Upgrading of Pre- and Para-clinical teaching and training (after 1987 including support to central workshop)
Community health development (up to 1986)
- Law (1984/85)
- Economics (DGIS)
a. Selecting Institutions
The choice of partner-institutions had a powerful impact on the further development of the Dutch assistance program in Indonesia, especially in light of the program’s long-term intent38. The selection of institutions in the program in general was to be based on their “development concept and potential” (NUFFIC, s.d.). Additional criteria included need for assistance (e.g. presence of other donors), orientation towards the poorest population groups or regions, and the presence of social conditions that allow the university to function as ‘agent of change’ (NUFFIC, s.d.: 2). Before actually selecting institutions, however, political decisions needed to be made about which countries to include (or to exclude), and their relative share in the linkage program. In this connection, the Indonesian program took shape under rather difficult political circumstances. When the first batch of pre-selected partner institutions was submitted to him in June 1977, Pronk had insisted that the number of Indonesian institutions participating in the PUO program should be limited to ‘two or three at most’ (NUFFIC, 1984)39. Politics loomed large and became an even more explicit argument in the aftermath of the military and judicial crackdown that followed student protests at various Indonesian campuses in 1978, in turn fueling criticism within the Netherlands against cooperation with Indonesian universities (VUA, 1980). Indonesia supporters in the Netherlands not only had to emphasize the social relevance and development potential of institution carrying their preference, but also explicitly their ‘relative autonomy’ and distance –politically as well as geographically— from Jakarta (p.c. Brinkman), their independent leadership (VUA, 1980: 9), their non-elitist or at least non-traditional character (van Olden & Serpenti, 1983)40. All three institutions selected to participate in the linkage program to some extent and in varying ways were presented by their respective promoters as ‘special cases’ in the Indonesian higher education landscape, be this in their academic leadership role, their service function or regional development role. Dutch policy makers in other words have been sensitive to arguments underlining that support would go primarily to institutions that could be considered to be functionally different and better equipped. Ironically, by doing so in an increasingly repressive regime, university autonomy at the same became a prominent factor in the political sense too. While ‘serving the State’ in its task of national development targeted institutions preferably were not (considered as) too close to the political apparatus in Jakarta41.
Suggested differences notwithstanding, the selected linkages were also strikingly similar in some respects. Notably, they are all with State universities42 and all emphasize the university’s role in development, be it in teaching (e.g. manpower development), applied or otherwise socially relevant research, or community service. No apparent effort was made by the program developers (i.e. DGIS, NUFFIC) to differentiate the general purpose of the linkage schemes in light of specific institutional missions. Instead, the program overall seemed to take a rather undifferentiated view on the institutional needs of universities in developing countries, or at least implicitly assumed that broad institutional linkages were the most appropriate way for dealing with these needs. The main objective of the three Indonesian linkages was in fact identical, i.e. “to strengthen the University “X”, and –in conjunction with other Indonesian universities— the higher education system in Indonesia in general, focusing on its contribution to development and self-reliance in society, and with attention for the deprived and poorest segments of the Indonesian population. The aim of self-reliance, as applied to the university itself, means that upgrading staff, in terms of theory, research and education will have high priority”.
In summary, the program was selective but not adventurous. The range of eligible institutions was constrained by self-imposed goals and formal policy as much as by the political rationales and feasibility considerations and all the unplanned interactions in between. Fully congruent with Lindblom’s notion of “mutual adjustment” (Lindblom, 1990), the ‘donor selection’ resulted from effective and anticipated interactions between agencies, groups, and personalities inside and outside academia, in Indonesia and in the Netherlands.
