dissenting inclinations within some of the relatively under resourced social sciences were only possible because of the support of foreign donor organizations. (…) Over the years, foreign donors –inextricably linked to the social and political issues and concerns in their countries of origin– have left an imprint, for better or worse, on the type of research projects undertaken and supported in Indonesia” (Vedi Hadiz, 2005: 4).

Perhaps as significant as the financial impact, international donors contributed to the tacit component of transferring institutional development knowledge, often hidden in low cost exchanges and twinning arrangements, or other horizontal learning methods, such as study tours, cross-training, and informal talks between rectors, deans, teachers and students participating in these exchanges.
In closing the chapter, and for further illustration purposes, I have included an analysis of one particular project that was extensively being reviewed during my stay in Indonesia. The project was also chosen because it was often referred to by informants as the first concrete operation under the new paradigm concept.
Box 4.1 : Assessing the outcomes of the URGE project

The URGE project was set up to assist the Indonesian government to create an enabling environment for graduate education and research. Competitive funding encouraged differentiation between institutions and concentration of funds in a selected number of institutions185. As a result, the increased funding for research and graduate education enabled institutions to develop (or to further) a profile of a 'research university'. This is not to suggest that all Indonesian institutions started off from a level playing field as institutional stratification was already apparent.

Formally, eligibility to compete for funding was open to private and public universities that were accredited to offer degrees beyond the S1 level. In practice, Clark's assessment of most appropriate (enabling) conditions for graduate education and research suggests that on top of the competition between institutions to make it to the rank of research institutions, competition between those 'that made it' (i.e. no longer only for money, but also for reputation) will have a further beneficial effect. Again, assessments take into consideration the extent to which graduate degrees from these institutions are valued (e.g. professionally as well as in the labor market) in society.

The 'ideology of unity', as Clark calls it (1995: 219), is well represented in the Indonesian higher education system in the 'tridharma' principle (i.e. 'unity of teaching, research and service'), but is not explicitly mentioned in any of the project documents consulted, possibly because the principle applies to all of higher education and thereby ceases to be an ideological rallying point for graduate education specifically. Much more explicit are the project's objectives in regard to increasing and -in the long run- diversifying and the funding basis for research and graduate education. One definite financial marker of success, for instance, is that over time a significantly larger share of institutional resources are obtained by other than the ministry's core support. It is here that the second level of analysis suggested by Clark, i.e. that of the 'formative conditions' at the institutional level, becomes most obvious.

Besides the already mentioned policy references to financial autonomy, the URGE project overall was much less explicit in its expected outcomes at the institutional level. Its contracting arrangements suggest an outcome of 'graduate school differentiation' that largely bypasses the central institutional level. The question then becomes how institutional decision making responded to this internal differentiation of research groups and graduate schools that managed to attract extra funds on top of the regular government budget. In reality, many have been rewarded with more attention and funding (cf. the so-called Mathew effect), serving as showcases of the university often triggering internal competition and even 'cross-subsidization'. Others became isolated within their own institution. For understandable reasons perhaps, the project evaluation documents rarely explicitly address these issues, but the call for greater institutional autonomy does seem to suggest at least implicitly that such decision making will become critical to the success of the project as well as to the prospects for institutional autonomy. On the basis of the project documents and the interviews we had with donor staff, I conclude that the project approach (cf. contracting arrangements) suggests that government confidence in the institutions' internal decision making mechanisms at the time was not yet firmly established. To the extent that university centers and graduate schools, rather than universities, were the dominant actors (and contractors) for the DGHE, then a -probably modified- version of the German model of research institutes might become an as plausible outcome as 'institutional autonomy'.

Finally, a long term assessment of the impact of the project should also include the 'enacting conditions', which, while hard to measure, ultimately define what Clark calls ‘the factory floor of higher education’ (Clark, 1995: 232-234). How does the project affect the development of individual 'departments' and 'research groups', how are research and teaching structurally integrated in an environment where 'graduate schools' as known in the U.S. are a relatively new phenomenon? In spite of --or because of-- the project's focus and concern with creating the appropriate 'enabling' environment for graduate education and research, it is still hard to find evidence of the development of new schools of thought or innovative theoretical perspectives. Indonesian universities still have a long way to go when it comes to the development of schools of thought that find recognition in internationally reviewed publications. Nonetheless, the project instruments and contracting arrangements encouraged and supported decentralized capacity building and decision making at this level, more explicitly even than at the institutional level.

