"Next" Magazine Vol. 3 Fall 2016 - Page 32

Indonesia Impact Action Research Projects bring change in Indonesian higher education institutions STAFF REPORT D uring a sabbatical stay of four months based at the National Education University Indonesia (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia) in Bandung, Dr. Beth Goldstein continued her work on the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Indonesia program for Higher Education Leadership and Management. Goldstein and colleague Dr. Susan Carvalho have guided action research projects in 25 universities and polytechnics across Indonesia. Initiated and implemented by collaborative teams of mid-level faculty and staff, these projects focus on pressing issues of local significance to their own institutions. They contribute to the movement in Indonesia away from highly centralized government control of higher education to greater autonomy and local responsiveness. The projects have ranged across topics of student access and success, curriculum innovation, community sustainable development, and institutional quality and accreditation. For example, over three years of action research, the action 32 | research projects team at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University Muhammadiyah Malang has flipped its curriculum and classrooms to studentcentered learning, consonant with the university’s core Islamic values of learning and science in service to community. Their students now work with local communities to solve problems in areas such as nutrition, farming and water management. The students also cultivate a financially self-sustaining and organic, experimental farm that provides food to local people. Cendrawasi University in Papua has introduced a praxis-based entrepreneurship curriculum targeted to increase participation in economic enterprises of Papuan students from remote areas. From a project in one department, this initiative is now being expanded campus-wide. Based on their success with their first action research projects designed to improve institutional levels of accreditation, both Politechnic Aceh and Syiah Kuala University (both in northern Sumatra) have begun new projects, focused respectively on student recruitment and curriculum innovation.