b. Selecting Fields and Projects
In principle, each linkage covered a number of fields or areas of collaboration (e.g. integrated rural development), which in turn were to be further specified in projects (e.g. nature conservation project)43. Table 1.3 indicates that the perceived role of the university in areas of national or regional socio-economic development appears as a significant criterion in the identification of fields and projects. That observation further underscores the donor’s commitment to a university that is primarily loyal to its broader development task. In other words, and so far only judging from the menu of fields and projects, development goals and social relevance criteria at this stage seemed to outweigh the “aim of self-reliance, as applied to the university itself”. The argument is illustrated not only by the presence of projects in such applied fields as community health (UHAS and UGM), integrated rural development (UGM), and agricultural development (UNIBRAW), but furthermore is reflected in the institutional constraints some of these fields experienced within the respective Indonesian partner-universities. The concept of supporting interdisciplinary research involving cooperation across and between different faculties proved particularly hard to implement for both structural and substantive reasons. The institutional environment (i.e. relatively powerful and autonomous faculties, characterized by highly diverse needs and expectations) did not lend itself easily to such cooperation. In addition, as academic subjects, these (inter)-disciplinary fields simply were not yet well established academically to garner much interest from the traditional disciplines involved. Soon, these projects were forced either to adjust their ambitions to more modest proportions, as in the IRD component at Universitas Gajah Mada (Veenkamp, 1982), or face deadlock, lack of cooperation, and occasionally even opposition, as happened to the community health program at UNHAS (van Olden, 1983: 24). Nonetheless, these cases not only illustrate the donor’s initial preference for social developmental criteria –even at the risk of failing to come to grips with institutional realities—but also indicate the relative nature of such preference.
Rather than an absolute priority of the goal of extra-university development over the goal of intra-institutional development, the linkages usually contained a mixed bag of projects reflecting some balance or compromise between the two perspectives. To begin with, the decentralized mode of developing individual linkage programs –with Dutch and Indonesian academics first negotiating project proposals among themselves, and then with their respective authorities internally (i.e. within their university) and externally (i.e. with NUFFIC or the Ministry of Education…)— ensured that academic development was well represented. Significantly, some of the selected institutions, as prominently reflected in the programs at UGM and UNIBRAW, managed to secure significant chunks of funding for the development of basic sciences, and this in spite of donor pressures to center more exclusively on extension or applied research projects (p.c. Brinkman). The needs for academic staff development in basic science disciplines (e.g. chemistry, physics etc.) were great, and Dutch universities (among them the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, VUA most visibly) effectively brought home the message that this was to be a key area of institutional development for Indonesian partner institutions. But even beyond the basic sciences, the strong involvement of academics ensured that staff development and academic upgrading became the paramount features of the Dutch linkage program. Linkage activities were overwhelmingly directed towards improving the academic training, experience, and formal qualifications of the Indonesian staff. The improvement of the academic infrastructure (“scientific practice”) –the hallmark of the earlier linkage program— was instrumental to that end and specifically consisted of activities to extend and improve the existing curriculum at postgraduate levels, to develop and improve course materials, and introduce lecturers to new techniques in research and extension work.
Furthermore, both Dutch and Indonesian universities had learned how to accommodate to the development rhetoric of the times. Thus, support for basic sciences and academic upgrading was motivated on the basis of its contribution to Indonesian self-reliance (VUA, 1980: 8). National self-reliance, in other words, conveniently became a vehicle for promoting strategies that would also help increase the institutional ‘self-reliance’ of partner institutions, even though increased institutional autonomy as such never was an explicit goal of the program. Meanwhile, the development rhetoric would soon be loosing its broader appeal even at donor’s headquarter in The Hague. Evaluation reports in the early 1980s indicated growing university criticism of the practice of judging linkages on the basis of their being in agreement with the Dutch policy criterion of orienting aid towards the poor (Kater, 1984). Such criticism indeed at times became especially sensitive in the context of Dutch-Indonesian relations, where the reproach of “patronizing behavior and attitudes” (Janssen, von Liebenstein, & Adikusumo, 1982) on the part of the Dutch would never be very far away.