International Assistance and State-University Relations

in Indonesia (1978-1998)
Seeking Autonomy within a Bureaucratic Polity

Chapter V


CONCLUSIONS
“The change to campus autonomy has not really done anything more than institute a change from State tyranny to market domination. The reality is that the ‘civitas academica’ has not been able to critique the social marginalization that has resulted from this policy.” (Heru Nugroho, 2005: 146)
“Autonomy cannot be imposed by international donors. Institutions need to make autonomy their own fight.” (p.c. Bagio Moeliodihardjo).

In this chapter I will briefly summarize the major conclusions of the dissertation, feed these back to the theoretical frames and the literature review, and explore their relevance for policy and/or practice. The general theme of the study is that goals, efforts and outcomes generated by international assistance in Indonesia facilitated and at times actively encouraged changing patterns of State-university relations from direct State control towards policies and steering mechanisms inducing increased institutional autonomy. I have shown that while there has not been so much hard evidence for a causal relationship between international assistance and university autonomy, there was plenty of empirical evidence of a mutually reinforcing dynamic involving donors and domestic reformers that continues to have a profound impact on the way higher education is managed in Indonesia; a process of evolving policies and goals (chapter 2), changing policy instruments (chapter 3) and a picture of varied but substantive outcomes (chapter 4). Without this dynamic, and hence without this relation with international assistance, Indonesia’s State university system would be less developed overall, less differentiated, less equipped and academically manned, less decentralized, and less financially autonomous. Most of its institutions would have much less capacity to diversify their resource basis, and become financially autonomous.

International donor assistance, often implicitly, promoted and significantly furthered differentiation among and within institutions, notably by introducing and inducing procedures of merit based selection and competition. The processes of institutional differentiation and competition not only provided a fruitful platform for increasing university autonomy at the institutional level. The growing diversification of institutional missions and capacities furthermore has steadily complicated centralized system management following the typical State-control mode of more or less standardized operations.
International donor goals and ideologies about institutional capacity building, while often ambitious and only partially implemented, responded surprisingly well to domestic and international contextual conditions and were picked up by actors supporting more decentralized decision making, and in the process helped develop domestic rationales for a changing government role. In the case of the World Bank, goals explicitly included support for institutional reforms as well as the introduction of innovative forms and mechanisms through specific projects.
International assistance efforts have been instrumental in changing, expanding and diversifying the resource basis for higher education in general and of selected institutions specifically, and in building critical capacities at specific places within the system. In spite of the many significant institutional constraints and weaknesses at both system and institutional level that have persisted throughout the period under study, higher education assistance overall have helped create enabling conditions conducive to increasing autonomy at Indonesia’s public universities.

With regard to the influence of international assistance on institutional management and decision-making, the results of international assistance have been mixed. On the one hand, the analysis of outcomes does indicate a prominent role of international assistance efforts in developing and in some cases implementing institutional strategies to diversify resources or to generate income, both of which are considered to be significant elements of financial autonomy. Also, and importantly, the broadly formulated norms, the ideas and the discourse of international donors propagating autonomy as an efficient way to manage higher education, connected well with the forces of careful opposition that emerged from the traditionally close association between top bureaucrats (i.e. at DGHE and Bappenas) and some heavy weight university rectors.

On the other hand, and regardless of institution-building goals, donor efforts have centered predominantly on planning and capacity strengthening activities directed at either the central level (i.e. national) or the level of the academic unit (i.e. faculty, department, study program) and overall have remained much less convincing at the institutional level. Still, the apparent mismatch between goals and efforts offers only a partial explanation for perceived donor failures in supporting stronger university management. Especially in the case of the World Bank, efforts in that particular area have been significant and early on included specific initiatives to train university administrators, develop institutional management information systems, and enhance institutional planning. At least as important as the extent and quality of donor efforts have been the domestic and national political conditions, especially the general reluctance on the part of the government to let foreign agencies become involved in local institutional decision making.

