Open Education in Indonesia: Perspectives From APTIKOM's Eko Indrajit

May 19, 2011

Eko Indrajit has a lot of experience in education - he holds four master's degrees from universities around the world and a doctoral degree in business, and he teaches computer science at the Asian Banking Finance and Informatics (ABFI) Institute Perbanas, Jakarta-Indonesia. Mr. Indrajit brings that expertise to bear in his work as Chairman of APTIKOM, an Indonesian organization devoted to technology education through which he advocates for increased access to education.

By Megan Driscoll

Eko Indrajit of APTIKOM

In addition to his administrative role at APTIKOM, Mr. Indrajit is on the boards of the National Education Standards and the National Research Council in Indonesia. caught up with him after the recent OpenCourseWare Consortium conference to learn more about APTIKOM and Mr. Indrajit's work in open education. What is APTIKOM?

Eko Indrajit: APTIKOM is an association of colleges and universities in Indonesia that offer educational programs in computing, information systems and technology. Out of 2,750 higher education institutions in the country, approximately 750 of them are the members of APTIKOM, with a collective student body of 600,000 people. You're currently the Chairman of APTIKOM. What does that role entail?

EI: To lead the association in achieving its core mission, which is 'empowering the colleges and universities in computing studies within the nation in their process of conducting higher learning education to provide the community with quality graduates, science and technology through shared resource and shared service efforts.' What is your personal philosophy regarding open education?

EI: My personal slogan for open education is 'the more you give, the more you get!' I believe that's the philosophy underlying the development of the Internet. What unique challenges does Indonesia face in increasing access to higher education among its populace? How are APTIKOM and OCW facilitating this process?

EI: Current issues faced by Indonesian universities trying to promote open education include:

  • The willingness to share content and knowledge.
  • The limitations of available Internet bandwidth.
  • Doubt about the effectiveness of e-learning.
  • Resistance from campus bureaucracies.
  • Disparities in almost everything, including literacy and access to education and technology.

Solutions that APTIKOM has presented include:

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  • Developing a pilot project for proof of concept regarding the value of open education.
  • Developing an ecosystem for open education at the national level.
  • Developing policies and regulations regarding resource sharing and other aspects of conducting open education.
  • Developing a concept showing that open education is a win-win scenario for all stakeholders.
  • Developing effective leadership and communication through the government. What do you think is the single most important thing that Indonesian universities need to accomplish in order to increase educational access?

EI: There are several important pieces for increasing education access in Indonesia:

  • Sharing and leveraging limited resources.
  • Conducting PPP (Public Private Partnership) initiatives.
  • Changing the learning and education paradigms.
  • Developing effective 'compliance by design' mechanisms.
  • Increasing use of information and communication technology. You recently attended the OCW Consortium conference as a representative of APTIKOM. In what ways is the consortium helping APTIKOM achieve its goals?

EI: The OCW Consortium lends APTIKOM the valuable experience of other countries. We also get access to high quality content and materials that are shared freely and the information shared through the network of OCW practitioners. What are APTIKOM's plans for the future? In what ways does the organization expect to grow?

EI: We plan to work with the government to develop official regulations that force colleges and universities to share resources and knowledge through a government decree. We are also developing the NEXSUS as a clearing house for credit earning and credit transfer among many institutions within Indonesia. After APTIKOM's OCW project has successfully achieved that mission, the engine will be shared with other Indonesian associations.

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