2.5 University Administration: the Missing Link?
Conspicuously absent in the overview of the Dutch linkages in Indonesia throughout this period are program components pertaining to non-academic aspects of university development. Dutch and Indonesian academics seemed to be much on the same line in trying to limit the thematic focus of their cooperation as much as possible to academic up-grading of staff. And among them there was little interest or incentive to engage in projects in the delicate and high-risk area of management development, or even in centralized academic or technical support services (e.g. library development). Meanwhile, neither DGIS, as funding agency, or NUFFIC, as intermediary agent, seemed to push hard for interventions in support of centralized institutional planning or management, in spite of the provision made for non-academic types of support. Nowhere was there any mention of intervening in the internal university organization or administration, let alone of stepping into the lions’ den of local university financial management or internal resource allocation. The option of supporting specific initiatives in that area was never really considered by either side, and instead the undeclared policy was to best steer away from it as much as possible (p.c. Brinkman). Significantly, none of the Dutch long-term resident staff in Indonesia formally participated in local management decision-making structures regardless at what level, their tasks being rather strictly confined to academic or project matters. Nonetheless, academic and project matters in some cases did have local administrative and even financial implications (e.g. counterpart allowances for Indonesian staff) which occasionally required administrative decision-making and follow-up within the host institution (e.g. selection of grantees, credits for training etc.). In that connection, the person who came closest to systematic and regular informal consultation with Indonesian administrators (i.e. Rector, Vice Rectors, Deans) was the Dutch resident coordinator assigned to UGM during the early years of the linkage program. Rather than to try and influence administrative decision making within the partner institution, however, his main task was to ensure efficient implementation of the Dutch linkage projects. This often required administrative backstopping, and occasionally some crisis management, at various bureaus in Jakarta as well as in Yogyakarta. So when a system of counterpart honoraria was designed (funded jointly by UGM and NUFFIC), its purpose was to provide adequate compensation to active participants in Dutch upgrading activities, rather than to set up a model designed to change the incentive structure within the university (Veenkamp, 1982: III-15). While the coordinator had intimate knowledge and understanding of the situation at Gajah Mada, he was not expected to introduce or improve administrative practices. In relation to management, partners instead chose to continue the existing situation of ‘mutual non-interference’ (p.c. Veenkamp): Dutch institutions would not (have to) get involved in the sensitive area of university management, while the Indonesian side did not (have to) deal directly with the organizational complexity of Dutch aid.
Informants suggested several reasons for the Dutch restraint –or lack of ambition— to move into the area of university administration (p.c. Brinkman, Veenkamp, Hagen). Among them were the assumed low interest and receptivity on the Indonesian side, high sensitivity (and particularly so in the context of Dutch-Indonesian postcolonial relations), and a low interest and perceived lack of comparative advantage at Dutch universities. More broadly speaking, and as other studies also suggest, universities in developing countries at the time had become less receptive to external influences, and, as a corollary, increasingly confident about their own capacity to contribute to national development 44. In that sense too, the goal of supporting the ‘Development University’ seemed to provide a better fit with historical circumstances than that of ‘University Development’. As a result, and in spite of the initial prospect to expand the scope of the linkage program beyond the confines of the academic subjects and departments, the goals of the Dutch linkage program remained closely associated with the ‘academic infrastructure’ of selected faculties, departments, or study programs. One apparent exception in this regard concerns a project in support of university-wide equipment maintenance and repair at the University of Hasanuddin’s Central Workshop, an initiative that was first introduced in the mid 1980s as a follow up to earlier support in the Medical Faculty. This project stood out in at least two ways. Not only was it located at the central institutional level (the workshop resorted directly under the rector) and functionally oriented to the entire institution, it was also one of the few Dutch linkage projects that was not primarily based on either academic or developmental rationales but instead was grounded in principle on internal organizational needs. Further, the UHAS central workshop itself at the time was unique to the extent that it was not an officially (i.e. by the Government) recognized part of the standard university structure and as a result was funded largely from the institution’s own resources. Significantly, however, the project’s final evaluation report documents in great detail how the funding decision was in fact based on a ‘misunderstanding’ of the central workshop’s institution-wide task, more than on a particularly well developed appreciation of that role at donor’s end45. The project’s exceptional features therefore sum up rather well what the linkages did not seem to target for. In spite of their institution-wide ambitions, linkages were generally not hooked up in any operational sense with offices or service units of the central administration of the university, but instead were typically located at the level of the Faculty or academic units below. Furthermore, their intentions usually were not so much based on a prior assessment of institutional needs but instead were related to broadly defined notions of national development on the one hand, and to specific needs for academic staff development on the other.