Frustrated by the plurality of institutional constraints and structural weaknesses (e.g. bureaucratic policy framework, prevailing norms and traditions, lack of incentives to develop management capacity, financial limitations, standardized reward system…) operating at the institutional level, donor support instead (further) encouraged de facto decentralization to individual academic units. Notable exceptions notwithstanding, the central executive powers typical of the U.S. model of university organization remained largely undeveloped during the period of this study. Only in recent years, in the post Suharto period, new regulations to effectively ‘grant’ (legal) autonomy status to a selected number of State institutions, the movement to institutional autonomy started to gain political prominence, and their implementation involves a fundamental shift towards more centralization at the institutional level, as was explored in chapter 4.

Finally, regarding the overall policy framework of State-university relations in general, and financial autonomy in particular, international donors largely operated within the boundaries and institutional constraints imposed by the domestic policy environment, occasionally exploring “windows of opportunity”, rather than taking a proactive stance vis-à-vis political and institutional change. Instead, the typical pattern was that changes in the domestic policy framework developed domestically –albeit quite possibly as a result of broader international forces— then received important external follow-up and backup, rationales and explicit support. This broad assessment does not correspond very well with the image of international assistance as the vehicle for the “external imposition” of policy agendas for which it is often taken. At the same time, however, it shows very well the structural weakness of international assistance as an influential force on domestic changes involving increased autonomy, as any “success” (here defined in terms of ‘effective influence’ and not as ‘effective reform’) depends both on the complicity of domestic reformers and on the willingness of institutions to become autonomous. The latter is not self-evident, given the risks associated with it (see chapter 4), and the expected tendencies for prismatic formalism and displacement further watering down initial achievements. As one informant observed early on during my stay in Indonesia: “Autonomy cannot be imposed by international donors. Institutions need to make autonomy their own fight.” (p.c. Bagyo Moeliardjono).

I. Relevance to theoretical frames and literature review

The dissertation thematically explored if, how and to what extent domestic changes in the relationship between the State and its public higher education system in Indonesia have been influenced by international assistance. Our theoretical framework, based on relevant literatures, builds on conceptualizations of the complex dynamics of influence and patterned relationships between organizations at various levels. With references to both resource dependency theory (i.e. shifting power balances resulting from rational/cognitive social exchange) and institutional perspectives (i.e. emergence of patterned relationships and norms), the case study brought to bare relevant elements of change as well as of change influenced by international assistance in particular.

The combination of two theoretically compatible and complementary perspectives provided the dissertation with a valuable framework for analyzing change in organizations as a result of exchanges with other organizations at various levels. As a result, our theoretical framework acknowledged and emphasized both cognitive and institutional elements of the environment in which higher education institutions operate. In other words, in an environment where resources are scarce (as can be argued for Indonesia throughout the period studied), organizations, on the one hand, can be expected to try either to minimize their dependence on others or to maximize the dependence of other organizations on them (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This is the cognitive part of the environment, which for the purpose of illustration provides an helpful perspective to partially explain the changing State-university relations in Indonesia from a model of State control to a model of State supervision (and not to a private market model). The argument can be summarized as follows: as the Indonesian State required increasing resources to continue the development of its higher education system and at the same time maintain its influence on State institutions (i.e. make them dependent), the State pursued strong relationships with international donors in order to obtain much needed resources (in the process becoming increasingly dependent), but at the same time also sought to minimize its own dependence by actively seeking new levers of power at the national level, for instance in establishing central frameworks and procedures for accreditation or competition and/or performance based funding systems.
On the other hand, however, and quite apart from the generation and distribution of resources, any system of higher education is also subject to interactive processes by which structures and organizational rules are made or redefined. And again for illustrative purposes, it can be safely stated that the increasingly international environment made Indonesia’s higher education also part of a broader, even worldwide process structuring higher education policies and reforms, including rules, norms, principles and ways of managing higher education. Institutional and neo-institutional theories provide frameworks for inquiring and explaining how these norms are created, diffused, adopted and adapted over space and time (Scott, 2004). In addition, institutionalism helps explain how many of the changes and reforms in Indonesia’s higher education system almost simultaneously take place at markedly different locations, even at places where international assistance has not been prominent player, at least not in the sense of a provider of resources and dependencies. This latter observation, furthermore, does not in any way contradict the central conclusion of our dissertation that international assistance was an influential factor in the Indonesian higher education reforms. On the contrary, set up as a case study of change in Indonesia’s higher education, the dissertation confirms the prominent role of international assistance –and of international organizations such as the World Bank in particular— as central carrier and transmitter of specific institutional norms and ways of managing higher education. As a result, the basis of legitimacy of the New Paradigm rested not so much on (donor or State) sanctions, intrinsic moral values (for instance regarding university autonomy), legalistic, nationalistic or democratic arguments, but instead on the conviction that this new way of managing higher education was to be perceived of as the only conceptually correct one.