In other words, and in spite of the officially proclaimed goal of institution building, the institutional “middle-level” (Clark, 1983) does not appear as direct target of Dutch assistance during this period. Only in more recent years –and paralleling similar trends in other donor agencies (Berry, 1995; Coombe, 1989; Olsson, 1992)— has Dutch assistance policy become more assertive in including and indeed actively pursuing institutional management and planning components in its education programs overseas. This broader policy shift was first reflected most explicitly in the policy paper on development cooperation and education, which appeared in 1992 at the time of the aid-rupture with Indonesia. The policy document formally made strengthening the capacity of institutions and systems one of its priority themes, further noting that “A process is under way of decentralization and enhanced local autonomy, intended to produce greater efficiency and flexibility in education. (…) This trend demands restructuring, tighter cost and quality control, innovation, and a greater focus on educational management and administration and on the reinforcement of local research capacity” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1993). However, regarding Dutch cooperation with Indonesia this later emphasis on strengthening institutional management capacity for obvious reasons never really got under way as policy would soon be taken over by events.
To the extent that a shift in emphasis could be detected before the aid-rupture, it was arguably reflected more visibly in the activities financed from the Dutch Minister of Education’s international budget than in those with traditional support from development assistance (p.c. Zijlstra, Hagen, Maassen)46. In this connection, mention should be made in particular of one such ‘education initiative’, which was explicitly and this time not mistakenly oriented towards improving the management capacity of Indonesian universities. This small47 but ambitious project, initiated in 1986, supported the development of university management training courses involving Twente’s Center for Higher Education Policy (CHEPS) and the Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB). The project ultimately sought to establish a center for higher education management at ITB that would be able to provide training for university managers in such areas as strategic planning, personnel management, and financial planning. This idea was innovative and at the time exceptional in a number of ways. First, the initiative picked up developments within Indonesia from the mid-1980s onwards suggesting less government controls and more financial autonomy for universities (Task Force for Management Reform and Consolidation of Higher Education, 1988). At the level of formal policy, these suggested changes were manifested first in the official planning language and only later –consistent with the decision making pattern in a bureaucratic polity— were to be enshrined in various laws and regulations48. Secondly, in anticipation of increased autonomy and at the same time confronted with decreasing government funds, leading public universities such as ITB on their part seemed to be taking a growing interest in how universities in other countries were managed and how modern principles of strategic planning could be introduced49. Third, while institutional receptivity regarding external interventions in the area of university management was on the rise, the Dutch Ministry of Education was quick to seize the opportunity and position itself more assertively than before as a knowledge exporter in the area of university management50.
3. From Partnerships to Projects
One of the underlying ambiguities that marked the development of the Dutch linkage program over the years concerns the tension between linkages as bilateral aid instruments and as intrinsically valuable goals in their own right. While these differences at times are subtle, often allowing compromise, the analytical distinction nonetheless is relevant to this study as it reflects once more changing donor perspectives on the role of higher education institutions in society. Depending on the emphasis, linkages are regarded either as a vehicle for fostering ties between autonomous institutions for higher learning, or as a technical instrument for assisting countries to carry out specific functions. In this connection, the initial goal of fostering long-term partnerships between institutions, based on institution-wide commitments and a recognition of eventual mutual benefit, gradually made room for a more sober look at the purpose of these linkages, and the conditions on which collaborating institutions could participate and be held accountable. The change took place over a number of years51, but was reflected most visibly in the 1987 reorganization of roles and programs in Dutch bilateral assistance52. Notably, the former university linkage program was abolished and integrated into a new sector program (‘Training, Education, and Research’) that included institutions outside of higher education. The earlier formula of long-term institution-wide linkages was abandoned and instead the project again became the primary unit at which financial and substantive decisions came to be taken. The erstwhile ambition to strengthen (higher education) institutions as a whole was now given up entirely in order to make room for targeted interventions at specific departments or units, which, depending on the specific project objective, could be located either inside or outside of higher education. On the whole, the program was less exclusively concerned with the improvement of higher education programs in developing countries and instead put greater weight on supporting research for developing countries, building on specific comparative strengths in the Netherlands.
The philosophy of linking Dutch and overseas organizations nonetheless was maintained and the new linkage program that started in 1988 essentially merged many of the former linkage projects implemented by Dutch institutes for higher education. Whereas institution building continued to a major goal of the program, its definition was now restricted to the confines of the operational objective of the particular project. Rather than building “the university as an institution”, the goal was to strengthen specific training, education and research capacities at targeted places and in selected areas. From the perspective of State-university relations, the implication was that the locus of Dutch assistance was situated at the level of specific units and sub-units inside (and outside) the university. In other words, while broadening the range of institutions that received support, the new program seemed to narrow the locus of institution building to specific units within the organization. At the same time, however, the scope of activities would be extended and occasionally also started to include components that aimed at improved management capacity within particular units. To illustrate the shift of emphasis regarding the locus and scope of institution-building, one evaluation report pertaining to a linkage project in remote sensing at UGM first has praise for the project’s institution-building component arguing that the project’s target unit, a training center within the faculty of geography, “…had almost become an institution in itself…” and then goes on to suggest ways for the center to enhance its income generating potential through the provision of consulting services in an arrangement with the Faculty and UGM (Lutchman & Patmo, 1991).
The reorganization of Dutch linkage programs manifested itself most visibly in an increase of the number of ‘linkages’ –totaling 29 in 1991 (see listing in annex)— many of which actually consisted of former PUO projects now continued as separate links. In the case of UGM and UNIBRAW, these projects continued to be regarded as part of a broader cooperation framework, but in spite of the informal ‘coordinating efforts’53 the idea of an institution-wide linkage practically lost much its meaning (van Dongen, 1995). Further, rather than ensuring continuity of activities, the reorganization essentially was meant to bring innovation into the program. Whereas the old linkage idea was criticized as too rigid and ambitious, the new formula was to offer flexibility and room for experimentation with new forms of cooperation, including a greater emphasis on research (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1988). New themes (e.g. women in development at UI) and partner-institutions entered the program, including higher education institutions as well as government agencies or branches within specific line ministries. Regarding higher education, institutions that entered the program included the Institute of Technology in Surabaya, the University of Pattimura (Ambon), the University of Indonesia, and even the Ministry’s DGHE directly.
With the latter project in particular, the linkage program explicitly also entered the realm of Indonesian higher education policy and implementation. Specifically, this project aimed to improve teaching practices at Indonesia’s public higher education institutions by the gradual dissemination –and ultimately institutionalization— of an instructional upgrading program for teaching staff (i.e. the so-called ‘applied approach’). The project started in 1986 as a direct cooperation program between the Directorate of Academic Affairs of the DGHE and the NUFFIC – in itself a unique construction54 – but on the Dutch side implementation responsibilities transferred in 1988 to the University of Twente’s Education Center. Of greater significance to this study’s theme is the underlying tension in this project between the need for central government action in a key area of academic concern (i.e. ensuring the quality of teaching) on the one hand, and the recognition of the autonomy of the institutions concerned. The following excerpt from one of NUFFIC’s monitoring reports illustrates the ambiguity rather well: “To realize a more autonomous position of the universities, it was decided by DGHE that a smooth running educational support system, consisting of educational centers at each university, had to be provided…” (NUFFIC, 1992). The project, in other words, helped set up and develop (i.e. training) centrally mandated units within each university, which then further operated in a decentralized manner. Additional central support was to be provided by a central unit in Jakarta, but its institutionalization in the Inter University Center of the Open University never got underway before the project, like the rest of Dutch assistance, was terminated in April 199255.
As a result of the reorganization, linkages stopped being the exclusive domain of higher education institutions, let alone of universities only. Instead, linkage projects would become more firmly embedded in overall Dutch assistance policy regarding Indonesia, and typically also would include cooperation with particular training or research or training units of technical ministries. Examples here include projects such as the training center for poultry husbandry in the Ministry of Agriculture, or cooperation in areas such as water resources development or urban infrastructure in the Ministry of Public Works. But also within the Ministry of Education and Culture, new linkages were being developed with functional units within the bureaucracy. The list includes a program for inter-university legal cooperation with Indonesia, coordinated by a legal consortium within the ministry, as well the continuation of an older and major bilateral project in support of the national center for linguistic development.