Looking back at the more specific review of literatures summarized in chapter 1, the dissertation based its research questions on references from a variety of subject areas and fields, ranging from State theories, sociological and organizational perspectives on higher education, literature related to policy implementation, institutional perspectives on international organizations, and policy oriented as well as academic approaches to the combined fields of international assistance and comparative education. The framework of the dissertation was designed to include goals, efforts and outcomes of international assistance in relation to the interactive and on-going processes of domestic State policies and institutional responses, starting from the assumption that explicit donor involvement in domestic policy would be one way in which international assistance can ‘negotiate’ and ‘create’ resource environments.

The framework was an effective instrument in guiding data collection and analysis, but with hindsight required completion with additional perspectives and information. For instance, Kreiner’s distinction between two relatively independent environments of the aid-giving process, i.e. the “resource environment”, where resources and conditions are negotiated and determined, and the "project environment", where donors and recipients negotiate the distribution of funds and the 'technicalities' of project implementation, was helpful in sorting out and analyzing a tremendous amount of data. The adage that there is ‘truth to be found in the details’ was often confirmed in analyzing discourse and content of project related ‘aide memoirs’ and consecutive ‘project completion reports’. Nonetheless, the detailed investigation of donor goals and efforts also brought to bare that international assistance was not just about resources only. The mechanics of international assistance and the asymmetric relationship between donor and recipient involve much more complexity than the resource based perspective can handle. Isomorphic tendencies to adopt, emulate, or adjust existing ‘foreign models’ or institutional norms are not easy to explain on the basis of purely resource driven approaches.
A valuable additional perspective was discovered in an ongoing scholarly debate on international organization theory, where traditional State-centric explanations for the functional existence of international organizations are increasingly being challenged by scholars exploring the institutionalizing powers of international bureaucracies (Barnett & Finnemore, 2004). In her study of the origins of domestic science policy structures, Martha Finnemore concluded that the simultaneous emergence of similar science policy structures in the 1950s in so many States was to be explained by the institutionalizing influence of international organizations (in this case UNESO in particular) that “taught new States the value, utility as well as the form of science policy organization” (Finnemore, 1993: 597). In her later research work, and even closer to the theme and time period of this dissertation, her initial arguments have been further fine-tuned in a case study on how the World Bank ‘redefined development’ (Finnemore, 1997). Our analysis of especially the World Bank’s role constructing and institutionalizing norms regarding policies and organization of higher education, not only finds support in the proposition that international organizations can shape domestic State policies and choices about internal structures. It also provides further confirmation of the responsiveness of States to internationally generated and disseminated institutional norms, as well as to the strong institutionalizing power of the World Bank186. At the same time, however, this does not necessarily imply that ideas and institutional norms about organizing higher education (such as, for instance, the concept of ‘autonomy’), effectively originated within the World Bank, nor does it suggest that the institutionalization of these norms will bring educational improvement. What this line of research does confirm is that international organizations such as the World Bank are bureaucratically very well equipped to institutionalize ideas and norms that are not specifically linked to the needs or expectations of the member States.

Of even greater and more direct significance to this dissertation are the thematic parallels that can be drawn with Levy’s ‘To Export Progress: the Golden Age of U.S. assistance to Latin American universities’ (Levy, 2005). While addressing different contexts –both geographically (i.e. U.S. and U.S.-related assistance to Latin America) and time-wise — this study also investigates goals, efforts, and results of university assistance at both national and institutional levels, and also comes to a cautiously optimistic assessment of its successes. In spite of the strikingly different era –the 1950s as the golden age of modernization and the optimistic belief in the opportunities for development vs. the end of the century’s age of ‘lost decades’ and decreasing confidence in the effectiveness of the ‘aid industry’— there are other, more specific parallels and commonalities to be made with the dissertation’s conclusions. Notably, university assistance’s contributions to diversify resources and to differentiate institutionally by building capacities at selected places while pushing some degree of intra-university centralization resonate well with the major conclusions of this dissertation. Also, the broad observations that donors in general sought to inspire and to facilitate rather than to impose, and that success more often than not depended on the presence of ‘willing receivers’, seem to correspond with the dimensions of congruency that I intended to draw for the Indonesian case in chapter 4.