In a political sense, linkages increasingly came to be regarded as part of a broader instrument in fostering direct cooperation between organizations in the Netherlands and in Indonesia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1988: 31-32). One of the essential features of the education and research sector program (TOO) in which linkages were a prominent part was that it was not formally part of the budgetary aid envelope that was part of bilateral negotiations with Indonesian planning authorities. Linkage projects therefore in principle were “more accessible for initiatives involving mutual collaboration between various groups and organizations in the Netherlands and in Indonesia” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1988: 8). To the extent that furthering such cooperation was part of the broader political agenda of Dutch assistance policy at the time56, it is ironic to note that so many of the linkage projects in higher education continued to be situated in State universities and government bureaucracies57. However, that observation at the same time fits snugly with the noted ambiguity of Dutch assistance goals, which on the one hand aimed to support the institutional capacity of the State in national development while on the other hand increasingly seeking to further at least the professional (academic) autonomy of targeted units in the system.
The implicit nature of the relationship between Dutch assistance goals and State-university relations in Indonesia required relatively extensive handling. While operating within the boundaries and constraints imposed by the bureaucratic system (e.g. regarding the selection of institutions, or government approvals required), goals did not address directly the political economy of Indonesian State-university relations. More than by national or even institutional policy or reform agendas, ‘operative’ assistance goals were guided by pragmatic academic rationales –in the Netherlands as much as in Indonesia— to professionally upgrade selected academic units and selected fields. At one level, Dutch assistance seemed to recognize and at times explicitly support the assertive developmental role of the State in Indonesian higher education, even when occasionally distancing itself politically from Jakarta. At a more implicit level, however, the strategy of building critical capacities at ‘favorite’ spots clearly seems at odds with a system that at least officially favored standardized approaches to distribute resources and opportunities evenly across regions and institutions. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, such a strategy, if successful, would suggest more institutional differentiation, for instance, between those institutions that have the capacity to generate external resources and those that do not, or between those that offer graduate programs and those that do not. And while in practice some degree of differentiation can be accommodated in the State-control model, the principle does challenge the uniformity and homogeneity that are typical of that model (Neave, 1994).
Within the targeted universities, meanwhile, Dutch assistance focused prominently on the task of academic capacity building at selected units. Notable exceptions notwithstanding, the linkage program in Indonesia mostly and explicitly steered away from initiatives to strengthen institutional management or university administration. In spite of the ‘institution-building’ rhetoric, the institutional “middle level” remained conspicuously absent in most of the Dutch higher education assistance projects. Instead, and especially during the later years of the period studied, the goal of “institution-building” was confined to the level of the targeted academic unit. At the institutional level, Dutch assistance goals at the time seemed more compatible with a strategy of intra-institutional decentralization; many of the targeted units indeed explicitly aspired for increased levels of professional autonomy relative to the university as well as to the State. In sum, the pattern of State-university relations implicitly suggested is one that combines strong planning, funding, and regulatory control capacities at the center (i.e. governmental steering) with increased academic and managerial responsibilities at the level of the academic unit.
II. World Bank Lending to Higher Education in Indonesia
This section analyzes and reviews the origins and changing goals of the World Bank’s higher education lending program in Indonesia, focusing on how these correspond to domestic patterns of State-university relations. It suggests an incremental shift in the Bank’s overall strategy, in part responding to domestic conditions, in part following a changing international Bank agenda. Briefly put, whereas the Bank’s program initially sustained government approaches supportive of a central State role in the provision, funding, and coordination of higher education (i.e. State-control), its emphasis gradually shifted towards strategies that either directly or indirectly called for increased autonomy and less direct State control (i.e. State supervision). This movement was accompanied by parallel changes in the Bank’s sector goals in Indonesia, starting from the early emphasis on centrally planned expansion in selective areas, on to significant investments in quality improvement and institutional capacity strengthening, and, more recently, a drive towards decentralization and management reforms.
The section reviews these changes with specific emphasis to how they relate to domestic patterns of State-university relations, notably with regard to the provision, funding, and coordination of higher education. The discussion begins with a brief sketch of the antecedents of the World Bank’s higher education lending program in Indonesia. Similar to the section on Dutch assistance goals, the analysis of documents and interviews is conducted at two inter-related levels i.e. the level of broad and formally stated policy goals and the level of operative goals as reflected in project related information (i.e. documents and interviews).