At the same time, however, there are also conceptual and empirical differences to note. First of all, the concept, set-up and ambition of the two studies differed greatly. Our purpose and design was set up to investigate in what ways international assistance influenced the relationship between the State and the public universities in one particular country. Thematically, the major concern was not so much with assessing the effects of changing relationships for the educational or even managerial improvement, let alone the prospect of exporting progress187. The domestic conditions and political context of the Indonesian case (i.e. the bureaucratic polity within an authoritarian regime) proved an essential context in that it drew the lines and boundaries for changing State-university relationships. In ‘To Export Progress’, the regional coverage is vast, at least at the receiving end188, whereas the political background of the study explicitly carries the signature of the (special) relationship between the U.S. and Latin America. Further, the ‘Philanthropic Ideal Type of Change’ (Levy, 2005: 4), which guides the book was not explicitly pursued in this dissertation, even though some of its aspects (i.e. selectivity, problem and reform orientation...) hew rather closely with some of the goals, efforts, and outcomes of assistance in Indonesia. The reason is simply that both donors selected in this dissertation (i.e. Dutch bilateral university assistance and the World Bank) as well the target beneficiaries (the Indonesian State and the State universities) do not seem to correspond well with the concept of voluntarism or with foundation based philanthropy as it is typically found in the U.S.189 In fact, the dissertation explicitly focused on mainstream and public allocations.

In terms of empirical findings, it is further noted that in the Indonesian case and time period, the international donor influence on expanding access was not as substantial as it was during the golden years of university development and higher education expansion. In contrast, donors in Indonesia (with the exception of the Asian Devlompent Bank) concentrated almost exclusively on improving (selected) public institutions, leaving massive quantitative expansion largely to the ‘demand absorbing private sector’. As indicated in chapter 4, domestic worries within the government bureaucracy about the private sector not only becoming bigger but in some cases also qualitatively better, inspired higher education leadership at DGHE to pursue policy changes involving a shift in the way higher education institutions were to be managed. Apart from the differences, the dissertation also brought to bare new themes that have been effectively used by donors as a lever for change towards greater system decentralization, more institutional autonomy and accountability. For the Indonesian case, we note in particular the World Bank’s contributions to the establishment of internationally inspired quality assurance mechanisms and peer reviewed accreditation procedures, and their connection to the new paradigm.

Moving further into the field of comparative higher education, the theoretical framework of the dissertation was also heavily inspired by ‘conceptual typologies’ (van Vucht, 1993) that allowed us to identify, explore and compare the main institutional features of the Indonesian higher education system that together constitute its position within the “triangle of coordination” where the State, the Market, and the Academic Profession are all pulling and pushing for power (Clark, 1983: 143). Clark’s work definitely bridges various theoretical perspectives, as his model acknowledges the impact of power and resources, as well as of strong institutional norms in explaining differences between national systems of higher education. Nonetheless, his ideal type does not explicitly recognize the international environment as a prominent ‘fourth’ player in the higher education triangle.

As for the State, Guy Neave and Frans van Vucht distinguished two ideal types or models of higher education system governance: State control and State supervision (Neave, 1994: 9-11). Johan Olson introduced four steering models grasping different approaches to national policy-making, steering and governance of higher education and the way these affect change in governing universities. Olsen’s ideal types embody different ideals and views of the role of the State, professionals and society at large, but do beg the question of who is ultimately steering. As ideal types, however, these models and ideal types do suggest a framework for analyzing and explaining changes in State-university relations. They are summed up in figure 5.1, where we couch Clark’s triangle of coordination in a quadrangular field of steering models and added an international perspective on top of it.

The main features of the ideal typical steering models are summarized and contextualized for the Indonesian case.


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