Whereas Dutch higher education assistance programs originated from international academic contacts, the World Bank’s lending program in Indonesia from the start has been firmly embedded in the close relationship that evolved in the early 1970s between the Bank and the Indonesian government, especially in development planning58. With the establishment of a strong country presence in Jakarta59, the Bank had positioned itself strategically to facilitate a broad macroeconomic policy dialogue with the Indonesian government, which would soon be followed-up in various sectors and sub-sectors of Bank activity. The early development of such a policy dialogue process in education, and later on in higher education specifically, provides the general framework from which the Bank’s wider sector goals as well as its expanding lending portfolio would later emerge (World Bank, 1991).
Close relations with clients or recipients are of course common in international aid, as indeed they reflect a shared goal of donors and recipients to ensure a steady flow of funds, “to move money” (Kreiner, 1984). However, the regular format and increased specificity of the Bank’s education policy dialogue in Indonesia suggest that there was more to it than moving money only. First, a broad agreement developed among participants of the dialogue —senior officers in the Bank and in the Indonesian bureaucracy (i.e. BAPPENAS, MOF, and MOEC)— that education was a-key sector in the country’s economic and social development60. Later upstream activities at the sub-sector level (e.g. in higher education) would essentially build on this basic consensus. Further, the dialogue facilitated an early understanding with the government about the Bank’s self-perceived role and ambition. Notably, even before much education lending was taking place61 the expectation was already firmly established that the Bank was not only interested in investments, but also would be seeking to play a leading role in areas such as educational management, technical assistance, and sector analysis in education (p.c. Gilpin). Finally, and not in the least, the policy dialogue process and dynamics62 suggested a broad acceptance and even explicit support by the Bank of at least some of the basic assumptions supporting an active role of the State in educational development. These rationales mostly pertained to public funding (i.e. the argument that education was under-funded), provision (i.e. market failures or inequities) or to a perceived need for more and better planning, management, and coordination (i.e. increased efficiency). In higher education specifically, perceived constraints on the capacity of government and public institutions in general to utilize the Bank’s assistance efficiently, has determined much of the Bank’s lending activity throughout the 1980s (Eisemon, 1992).
The Bank conducted its first education sector survey in 1973, at a time when the country was anticipating a significant expansion of government investments in the social sector (World Bank, 1975). The report that followed provides a comprehensive assessment of the education system, and suggests broad outlines of an investment program that would feed into the government’s second five-year development plan (REPELITA II, 1974-79). Overall, the study calls for a substantial increase in the level of public financial resources devoted to education63 —especially in areas meeting critical manpower needs— yet emphasizes the need for efficiency gains and stronger administrative and planning capacities throughout the system64. In higher education, the Bank’s diagnosis comprised a sharp criticism of existing inefficiencies (e.g. high dropout rates, duplication of courses and facilities, lack of coordination between faculties and institutions), to the point of arguing that “much of the resources spent on higher education are wasted” (World Bank, 1975: 60). Not surprisingly, the Bank at that point called for restraint in expansion of higher education, and instead prudently set out to restrict its investments to critical and manifest manpower needs, especially in the areas of teacher training, agriculture, training of accountants, and technical engineering education. These manpower forecasts in the late 1970s provided the basis for the Bank’s first investments in the higher education sub-sector65.
Although its own interventions in higher education at the time were still very limited, the Bank’s assessment of the sub-sector was comprehensive and includes a foretelling diagnosis of management issues at Indonesian universities. As early as 1975, when the report was first published, the Bank recognized structural weaknesses in university administration and management as a particular cause of concern. Especially the fragmentation of authority within the higher education system, both at national and institutional levels, was reported to represent a major challenge to productive State-university relations in Indonesia, and one which according to the authors required urgent government attention. The Bank’s diagnosis as well as its remedy merit consideration here as they both further illustrate its concern with the capacity of the State to manage higher education at institutional and national levels, a concern which was fully congruent with the requirements of an effective bureaucratic polity. As fragmentation was considered an obstacle, suggested solutions were to include increasing authority, coordination, and management capacity at the center. This concern for central management capacity building – both at State level and central institutional level — later becomes a prominent ingredient of Bank assisted operations in the 1980s.
The 1975 sector study at the same time provides an early indication of the relative nature of Indonesian State-control in higher education. Centralized State-control was challenged by fragmented planning and funding arrangements emanating from the central bureaucracy66 as much as by formal and informal decision making mechanisms within the university (World Bank, 1975: 69). At the institutional level, central authority typically was undercut by powerful, ‘semi-autonomous’ faculties enjoying high degrees of autonomy within universities in such areas as student admissions, staff recruitment, and even –albeit mostly unofficially—student fees. Nonetheless, and in marked contrast with the management reforms advocated by the Bank in the 1990s (World Bank, 1994), the Bank’s recommendations in 1975 do not include increasing institutional autonomy, but instead suggest measures to standardize university entrance levels, centralize common administrative functions, and, even, limit fees (World Bank, 1975: 75).
2. Evolving Goals in Higher Education
Starting from a modest basis, the World Bank’s higher education program in Indonesia gradually starts to gain momentum in the 1980s. The nature and extent of the program’s quantitative expansion is explored further in chapter 3. This section in particular analyzes the development of the Bank’s strategic goals, derived from country assistance strategies and project documents, in relation to domestic policies and conditions in higher education. Table 2.1 summarizes the key-elements of that relationship over time, and identifies dominant themes in connection to State roles in higher education. While the association between broad strategic goals and successive time periods is of a relative rather than absolute nature, allowing room for overlap across goals and time periods, the following broad patterns emerge:
(1) Bank strategies regarding Indonesian higher education (column B in table 2.1) over time have overall remained remarkably congruent with the formal policy goals of the Indonesian bureaucracy, as reflected in official plans and government documents (Column D in table 2.1). The Bank’s major investments in institutional innovations (e.g. the introduction of a polytechnics system, the creation of inter-university research centers) and reforms pursued (e.g. resource diversification, management information systems) correspond well with existing domestic forces of change that typically operated from the center, top-down67. Bank operations furthermore have been consistent in their emphasis on manpower development and institutional capacity building as key economic rationales for continued involvement in higher education lending.
(2) Notwithstanding continuity, the development of the Bank’s program over time also indicates qualitative changes, especially in its approach of the role of the State and its relationship to higher education institutions (Column C in table 2.1). Notably, whereas Bank projects at least initially seemed broadly supportive of a central State role in the provision, funding, and coordination of higher education, its emphasis gradually shifted towards strategies that either directly or indirectly called for different and less direct forms of State control. At the institutional level, meanwhile, the Bank’s more recent emphasis on decentralized planning contrasts rather sharply with earlier calls for standardization and centralized management.
The next sections provide more detailed analysis – conceptual and empirical — of the association between the Bank’s goals and evolving patterns of State-university relations in Indonesia. In correspondence with the strategies identified in table 2.1, the discussion is organized around three broad Bank goals (i.e. manpower development, institutional development, and, strategic decentralization) and their relationship to shifting patterns of State control over time. It is noted that these overall goals do not necessarily coincide strictly —or even broadly— with successive time-periods and strategic priorities indicated in table 2.1, since that would suggest a degree of incompatibility between goals that is not intended and may not be warranted on the basis of empirical analysis. For instance, manpower development goals continued to represent a, if not the primary rationale for Bank lending in higher education, in Indonesia as elsewhere68, and its significance to Bank policy consequently goes well beyond the time period narrowly associated with manpower planning strategies and forecasting techniques. Similarly, the overall goal of institutional development is not necessarily in conflict with the more recent emphasis on decentralized planning, even though targeted units and approaches have shifted, as will be shown. Rather than incompatibility, the broader image that emerges from the analysis of Bank goals over time is one that suggests incremental progression in directions increasingly exploring opportunities (and capacities) for autonomous action within the boundaries of the existing system. While at times disjointed by varying perspectives and even some intergenerational conflict within the agency, the agenda steadily moved away from State-control.